Bee the Change project
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Creative Technologies lab Project
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Creative Technology Group at UWE
The Creative Technologies Lab at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol is based in the Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies. UWE has a long history of research in the Creative Technology and Digital Media field with many recent projects and publications nationally and internationally. The Lab carries out applied and theoretical research in a number of areas related to contemporary technology. Core membership of the Group consists of the following Department staff.
The CT Lab will consolidate, support and promote the research activities and achievements of staff within the creative technologies cluster of CSCT. The long-term key priority and focus of the group is to establish the University as a centre of excellence in the Creative Technologies and to embrace the range of research that falls within the remit of this subject. Broadly, this research falls into three themes.
Theme 1: Graphics, Visualisation and Games
This theme focuses on taking techniques and ideas from games development and either exploring new approaches or applying those approaches to new areas. • Game Asset Pipeline/Engine Approach Leveraging the efficiencies of games development methodologies to interactive technical visualisations and scientific development. Example work includes the customisable visualisation of Nano-structures for Multi-Comp COST-Action and software analysis with the PhysViz visualisation engine (Scarle), and the use of games engines for visualising Building Information Models (Lear) • Serious Games and Reality Technologies Combining games technologies with Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality production methods within non-gaming contexts to create experiences for health and safety, education and other real world applications. Example projects include ClairCity, Bloodhound Data Visualisation, ITS Cyber Security, Hire Society and the Learning Innovation Unit's In the Zone (Savickas, King) Example Projects: KTP with CityID (Savickas): A multidisciplinary knowledge transfer partnership with CityID that brings modern video game production techniques to the world of transport system design and planning. The aim of this serious games project is to prototype novel information presentation and wayfinding solutions that consider the pedestrian movement that connects people and places, testing the hypothesis that complicated real world spaces can be navigated using modern video game routing scenarios. Grant: Innovate UK KTP (£150k), 2016 MyWard (Palmer): Arising from the TelHack Event, MyWard combines serious games technology and ICT education research to develop a proof of concept that utilises games technologies to enhance the training of medical students. Funded by Health Education England the work is conducted in collaboration with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Grant: Health Education England (£10k), 2016
Theme 2: Media Interaction and Digital Art
Focussing centrally on artistic and human factors, this theme connects technology with the social sciences to explore user-centred approaches to interaction design and aesthetics. • Design fictions and speculative futures Fictional narratives that interrogate socio-cultural and ethical implications of emerging technologies. Examples include a variety of work concerning time (Buzzo) • Human computer interaction (HCI) Theoretical and practical research that develops and evaluates interfaces between humans and computers. This subject incorporates a rage of notable research activity with significant impact including gestural interaction (Brown) and User Experience and notation (Nash)
• Digital art and interactive media Visual and sonic interactive art including projects at the intersection of art and science for the purposes of public engagement and education. In particular this includes projects such as danceroom Spectroscopy and Transmission (Mitchell).
Theme 3: Music and Audio
Spanning composition to computer science, this theme encapsulates a range of subtopics including: • Audio and music processing
Development and evaluation of music and signal processing techniques. Activities include the significant book ‘Audio Processes’ (Creasey, 2016) and a range of music analysis and generative methods (Hunt, Nash and Baracskai). • Music composition (acoustic, acousmatic, electro-acoustic and generative)
Contemporary composition including music for large ensembles and orchestras performed at premier national and international cultural venues (Hull, Lane, Nash and Davies) • New musical interfaces
Creation and analysis of new technologies for music composition and performance. Work includes the development and use of tangible and gestural user interfaces (Mitchell, Nash)
Dr Zlatko Baracskai Baracskai is a lecturer, musician and interaction designer with a passion for developing musical instruments and interactive systems. With initial interests in the use of electronics for experimental sound creation he now focuses on computer mediated music production. Combining technical competency with a PhD in contemporary music composition, Baracskai is a genuine composer/programmer whose creative practice is informed, shaped and intimately linked with developments in modern technology. Holding academic appointments at UWE, Bristol, the University of Pecs and the Music Academy of Sarajevo, Baracskai is an experienced educator and researcher as well as an established freelance composer with an extensive discography and schedule of international performances and collaborations. Baracskai has acted as music technology consultant in industry to include the design of the Coca-Cola interactive music pavilion for London 2012 Olympic games.
Dr Daniel Buzzo Buzzo is an educator, designer and researcher using new media and creative technologies within the context of video art, generative media, interaction design, and interdisciplinary arts/technology research. He is a Learning and Teaching Fellow at UWE, Bristol, leading the MSc in Creative Technology and a visiting researcher at Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica (CWI), Amsterdam. An alumnus of the Telematic Fine Art programme at the Royal College of Art, Buzzo’s artwork has been exhibited at a range of prestigious international cultural venues. Prior to joining academia, Buzzo was a new media and internet entrepreneur, instrumental in leading Yes TV to a 285 employee business and a valuation of £585m (TechMark Index, 2000) and publishing a range of media in collaboration with prominent multinational clients.
Dr Adrian Hull Hull studied for an undergraduate degree at King's College London and the Royal Academy of Music before taking a Masters in Composition and Analysis at King's. After spending several years working in London as a freelance composer, musician and teacher he moved to Cardiff to study for a PhD in musical composition. Currently appointed at UWE as Associate Head of Department for Creative Technologies within CSCT (Computer Science and Creative Technologies) Hull works closely with the Centre for Performing Arts and conducts the UWE Bristol Symphony Orchestra. His research consists of musical composition, musicology and working as the director of Arcomis (Arts Commissioning) ltd - a company he founded in 2007 to promote new music through enabling its commissioning, hosting a collection of online music scores and staging international music festivals.
Mr Andy King Associate Professor for Knowledge Exchange in the field of Technology Innovation and games industry practitioner and former cluster leader for Creative Technology, King is responsible for the creation of the Enterprise Studio initiative, and Creative Director of @PlayWestHQ UWE's student and graduate powered games company, applying games technology to real world problems.
Dr Liz Lane Lane is a composer and fractional contract (0.5) academic at UWE. Her compositions have been performed throughout the UK and abroad, also broadcast on national TV and radio. Research support from UWE as a newly appointed member of staff has enabled her to work closely with the South-West Open Youth Orchestra, the UK’s only disabled-led regional orchestra for young musicians, which has included writing for and facilitating their first concert, featured on BBC The One Show; subsequently they won the prestigious RPS Music Award for Learning and Participation. She has recently been invited to join the International Programme Committee for InMusic 17.
Dr Tom Mitchell Mitchell is an academic, digital artist and computer scientist supervising and conducting research across a range of disciplines including: music technology, digital art and human-computer interaction. He leads the MSc in Music Technology, is a Fellow of the HEA and member of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (EDM), Artificial Intelligence Group (CSCT), International Computer Music Association and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is also on the Scientific Committee for NIME, the review board for a range of internationally leading journals and conferences. Mitchell is also a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio, a Bristol-based creative technologies hub bringing together artists, engineers, and scientists.
Dr Chris Nash Nash is a professional programmer and composer, and currently Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Audio & Music Technology at UWE Bristol. He completed his PhD on music HCI at the University of Cambridge, looking at theoretical and empirical methods for modelling and designing interfaces for composition, flow, learning, virtuosity, creativity, and liveness. His current research projects focus on digitally-supported musicianship and learning, and end-user programming for music. He is a member of the BCS and ICMA, as well as various scientific/organising committees (NIME, TENOR, SIGCHI), and Senior Fellow of the HEA. He has previously worked for Steinberg and co- directs Impulse, UWE’s music technology innovation and enterprise studio. Around his research, he is the developer of the award-winning reViSiT plugin, and has written music for live performance, TV and radio, including the BBC.
Dr Simon Scarle Scarle has had a diverse research career publishing papers on defects in semi-conductors, thin film delamination, ion motion in polymer hosts, Berne-Gay potential/boids model link and electro-cardio dynamics, combined with significant industrial experience working with Rare Ltd, part of Microsoft Games Studios. He has had previous appointments at the International Digital Laboratory, University of Warwick and the Serious Games Institute, Coventry University, where he was the main Technical Advisor on the Games Industry and Games Development. His novel research track record includes publishing the first journal paper in which the Xbox 360 and GPGPU methods were used to perform cardiac research simulations.
Dr Mic Palmer Palmer is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media in the Department of Creative Technologies at UWE, Bristol with teaching specialisms and research interests spanning play and interaction, physical (sensor-based) computing, sonification, generative art/music, installation art, web design as well as multimedia authoring. She leads a number of modules on UWE's BSc courses in Digital Media, Audio and Music Technology and Creative Music. Her PhD in 2010 entitled 'Listening to the Mind at Play - Sonified Biofeedback as Generative Art Practice and Theory' (London Metropolitan University), Palmer created a novel body of work entitled Excitations. With new compositions ‘The Breath of the Moon’ and ‘Sonic Severn’ her creative practice continues with a focus on generative processes.
Dr Mark Palmer Originally trained as a sculptor Palmer’s research addresses the relationships between the body, the virtual and physical spaces, exploring the experiences afforded by them to challenge the assumptions that so often accompany their everyday use. He has held a number of research fellowships including a New Technology Arts Fellowship at the University of Cambridge and an AHRC post-doctoral award. His work has included the development of a Body Image Tool that has been used by people experiencing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome describe their experience of the condition which is now being used in doctoral research within the UK and abroad addressing a range of clinical conditions. Alongside this he has developed interactive systems for clients such as Countryside Council Wales that explore embodied relationships with the environment.
Bee the Change
Bee the Change believes that we should guardian honeybees with respect and with priority for their health and abundance, rather than farmed via conventional beekeeping practises – exploited for honey and their ‘services’ to profit people. We believe that communities deserve the right to know what’s in our food, how it’s grown, and how it affects the environment we live in, as well as our own health.
Bee the Change is a Bristol and Stroud based not-for-profit and community interest company, tackling the pollination crisis by connecting communities to nature through bee conservation. We do this by re-shaping what we think of as ‘bee-keeping’ – turning it around to a more bee-centric form, and bringing people together to learn about what can be done to improve the environment and our own health. We aim to bring a political, social and environmental consciousness into honeybee stewardship and wildlife conservation.
By understanding why bees are suffering, and how they can be helped, the hope is that people can begin to have a wider appreciation of the environment around us, and move towards a more sustainable way of interacting with it. If you can see the bees in your local park are starving due to a lack of flowers – you might plant more flowers. If you can understand that the bees in your local school are suffering from pesticides sprayed on a nearby field – you might think twice about buying food grown with chemicals. This is our hope.
We work holistically towards these goals by providing educational bee workshops, set up community beehives in public spaces and schools, create bee habitat, run sustainable beekeeping courses, and endeavour to change unsustainable policies for the better – to name a few ways. We are endeavouring to re-shape conventional and harmful beekeeping to a form which is more natural and respectful of the bees – natural beekeeping.