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


Numbers that Matter: Developing a methodology to explore collective wellbeing in the digital public space

OutcomeJournal Paper
Numbers that Matter: Developing a methodology to explore collective wellbeing in the digital public space

This paper discusses ideas of digital public spaces as a framework for making sense of an experience of collaborating in Numbers That Matter, a short cross-sector engagement design project that explored open data, wellbeing and wearables devices. ...More information

Design Fiction at CHI 2016

OutcomeConference Paper
Design Fiction at CHI 2016

At this years CHI 2016 in San Jose CA, USA, which is considered the top conference for Human-Computer Interaction, Imagination presented three paper relating to its research on design fiction. Pushing the limits of design fiction: the case for fictional research papers available here. ...More information

MPs briefed on The Creative Exchange

Event4 years and 13 days ago
MPs briefed on The Creative Exchange

24th of November 2015

On 24th November The Creative Exchange - a joint project between Lancaster, The Royal College of Art and Newcastle University - held a Parliamentary event exploring the value of creativity in education, artistic practice, industry and local commissioning....Read full update

Ageing Playfully Design Report

Ageing Playfully Design Report

The project's design report is now available to download for free. The design report presents the research background, method, findings and key recommendations emerging from the Ageing Playfully research project. It is aimed at academics, design professionals and healthcare professionals. The...More information

Ageing Playfully Video Journey

OutcomeDigital or Visual Products
Ageing Playfully Video Journey

A video journey of the Ageing Playfully project is now available for viewing. The video provides a snapshot of the Ageing Playfully research project. ...More information

Music proves to be a real hit in dementia project..

Music proves to be a real hit in dementia project..

...appears on several medical news online outlets

The Creative Exchange Ageing playfully has been features by a number of medical news sites, such as News Medical, Medical Express and Medical News Today, in the UK and overseas. ...Read full update