The Creative Futures Institute

We no longer need specialist knowledge, just transdisciplinary creative solutions


Check out our latest newsletters, giving you insights into our major projects, research outputs, and impact outside of academia.




Our research interests are informed by our core research values, which aim to develop significant, original and rigorous knowledge that has value and impact on society beyond academia.

Knowledge creation relies on insights from a range of disciplinary perspectives, but how can we build bridges between subject areas?
How can academic research bring insights that can help foster responsible decision making for the future of humanity?

  • Creative Practice 80%

  • Journalism 50%

  • Event, Festivals & Cultural Policy 60%

  • Visual Art 55%

  • Island Studies 35%

  • Science & Technology Studies 40%

  • Performance 40%


All of the research at the cf. focuses on questions that concern the future of humanity in the broadest sense. Whether it is through the creation of new aesthetic forms, discussion about the future of journalism, or attention to our media-event based economy, our approach addresses the gaps in our knowledge that arise from conventional divisions in research. Our work brings creative alternatives to research innovation that help us think more imaginatively about our future. The intersection of these approaches to common areas of interest provides the cf. with a unique contribution to broad topics about social, political and cultural change. The categories above offer an insight into some of the research clusters within our programme, while the tags below focus on specific content.



Many of our active researchers work across disciplines. For instance, visual artist Samantha Clark creates extraordinary artistic works that have been shown all over the world, while also writing on environmental philosophy. Alternatively, Professor Gayle McPherson has been heavily involved with Creative Scotland as a Board member and in the theatre sector, while also researching mega-events. This range of contributions to the creative research and practice sector allows us to build relationships for our students in their own careers, while deeply embedding our scholarly contributions in the applied context. Key clusters include Journalism, Creative Practice/Research, Events, Festivals and Policy, Island Studies, and Performance.





Research topics include




The media form an important part of the public sphere and our research in this area seeks to understand and contribute to these discussions. Our researchers investigate how the media report certain issues, how media organizations are changing
along with the development of new technologies and how we can study computer games from a social perspective to make sense of identity. We also undertake our own journalism to locate the cf. firmly within the public domain.



Major societal challenges all have a cultural dimension.  We can understand more about social, cultural and political values by investigating discourses and developing innovative practices, from mega-events to small-scale creative interventions.
Our research explores the future of urban/rural configurations, the politics and ethics of placemaking and representation, and the event economy.



The value of artistic practices and methodologies within research has grown considerably in the last five years, as social scientists draw more frequently on ideas developed by artists and as collaborations between HE and the art sector have flourished.
Our work focuses on how art reveals insight about the present state of humanity and future directions.


Rapid progress in the NBIC sciences has brought with it ethical, social, legal and policy questions that call for a greater integration between research in the STEM and non-STEM subjects. The last ten years has seen a rapid growth in collaborations between natural scientists, social scientists and arts & humanities scholars.

Our work brings these debates to a wider public playing a crucial part in making science relevant for society and theorising its value in the broader biopolitical sphere.



The development of new communication technologies has been accompanied by social studies of the user communities and our work contributes to this research by asking questions about the direction of technological change and how it will affect society.

The rise in telehealth, ecommerce and the transformation of leisure consumption are among the various ways that our researchers explore how new technologies have changed how people operate within their daily lives.



The rise of emerging sciences creates new ethical questions for society to debate and our research fills this gap by bringing together a unique collection of researchers in philosophy, social sciences
and the new natural sciences to develop empirically informed ethics that can assist policy making in promoting values that matter to people.


  • Leave Your Shoes at the Door

    Leave Your Shoes at the Door

    Output, Practice

    Jo Ronan’s performance together with BloodWater Theatre in Leave Your Shoes at the Door, is a practice research project born out of her doctoral research. Jo Ronan, programme leader for Performance at UWS seeks to politicise collaborative theatre-making through BloodWater Theatre, formed to test research questions stemming from her doctoral research, undertaken at the Royal […]

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  • THE OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY: Activating Citizen-Consumer Discourses

    THE OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY: Activating Citizen-Consumer Discourses

    Journal Article, Output

    By David McGillivray and Matthew Frew This article published in the Lusophone Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 1, n.2, pp. 232-251 opens with a discussion of the evolution of the Olympic torch relay, culminating in the London 2012 Olympics. This is followed by an examination of the corporate power and politics that surrounds the Olympics. […]

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  • Evaluating Scotland’s London 2012 Cultural Programme (2013)

    Evaluating Scotland’s London 2012 Cultural Programme (2013)


    In November 2013, Professor Gayle McPherson and Professor David McGillivray published this report which evaluated the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in Scotland. Commissioned by Creative Scotland, the report examines the Olympiad through the lens of a devolved Scotland, exploring how Scottish cultural programmes and projects are being evaluated and what this approach might offer for […]

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  • Turbulence (2013)

    Turbulence (2013)


    Watch the Video now at - Turbulence – Alison Clifford ‘Turbulence’ (2013) forms part of the ‘Interstitial Articulations’ series of audiovisual works by artist Alison Clifford and composer Graeme Truslove. The series explores the space between sound and image through collaboration and is based around reinterpretations of a number of abstract photographic light paintings taken during […]

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  • World Wide Wandering: e-drifting in Paris and London

    World Wide Wandering: e-drifting in Paris and London

    Journal Article

    By Dr David Overend This article, published in the Scottish Journal of Performance documents and reflects on a series of ‘e-drifts’ conducted in 2012 through the physical and virtual spaces of Paris and London. E-drifting is proposed as a new form of cultural pathfinding for a contemporary city that is increasingly global, networked and integrated […]

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  • Imagining Masculinities (2013)

    Imagining Masculinities (2013)

    Authored Book

    Professor Kosmala just published her first solo authored book titled Imagining Masculinities: Spatial and Temporal Representation and Visual Culture, London & New York, Routledge. The book examines the intersections between debates in critical studies of men and masculinities and debates on visual representation, investigating representations of men and masculinities in contemporary culture and examples of visual […]

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  • After Independence (2013)

    After Independence (2013)

    Edited Book

    This new edited volume by Gerry Hassan & James Mitchell, brings together some of the key viewpoints around the most important debate in the UK during 2014. To purchase, visit Amazon.  

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  • Research Themes for Events (2013)

    Research Themes for Events (2013)

    Edited Book

    A new edited book by Prof Gayle McPherson & Prof David McGillivray focuses on key themes around event research and includes chapters on consumer behaviour, authenticity and new technologies. Case studies are also included to provide a well-rounded approach to the subject. Find out more here

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  • Relational journeys in contemporary performance (2013)

    Relational journeys in contemporary performance (2013)

    Journal Article

    by Dr David Overend Exploring an emerging trend in contemporary theatre and performance to utilize and respond to journeys and travel, this article focuses on Hitch by Kieran Hurley and The Boat Project by Lone Twin. As with many journey-based performances, these examples share a concern with meeting people and building meaningful relationships with different […]

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  • Digital cultures & mega sporting events (2013)

    Digital cultures & mega sporting events (2013)

    Journal Article

    by Professor David McGillivray Mega sporting events, as with the evolution of human progress, continue to be marked by trepidation and awe over the transformational power of technology. Today, mega sporting events like the Olympic Games and World Cup are increasingly the captivating spectacles of consumer capitalism. Whereas, since the 1980s, established media organisations have […]

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  • Justifying Human Enhancement (2013)

    Justifying Human Enhancement (2013)

    Book Chapter

    Professor Andy Miah publishes in this ground breaking book on transhumanism, bringing together all the leading voices in this emerging field. Here is an extract: The argument on behalf of biocultural capital claims that the pursuit of human enhancements is consistent with other ways in which people modify their lifestyles and is analogous in principle […]

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  • Strange Strangers and Uncanny Hammers (2013)

    Strange Strangers and Uncanny Hammers (2013)

    Journal Article

    Visual artist Samantha Clark has just published an article within the refereed journal Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. Within her essay, she explores what resides in the unknown space of our environmental impact, which often has consequences well beyond our person. Find below a snapshot of some insights. You can find the full article here […]

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  • Capturing the Cultural Olympiad in Scotland (2013)

    Capturing the Cultural Olympiad in Scotland (2013)

    Journal Article

    Professor David McGillivray & Professor Gayle McPherson publish a new article in the journal Cultural Trends discussing the role of evaluation within the Cultural Olympiad for London 2012. This article examines the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad through the lens of a devolved Scotland, exploring how the Scottish cultural programmes and projects are being evaluated,and what […]

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  • Social Media Impact of London 2012 (2013)

    Social Media Impact of London 2012 (2013)


    Professor Andy Miah undertook a social media impact analysis of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Here is the report.    

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  • Employability and the Fine Art Student (2012)

    Employability and the Fine Art Student (2012)

    Journal Article

    Samantha Clark just published a new article for Transactions, the online journal for the Center for Education in the Built Environment. The article explores how the term ‘employability’ may be interpreted in the context of undergraduate education in fine art, an area in which many graduates move onto a mix of self-employment, part-time employment or […]

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  • Making Routes: Journeys in Live Art (2012)

    Making Routes: Journeys in Live Art (2012)

    Edited Book

    Performance lecturer Dr David Overend publishes this ‘Making Routes‘ a book concerned with journeys as an emerging trend in Live Art. This Guide is interested in roots as well as routes; acknowledging the geographical, cultural and political context from which these ideas and practices develop.

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  • Habermasian Bioethics? (2012)

    Habermasian Bioethics? (2012)

    Journal Article

    Following a Wellcome Trust funded project in 2011, Darryl Gunson publishes an article and collection of essays asking whether there is something that might be called a Habermasian approach to bioethics.

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  • The Olympics (2012)

    The Olympics (2012)

    Authored Book

    Prof Andy Miah’s new book, co-authored with Dr Beatriz Garcia brings together contemporary discussions about the Olympics

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  • The Future of Genetic Privacy (2011)

    The Future of Genetic Privacy (2011)


    A report published by the Ethics&Genetics action group led by cf. Associate PhD student Edward Hockings draws attention to the way that personal privacy may be jeopardized by public biobanks and asks what kind of privacy we can expect to maintain in the future.

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  • Event Policy (2011)

    Event Policy (2011)

    Authored Book

    Prof Maclolm Foley, Prof Gayle McPherson & Dr David McGillivray publish this new volume dedicated to research on events. As the event management field expands, there has been an emergence of a distinctive ‘events’ policy field of study and a need for more advanced texts that look at this subject with a multidisciplinary research and […]

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  • Liverpool 2008: Centre of the Online Universe? (2009)

    Liverpool 2008: Centre of the Online Universe? (2009)


    cf. Director Prof Miah completed a consultancy project with Ana Adi to evaluate the impact of the European Capital of Culture in Liverpool 2008. The report focuses on social media impacts in such environments as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. Open publication - Free publishing - More liverpool 2008

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  • Human Futures (2008)

    Human Futures (2008)

    Edited Book

    cf. Director Prof Andy Miah published this edited volume, the sub-title of which is ‘Art in an Age of Uncertainty’. More information about the book can be found here:  

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  • The Medicalizaton of Cyberspace (2008)

    The Medicalizaton of Cyberspace (2008)

    Authored Book

    Prof Andy Miah publishes this ground breaking book with Dr Emma Rich about how digital technology is changing health care, medicine and identity. The entire infrastructure and culture of medicine is being transformed by digital technology, the Internet and mobile devices. Cyberspace is now regularly used to provide medical advice and medication, with great numbers […]

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  • Biologically Inspired Artificial Intelligence for Computer Games (2008)

    Biologically Inspired Artificial Intelligence for Computer Games (2008)

    Edited Book

    Book co-authored by cf. Associate Daniel Livingstone. Computer games are often played by a human player against an artificial intelligence software entity. In order to truly respond in a human-like manner, the artificial intelligence in games must be adaptive, or respond as a human player would as he/she learns to play a game. Biologically Inspired […]

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Dr Jo Collinson-Scott AKA Jo Mango will give an artist’s talk and performance at the McManus Gallery on 16 March, 2014. Here’s an overview of the event   Fugitive Significance” Helen Kellock and Jo Mango From February until 16 March 2014 “Fugitive Significance” is an interdisciplinary exploration by visual artist, Helen Kellock, and musician, Jo […]

Community Filmmaking and Cultural Diversity: Policy Innovation and Practice Conference Wed 22nd & Thurs 23rd of January 2014 Professor Nick Higgins will be speaking at this years Policy Innovation and Practice Conference. His talk titled, Assembling Scottish Identities: The Northern Lights documentary film project will be held on the second day. For more information and details on registration and […]

Last weekend, Prof Andy Miah gave a talk at the Congress of Brilliant Minds in Madrid. Also speaking were world leading photographer Steve McCurry, molecular scientist George M. Church, and Paralympic swimming legend Teresa Perales, among others. Here is a trailer for the event from speaker David Peterson, language creator for Game of Thrones. and […]

featured image: “Deep map’  Sarah Rhys 2013 Dr David Manderson spoke recently at the Bristol conference ‘Walking In The City Mapping Borders Symposium’ His talk was co-presented with Louise Barrett from the School of Education and was titled: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: walking and creative writing. The talk drew on a Creative Scotland-funded, cross-faculty research project to […]

This weekend, Professor Andy Miah speaks at two events within NESTA’s Future Fest programme, taking place in Shoreditch, London. Find out more here

This week, Professor Gayle McPherson gives a keynote for the European Cultural Parliament on the role of national days & festivals in cultural advocacy and re-conceptualising National Identity. Find out more here  

Prof Gayle McPherson spoke this week at the Hybrid Museums event at the University of Copenhagen. As part of a visiting Professorship, Gayle’s talk takes place within a course led by the Danish Centre for Museum Research. Her talk focused on the following:   This presentation problematises the role of museums and the experiences of […]

Professor Andy Miah spoke this month at the Thailand Creative & Design Center in Bangkok at their annual meeting. The TCDC is Thailand’s primary vehicle for promoting design and creativity and the event was held at the Scala theatre. Other key speakers included world renowned designer Dai Fujiwara and Yoon C Lee, Vice President of […]


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CALL FOR PAPERS: ANNALS OF LEISURE RESEARCH Sporting and Cultural Events: Contested Legacies Whereas the language of legacy has dominated sport and cultural event narratives over the last two decades, in recent years there has been a greater recognition that the outcomes of these events do not happen automatically but instead need to be planned, resourced, and led by […]

On 11 March, Professor John Robertson gave evidence at a hearing in the Scottish Parliament, focused on his research about the media coverage of the Scottish referendum debate. Here’s the footage and a link to the report which has caused so much controversy in the Scottish media.  

cf. associate Dr. John Robertson’s study ‘Fairness in the first year?’ investigates the television coverage of the Scottish referendum campaign through BBC and ITV channels from the period of September 2012 to September 2013. The objective, year long study found that both channels favoured the No campaign in their news coverage of the independence referendum. […]

From 2011-2013, Professor David McGillivray and Professor Gayle McPherson led a consortium that conducted an impact evaluation of Scotland’s London 2012 Cultural Programme for Creative Scotland. We are pleased to publish a link to the final report, which is now available for free. You can browse it online below (requires flash) or jump to the […]

This month, Prof Andy Miah accepted a role on the ministerial advisory group of Fiona Hyslop MSP, to focus on implementing Scotland’s Digital Charter. Meetings commence in December 2013.  This role complements the long history of research into digital culture that has been developed in the Institute and which continues in 2014 via our projects […]

Where: AA Gallery, Architectural Association School, Bedford Square, London When: 26/4/2013-25/5/2013 ZEVS (FRAN), Ztohoven (CZEC), Krzysztof Wodiczko (POL), Matthias Wermke & Mischa Leinkauf (GER), Upper Space (UK), Gregory Sholette (USA), Michael Rakowitz (USA), Ben Parry (UK) & Peter McCaughey (IRE), Tatzu Nishi (JPN), Renzo Martens (BELG), Knit the City (UK), Peter Kennard (UK), Laura Keeble […]

Last week Emilia Sosnowska, UWS PhD researcher, visited ICC- Inter Communication Centre in Tokyo’s Opera City building, which functions as an open platform to amalgamate communication culture with cutting-edge technologies and artistic creativity.   ICC, Opera City Building (pictured above)   Their current exhibition Open Space 2012, which refers to recent projects in research institutions […]

During the summer, the Wellcome Trust holds an exhibition thematically associated with the Olympic Games called ‘Superhuman‘. Professor Andy Miah features in the exhibition and worked with the lead curator to build an exhibition about the history of human enhancement. Our work with the cultural sector aims to bring our research insights to new audiences, […]


Since 2008, we have produced over 70 events. Here’s what just happened…

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Cultures of Independence Event: Culture and Interindependence Location: Mackintosh Room at The Glasgow School of Art Date: Friday January 17th 2014 Time: 9.30 AM – 2 PM Admission: Free You are invited to attend our second event on the Friday 17th of January, Culture and Interindependence, at which our guest speakers are Fintan O’Toole, Jim Mitchell, […]

Prof. Katarzyna Kosmala launches her new book Imagining Masculinities: Spatial and Temporal Representation and Visual Culture at the CCA on the 31st January, 5pm. Prof Kosmala will also be speaking with artistic duo Kennedy Browne prior to screenings of their works, How Capital Moves(2010) and The Myth of the Many in the One (2012). For […]

Showcased for the first time in Scotland, Kennedy Browne, a collaborative practice of Irish artists Gareth Kennedy and Sarah Browne, explore ways of temporarily occupying architectural fragments and cultural texts, merging ‘real’ with artificial, politics and kitsch. Two screenings will open with an artist talk and book launch at 5pm on Fri 31 January and […]

Prof Kosmala will lead a stream in the International Conference Arts and Management in Copenhagen 2014. The Theme for this year is ‘Creativity & Design’ Details of the call for papers is below: Stream theme Spaces of Precarious Condition: Bridging Cultures, Designs and Worldviews Conveners: Katarzyna Kosmala, University of the West of Scotland Miguel J […]

(image: Tushar Joag: Bombay Dowry: UNICELL intervention) Tushar Joag was born in Mumbai in 1966. He completed his Bachelors in Fine Art in 1988 (Sir JJ. School of Art, Mumbai ) and Masters in 1990 (M.S. University, Baroda).  After spending two years (1998 to 2000) at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, he returned […]

// participatory arts and media and the creation of community wellbeing   Where: Creative Futures Institute, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus, High Street, Paisley PA1 2BE When: 1st March 2013, 9.30am – 5.00pm Follow: A conference exploring the findings of Remaking Society, an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Connected Communities ‘Pilot Demonstrator’ […]

Re-discovering Turenas by John Chowning // The Commercial Music research seminar series takes place next at the CCA Cinema, CCA Glasgow, Tuesday 26th February 2013, 5.30pm with a talk by Dr Laurent Pottier (University of Saint-Etienne). Details below: Electronic music uses tools that are evolving at an incredible speed. Many pieces of music that were written during the last […]

On 23rd November, cf. Associate Ben Parry will discuss ‘Reversing the Gaze’ in an event called ‘Recycling Mumbai’ at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow. Ben’s project investigates the displacement of 450 families formerly living on the Dharavi pipeline. The Dharavi pipeline is one of the most recognizable images of ‘slum world’, made famous through […]


This page features all press coverage related to our Associates and Advisers.

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Prof Andy Miah cited in a piece about the links between journalists and academics  

This week, Professor Gayle McPherson and para sports champion Julie McElroy are in the Evening Times about a new project examining the integration of para sport into the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Toronto 2015 Pan/ParapanAmerican Games. Read the full article here  

Professor Miah was recently interviewed by CNN about the upcoming Olympics, focusing on how social media might act as a disruptive force during Games time. He said “”Social media is the only vehicle through which protest is noticed, and campaigns are getting more and more sophisticated and organized,” Read the full article here  

cf. Director Prof Andy Miah was recently quoted in the BBC News on his thoughts about Google’s Street View and how this has changed the way Users relate to the wider world. Street View has already changed the way people get to know places and “how we interact with the physical world”, Users turn to […]

During the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, cf. Director Prof Andy Miah interviewed by many of the world’s media. Here’s a breakdown of his activities, which included BBC2 Newsnight and BBC News 24: Worldwide - Associated Press x3, BBC World Service x3 (with David Eades; with Gareth Mitchell) , Reuters, Reuters, University World News, Australia - ABC Radio, Canberra Times, Bolivia - Los Tiempos Brazil -  TV […]

Head of School Anne Gifford was quoted in the Daily Record about the use of mobile devices, particularly how people personalize digital technology and make it a meaningful object. When asked about the purpose of ‘home screen’ images on devices, she said: “People want something personal to remind them of what’s still ­important to them. […]

Dr Emma Rich, cf. Advisory Board member writes a feature for the Independent asking what people can expect from the ‘inspiring’ effect of the Olympic & Paralympic Games. She says: “There can be no question that living in a host nation and having the opportunity to attend events and feel part of the Games as […]

cf. Director Prof Andy Miah recently interviewed for a Channel 4 Paralympic Games broadcast by Channel 4, which asked whether the media had a responsibility for promoting disability sport. The full video can be seen here.  


CCI Associates

Associates from the School of Creative & Cultural Industries

UWS Associates

UWS Associates are drawn from around the University of the West of Scotland and include staff from the Schools of Business, Science, Education, Social Science & Computing.

PhD Students

With over 35 PhD students, the CFi is a vibrant place to study new ideas

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Advisory Board

We have drawn together some of the brightest minds in the UK to build a research community that is multi-disciplinary and working at the cutting edge

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Dr Jonathan Sykes Adisory Board, Creative Futures Research Centre Director of eMotion Lab Glasgow Caledonian University   Biography Jonathan is a senior play researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University. He is director of eMotionLab, a premier research facility which offers both consultancy and development services in the area of game production and play-testing. Skilled in the […]

Dr Philip Drake Advisory Board, Creative Futures Research Centre Deputy Head of Postgraduate Schol Department of Film, Media & Journalism University of Stirling   Biography After completing a BA (Hons) in English and Economics (First Class) at the University of Keele, Dr rake received an MPhil (Distinction) in Media and Culture from the John Logie […]

Dr Mariann Hardey Advisory Board, Creative Futures Research Centre Associate Director of the Centre for Communication Science Durham Business School University of Durham @mazrred   Biography Dr Mariann Hardey is a social media professional and academic and the BBC North East commentator for social media and digital networks.  She read literature at the University of […]

Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Bath

Professor Angela McRobbie Advisory Board, Creative Futures Research Centre Department of Media & Communications Goldsmiths, University of London @angelamcrobbie Biography The early research by Angela McRobbie (1976-1986) focused on young women and social class, popular culture, subculture, music and style. Between the mid 1980s and mid 1990s her attention turned to cultural production in the […]

Dr Beatriz Garcia Advisory Board, Creative Futures Research Centre Head of Research, Institute of Cultural Capital, Liverpool Liverpool University @beatriz_garcia   Biography Dr Beatriz García is Head of Research at the Institute of Cultural Capital, a collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University. She is also the director of Impacts 08 – The Liverpool […]

Professor Roy Ascott Advisory Board, Creative Futures Research Centre Director, Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth     Biography Roy Ascott was born in Bath, England. He was educated at the City of Bath Boys’ School. His National Service was spent as an officer in the Royal Air Force working with radar defence systems). From 1955-59 he studied Fine Art at King’s College, University of Durham (now Newcastle University) […]

Emeritus Professor Arthur I. Miller Advisory Board, Creative Futures Research Centre   Biography Prof Miller is emeritus professor of history and philosophy of science at University College London. He is the author of several acclaimed books, the most recent of which are EINSTEIN, PICASSO (Basic, 2001) and EMPIRE OF THE STARS (Little, Brown/Houghton Mifflin, 2005), […]


Our Associates are active across a range of subject areas and regularly present their work to different audiences. Here’s a glimpse into some of our work from over the years.



The Creative Futures Institute is based across two campuses, Paisley and Ayr. Visits are usually to Paisley and you can find a map below for directions.

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For initial inquiries and post, please contact:

Professor Andy Miah

Creative Futures Institute
School of Creative & Cultural Industries
University of the West of Scotland
Room 211, Barbour Building
1 High St, Paisley ,
Scotland, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7678984147
twitter: @CreativeFutur 


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