Prof. Paul Coulton

Coulton
Chair of Speculative and Game Design
Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Game Design, Design as Rhetoric, Research through Design, Design Futures, Play, Toys
p [dot] coulton [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk

My research can more generally considered as Speculative Design. Speculative Design combines real and/or hypothetical extrapolations of the development of emerging technologies with a consideration of the cultural landscape into which they may be deployed. This activity is embodied as ‘research through design’ and, in particular, to the design of speculative physical/digital interactive games, playful experiences, and artefacts. Having previously been a member of Lancaster’s School of Computing elements of my research has been conducted using an, 'situated' evaluation methodology in that I have utilised 'app stores' and social networks as an experimental platforms. This element of my work has led to international recognition by industry as well as academia in that I was selected as one of 50 most talented mobile developers worldwide from a community of over 2 million to be a founding Nokia Champion and the first academic invited to speak at the Game Developers Conference. Increasingly, my work encompasses the non-entertainment use a particular practice of Speculative Design which is Design Fiction as a way of exploring futures for areas such as the Internet of Things and Machine Learning. Design Fictions are collections of artefacts, that, when viewed together build a fictional world. The artificially built world is a prototyping platform for the very designs that define it, meanwhile those designs reciprocate in kind and prototype the world.

“Play is the highest form of research.” - Albert Einstein

Updates and Outcomes

Design Futures through Design Fiction

Design Futures through Design Fiction

Research vsit to EINA, Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art de Barcelona.

Prof Paul Coulton was invited to give a workshop and lecture at EINA in Barcelona iabout his work on ‘Designing the Future’. The workshop and lecture concentrated on the speculative design practice of design fiction...Read full update

Design Fiction: The Movie

Design Fiction: The Movie

New EPSRC Project illustrating Imagination Research in Design Fiction

Design fiction is an emerging ‘speculative design’ practice, whose name was coined by sci­fi author­ come­design commentator Bruce Sterling in 2005 before being made popular by industrial designer Julian Bleecker...Read full update

Design for the Internet of Things: New 9.8M EPSRC Hub

Design for the Internet of Things: New 9.8M EPSRC Hub

Imagination is a partner in new interdisciplinary EPSRC Research Hub will to drive forward UK research in the Internet of Things (IoT).

We are delighted to say that Imagination will adding a designerly perspective to a new interdisciplinary Research Hub announced today by Ed Vaizey, Minister...Read full update

Design Fiction: Game of Drones

OutcomeConference Paper

As part of the work I am doing with PhD student Joe Lindley exploring Design Fiction through the creation of Design Fiction our paper ‘Game of Drones’ has been accepted for ChiPlay. The paper explores the use of drones to provide gamified services to local authorities that aid in the enforcement of...More information

Digital Installations in Hawkshead Church

Articleby Paul Coulton

As part of our Creating and exploring Digital Empathy project we have recently installed a system at St Michael’s and All Angels in Hawkshead, which allows people to type in prayers that are then projected onto the church’s interior wall. These prayers are then shared in a similar way with St Peter De Beauvoir Town Church in Hackney. The Diocese of Carlisle have created their own fil shown below to highlight the...Read full article

Digital R&D Fund Project Report Published

OutcomeReport
Digital R&D Fund Project Report Published

Our project report detailing our experiences of creating a mobile augmented reality application that allows users to curate an exhibition from the Live@LICA collection from their own home is now available. ...More information

Speculative Game Design

Speculative Game Design

Last week I gave a talk to the Computer Arts Society that presented a design manifesto for using games as speculative designs through which players might explore scenarios that represent plausible alternative presents and speculative futures.

The talk will reviewed future orientated design...Read full update

CEDE Church featured in the Church Times

CEDE Church featured in the Church Times

The CEDE installations at St Peter's De Beauvoir Town Church have been cited in relation to the argument for WiFi to be installed in every Church of England Church.

The Church of England's Buildings Division has backed a plan to fit all of the CofE's 16,000 churches with WiFi internet access....Read full update

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

Digital Empathy Project on BBC Click

Digital Empathy Project on BBC Click

The interactive systems we developed as part of our project on Digital Empathy for St Peter De Beauvoir Town Church in Hackney are featured on BBC Click

The has installed a wifi-enabled prayer candle system, digital advent window and a interactive font we created for the congregation...Read full update

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

Event3 years, 9 months and 24 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

BARTER Project goes Open Source

The code base produced as part of the BARTER project is being released Open Source so that other communities can benifit from the research.

As we enter the final stages of the BARTER the project where we are starting to release the project code base to the open source community. This code...Read full update

Living Room of the Future

Articleby Paul Coulton, Adrian Gradinar
Living Room of the Future

As part of our Objects of Immersion project we have created an experiential future in the form of a Living Room. This experience highlights the potential of Object Based Media (OBM) in conjunction with data objects and physical objects in forming new immersive experiences. Further, it highlights the increasing importance of understanding and managing the increasing amounts of data generated about ourselves during our everday lives. ...Read full article

Little Book of Design Fiction for the Internet of Things

Articleby Paul Coulton, Joe Lindley, Rachel Cooper
Little Book of Design Fiction for the Internet of Things

As output of our work relating to Adoption and Acceptability and the House Training the Internet of Things for the PETRAS Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things Research Hub we have created a guide for designers and developers of IoT products and services who may wish to use Design Fiction as part of their design processs. In this little book we explain: ...Read full article

Research through Design Article in Design Issues

Articleby Paul Coulton
Research through Design Article in Design Issues

Published in Design Issues is our (Liz Edwards, myself, Andy Darby, Mike Chiasson) atest paper presenting various digital-nature artifacts that were designed to support visitor engagement with nature in a public garden environment. These artifacts are hybridsas they combinedigital and physical characteristics within them. ...Read full article

PhD Studentships related to Design for the Internet of Things

Articleby Paul Coulton
PhD Studentships related to Design for the Internet of Things

We are pleased to offer two funded PhD studentships to work in conjunction within Imagination academics in two areas related to Design in the Internet of Things. These two posts provide not only the opportunity to work with leading design academics but in conjunction with the recently established UK Cyber Security Research Hub for the internet of things which includes nine of the country’s leading universities (PETRAS). PhD Design Fiction for The...Read full article

Digital Installations in Hawkshead Church

Articleby Paul Coulton

As part of our Creating and exploring Digital Empathy project we have recently installed a system at St Michael’s and All Angels in Hawkshead, which allows people to type in prayers that are then projected onto the church’s interior wall. These prayers are then shared in a similar way with St Peter De Beauvoir Town Church in Hackney. The Diocese of Carlisle have created their own fil shown below to highlight the...Read full article

NEW Lecturer post in Data Prototyping and Visualisation

Articleby Paul Coulton, Martyn Evans

As part of Lancaster University’s 50th Anniversary Lectureships Scheme to appointment of 50 early career academics we are seeking candidates for a new lectureship in Data Prototyping and Visualisation. ...Read full article

You can find a list of Paul Coulton's publications on the Lancaster University research pages.

Key Projects

Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy How do we unlock the digital communication of empathy
FictionWareFictionWare FictionWare For all your future Design Fiction needs!
Creative ExchangeCreative Exchange Creative Exchange Creating New Contexts for Growth in the Experience Economy