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Centre for Cultural Ecologies in Art, Design and Architecture

School of Art, Design and Architecture

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About the Programme

 This research centre combines concentrations of research themes existing in the School of Art Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield. It aims to drive a radical reconceptualization of teaching and research practice as exemplified by the Barbara Hepworth Building where all disciplines in the School sit under one roof. This intensely collaborative environment is part of the development of new approaches to transdisciplinary working in creative and cultural research practices.

Cultural Ecologies embraces the integrated biological, geopolitical, social, aesthetic and technological convergences of the ‘symbiotic real', and with it, new research strategies capable of evaluating creative and cultural production within an enlarged field of post-human combinations of things, data and values.

In this respect, the centre seeks to reimagine cultures of place, engage in mixed ecologies of exchange through the co-production and/or co-creation of cultural practices and to consider new materialisms in relation to existing research orthodoxies. We encourage collaborations that will develop new ecologies of thinking and production for our times.

Our projects embrace research-focused projects and initiatives that pursue a range of thematic avenues of investigation, underpinned by several research questions, including:

1. How might mixed ecologies of cultural activity generate new assemblages of distributed power and meaning-making?
2. How can transdisciplinary practices of art, design and architecture contribute to the expanding field of cultural ecologies?
3. What role might ecological thinking play in the formations and receptions of art and culture?

Thematic Clusters

• The Transdisciplinary Studio
• Design Ecologies
• Science Fiction and Architecture
• Design and Ethnography
• Internet of things

• Art-Science relations
• Approaches to new materialisms in art/design/architectural research practices
• Sculptural thinking across the disciplines
• Bio Art and Systemic Design

• Sustainable practices in textiles
• Eco-aesthetic practices in art, design and architecture

• Cultural Ecologies and Place-based making
• Criticalities in cultural studies and place-based making
• Crafting community, place and identity
• Engagements with new technologies in and for the public realm
• Cultural Education

• Photographic research practices

The research centre also hosts Temporary Contemporary; a live action research project working in collaboration and partnership with the Creative Economy Team at Kirklees Council to broaden the reach and experience of culture in Huddersfield and beyond. Cultural ecologies underpin the drive and focus of this environment.
Temporary Contemporary is directly linked to an events programme of workshops, activities and late night happenings. Its exhibition programme is focused on ‘research-curation' to facilitate ways of engaging the public arts and visual culture.
Further details of this project can be found here -

Postgraduate Research Study through the Centre

We invite research degree applications on the above thematic clusters, in addition to projects which you feel may resonate with the aims and objectives of the Centre for Cultural Ecologies in Art, Design and Architecture. Within the School of Art, Design and Architecture we have a range of PhD programmes (both full-time and part-time). For further details, please follow the links below. Do please get in touch to talk through any ideas you may have about undertaking postgraduate research study with us.

Link to School of Art, Design and Architecture -

Funding Notes

The PhD opportunities on this programme do not have funding attached. You will need to have your own means of paying fees and living costs and / or seek separate funding from student finance, charities or trusts.

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