Creative Exchange

Creative Exchange
Creating New Contexts for Growth in the Experience Economy

We bring together pioneering companies and the best academic thinkers to explore the potential of something we are calling digital public space where anyone, anywhere, anytime can access, explore and create with digital content.

This unique consortium draws on the research excellence of interdisciplinary and complementary design innovation labs at three universities – Lancaster University, Newcastle University and the Royal College of Art – and connects it with public and private sectors, linking large and small-scale businesses, service providers and citizens. Together, our expertise in developing and applying creative techniques to navigate unexplored challenges includes designers, artists, curators, producers, broadcasters, engineers, managers, technologists and writers – and will draw on wider expertise from across the partner universities and beyond.

Project website:

The Creative Exchange responds to profound changes in practice in the creative and media-based industries stimulated by the opening of the digital public space, the ability of everyone to access, explore and create in any aspect of the digital space, moving from ‘content consumption’ to ‘content experience’. It will explore new forms of engagement and exchange in the broadcast, performing and visual arts, digital media, design and gaming sectors, by focusing on citizen-led content, interactive narrative, radical personalization and new forms of value creation in the context of the ‘experience economy’. The primary geographic focus is in the Northwest of England centred around the opportunity presented by the growth of MediaCityUK and its neighbouring economy. The three universities will act as local test beds with field trials in London, Lancaster and Newcastle prior to larger public facing field trials. This will support the Northwest regional strategy for growth in digital and creative media industries, whilst generating comparative research and development locally, nationally and internationally. 

Project cluster topics:Public Service Innovation and Democracy; Rethinking Working Life, Making the Digital Physical; Performance, Liveness and Participation; Stories, Archives and Living Heritage; Building Social Communities: Structures for Growth

Project Team

CooperCooper Rachel Cooper Design Management, Design Policy, Design Thinking, Urban Design, Urban Sustainability, Socially Responsible Design, Design Against Crime, Design & Manufacture
CoultonCoulton Paul Coulton Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Game Design, Design as Rhetoric, Research through Design, Design Futures, Play, Toys
CruickshankCruickshank Leon Cruickshank Open Design and Innovation, User Centred and User-Led Design, Interactive Design, Technology and Society, Design Methodology, Design Theory and Philosophy
HemmentHemment Drew Hemment Art Curation, Open Data, Social Technologies, Smart Cities, Digital Innovation
JacobsJacobs Naomi Jacobs Senior Research Associate, The Creative Exchange
MurphyMurphy Emma Murphy Design Management, Research Methodology & Methods, Branding (Organisational, Place and Services), Design Thinking, Design Procurement, Briefing Process, Design and Business.
WhithamWhitham Roger Whitham Human-Computer Interaction, Collaboration, Tools, Visualisation, Virtual Work Environments, Facilitation
AllenAllen Pam Allen AHRC Design Leadership Fellowship Coordinator
SangiorgiSangiorgi Daniela Sangiorgi Service Design, Design for Public Services, Service Innovation

Partners / Funders

Project Partners

Project Funders


Understanding High-Impact Research Through Mode 1 and Mode 2 Research Approaches.

OutcomeJournal Paper
Understanding High-Impact Research Through Mode 1 and Mode 2 Research Approaches.

For many academics in the UK the current Research Excellence Framework (REF) has pulled the notion of impact and impactful research into focus. This paper explores the notion of high impact research and how this relates to traditional notions of research activity and quality. ...More information

Climate Change Game


As part of Creative Exchange ,and in collaboration with academics and the design company Mudlark we have created a game, Cold Sun, that allows players to explore issues of climate change by exploring a futuristic game world controlled by their real world weather.  ...More information

Ethics of Data

BBC R&D video released for European Data Protection Day.

As part of the developing research area concerned with the ethics of data, BBC Research & Development wants to understand how it can demonstrate excellence in data privacy & security for people using connected services. As part...Read full update

Physical Playlist at V&A as part of Digital Design Weekend 2014


The Creative Exchange project the Physical Playlist which created a system whereby jewellery can be imbedded with digital context which can be given as a gift akin to the old practice of creating mix tapes was exhibited to 500+ people as part of the Digital Design Weekend at the V&A in London....More information

Skills in Action – presenting Creative Exchange Superheroes

Skills in Action – presenting Creative Exchange Superheroes

A core strand of the work we do at Creative Exchange is looking how knowledge exchange can be incorporated into the training of doctoral students and early career researchers.

So it was with great pleasure that we (Simon and Naomi) accepted an invitation to represent CX at an event designed...Read full update

Hack Lancaster: A 24hr hackathon in celebration of local data in Lancaster.

Event3 years, 7 months and 23 days ago
Hack Lancaster: A 24hr hackathon in celebration of local data in Lancaster.

29th of November 2014, A-wing, Lancaster Castle

As part of the ongoing ‘Beyond the Castle’ project, Lancaster City and County Councils will be running an intensive hack day in Lancaster Castle at the end of this month.

The hackathon will bring together local coders,...Read full update