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Future-Proofing Life: Exploring Extreme Collaborations between Art, Design and Scientific Research


Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute (C3RI)

About the Project

This practice-based PhD will create new dialogues between art, design and scientific research to radically improve and sustain health and wellness in more inclusive and diverse ways throughout the 100-Year Life and/or within The Future Home. The research involved will build upon multiple existing models of ‘Extreme Collaboration’ operating across disciplinary boundaries as already established within LabStudio and MEDstudio.

The project will be directed by Professor Peter Lloyd Jones whose work between art, design, healthcare and laboratory medicine lies at the forefront of trans-disciplinary research and who is now part of Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University. ‘Extreme Collaborations’ are hybrid in nature and may emerge by combining research from the laboratory, studio, clinic and social care systems, ‘creating philosophes and practices that are high-risk, non-linear and both hypothesis- and art/design research-driven’. Applicants are invited to submit proposals for a research inquiry that engages with one of these four key themes:

· LabStudio Research between Architecture and Biology filters biological sciences through the lenses of art and design research giving rise to novel material and more ephemeral systems and processes that support healthy living and longevity within and beyond the future home

· Graphic Medicine focuses on emerging practices between graphic design, the medical humanities and social care to collectively help convey and redistribute complex human narratives for health and wellness using non-traditional forms of communication

· Textile Bio-Constructivism as an emerging practice between art, design and scientific research. Research trajectories may range from production of bio-inspired smart fibres to coding of artificially intelligent building skins that heal themselves, their occupants and surrounding ecologies

· Radical Empathy as a First-Responder in the Emergency Era of Covid-19 explores the critical roles of art and design research as empathy tools in a new age of biology and in the context of Global Health, Sustainable Urban Design, Statehood and the Anthropocene, as examples

The successful applicant will be based within a number of vibrant connected communities: the SHU Doctoral Community, the Culture and Creativity Research Institute (CCRI), the Art and Design Research Centre and Lab4Living. Lab4Living,is a trans-disciplinary community of researchers in art, design, healthcare and other creative practices, working to address real world health and wellbeing issues. Lab4Living is one of the longest-established living labs in Europe and has generated more than 100 research projects and collaborations in in over fifteen countries. In 2019, the Lab was awarded £4 million in funding from Research England in recognition of its excellence in design-led research, enabling it to grow its focus on the 100-year life and the future home. This application is for one of three new PhD Studentships, to join the existing cohort of 8 students.

The CCRI PhD community includes students in art, communication, design, media, performance, history and creative writing. Students participate in focused disciplinary and interdisciplinary training, complementing University-level research training. Areas of the CCRI PhD programme generated sector-leading scores for research culture and satisfaction in the last two Postgraduate Research Experience Satisfaction Survey. CCRI PhD students work within in a vibrant staff research culture, often being supervised in interdisciplinary teams. For examples of staff and doctoral research see: https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/c3riimpact



Requirements: Applicants should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) and a Masters qualification in a relevant subject area. The ideal candidate would have a strong creative practice track record that conveys their experience and potential to undertake a PhD enquiry in response to the proposed themes. Where English is not first language we require a minimum overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component, or an accepted equivalent. We strongly suggest you contact us in advance to discuss your application with relevant supervisors.

How to apply: We strongly recommend you contact the lead academic, Peter Lloyd Jones , copying in Dr Becky Shaw , Postgraduate Research Tutor for Art & Design to discuss your application

Start date for studentship: 1st February 2021

Interviews are scheduled for: week commencing 2nd November 2020

For information on how to apply please visit https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/degrees

Your application should be emailed to by closing date of 9th October 2020.

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship provides tuition fees at UK/EU levels (£4,407 for 2020/21) and a maintenance bursary at the UK Research Councils' national minimum doctoral stipend rate (£15,285 for 2020/21). The scholarship is available for three years of full-time or five years of part-time study (paid at 50%). International applicants are eligible for a full maintenance bursary but are required to contribute to the cost of tuition fees. The value of UK/EU tuition fees is used to discount the cost of the international fee. You are asked to indicate your financial plan at the point of application.

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