The Creative Futures Institute
Discover a more creative future
The cf. is a locus for interdisciplinary research at the University of the West of Scotland, generating a wide range of research from screen studies to social media. It is based in the School of Media, Culture and Society with Associates from around the University. The cf. fosters an advanced, theoretically informed and practice-led research culture, identifying key questions relevant to Scotland in a global economy. Our Associates work collaboratively across disciplines and with the wider MCS school research community, generating original insights that creates impact and influences global decisions about innovation, creativity and culture.
What we do
The cf. puts transdisciplinary learning at the heart of research development, building understanding through art, science, social science & the humanities, to develop a vision for the future that is creative, responsible & inspiring. Within the Institute, we aim to build collaborative research communities and support individual excellence, where knowledge is developed through a range of disciplinary insights. Through our work, we want to reconstitute the knowledge economy in a way that gives due credit to the complexity of ideas and discoveries, drawing as much from the arts as we do from the sciences.
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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?
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.