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  Interpreting and interacting with archives and collections from the perspective of the creative practitioner

   School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

  Dr Ingi Helgason, Dr H Medboe  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This project is a collaboration between the Interaction Design Research Group and the Department of Music at Edinburgh Napier University. The study will investigate methods and approaches for interpretation of, and interaction with, archival collections from a creative practitioner perspective. While tensions exist between archival methods, interpretative approaches and the creation of new artistic outputs (Magee & Waters, 2011), archives and collections offer rich sources of inspiration for the imaginative creative or designer.

This project will contribute to knowledge around the use of archival material as creative inspiration for new outputs as well as an examination of novel interpretative approaches in the context of archive and exhibition studies. The project is grounded in both theory and digital practice.

Academic qualifications

A first-class honours degree, or a distinction at master level, or equivalent achievements in Digital Media, Creative Practice, Interaction Design or Creative Computing.

English language requirement

If your first language is not English, comply with the University requirements for research degree programmes in terms of English language.

Application process

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the supervisor, Dr. Ingi Helgason () to discuss the content of the project and the fit with their qualifications and skills before preparing an application. 

Contact details

Should you need more information, please email .

The application must include: 

Research project outline of 2 pages (list of references excluded). The outline may provide details about

  • Background and motivation, explaining the importance of the project, should be supported also by relevant literature. You can also discuss the applications you expect for the project results.
  • Research questions or
  • Methodology: types of data to be used, approach to data collection, and data analysis methods.
  • List of references

The outline must be created solely by the applicant. Supervisors can only offer general discussions about the project idea without providing any additional support.

  • Statement no longer than 1 page describing your motivations and fit with the project.
  • Recent and complete curriculum vitae. The curriculum must include a declaration regarding the English language qualifications of the candidate.
  • Supporting documents will have to be submitted by successful candidates.
  • Two academic references (but if you have been out of education for more than three years, you may submit one academic and one professional reference), on the form can be downloaded here.

Applications can be submitted here.

Download a copy of the project details here.

Communication & Media Studies (7) Computer Science (8) Creative Arts & Design (9)


Karl Magee & Susannah Waters (2011) Archives, Artists and Designers, Journal of the Society of Archivists, 32:2, 273-285, DOI: 10.1080/00379816.2011.619707