LV is a designer working with people from creative arts business, charities, education and voluntary organisations to research, develop and test concepts as way of improving performance and helping society increase their wellbeing*. Here’s a quick glance at some current activities:
Digital R&D Fund for the Arts (2011-2014)
The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is a £7 million fund to support collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers. It invests in projects that use digital technology to enhance audience reach and-or develop new business models for the arts sector. With a dedicated researcher or research team as part of the three-way collaboration, learning from the project can be captured and disseminated to the wider arts sector.There are two strands within the fund, which adhere to the key values of the fund. These are the Call for Big Data and Research+. Native is the online magazine offering insight into the projects funded to date. It is a way of sharing the knowledge gained and the partnership experiments undertaken so far.
LV is an Arts & Humanities research expert reviewing applications and interviewing applicants to the fund.
As an employer of the University of Dundee, (who are a key partner in the V&A Dundee initiative), LV was seconded by the Scottish Government to undertake concept development and co-design development (in 2010-2012 which) lead to a number of funded product and services design development projects (2012-2015).
Drawing on LV’s research (2007-12) three concepts are being further investigated through design research (2011-15) by doctoral researchers Joanna Bletcher, Saskia Coulson and Sarah Cox. All three studentships are collaborative: sponsored by V&A Dundee, funded by ESRC, managed by St Andrews University and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, and supervised by LV as principal supervisor. The PhDs are unusually complex as the industry sponsor is an emerging organisation, therefore there is a high degree of uncertainty within its processes and structure yet concurrently, there is a high degree of opportunity to be harnessed and mindfully nurtured.
The Design Journal
In January 2014, LV took up the role of Associate Editor. Established in 1998, The Design Journal is an international, refereed journal covering all aspects of design. The journal welcomes articles on design in both cultural and commercial contexts. It publishes thought-provoking work that will have a direct impact on design knowledge and that challenges assumptions and methods, while being open-minded about the evolving role of design.
European Academy of Design
LV is Deputy Chair of the European Academy of Design, with the Chair, Professor Paul Atkinson, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. They succeed distinguished Professor Rachel Cooper, Imagination at Lancaster University who was Chair and central to EAD’s pioneering concept and development for 19 years (1994-2013).
An industry-academe partnership project to pilot a collaboratively designed accelerator programme for digital innovation in Scotland (2013-14).
Craft Festival Scotland
LV’s research identified a large amount of positive work going on within and between the various craft stakeholders in Scotland – agencies, councils, curators, galleries, museums, and practitioners – yet there was relatively low visibility and insufficient pooling of resources to form a connected strategy. This reality [she posits] contributes to an out-dated public understanding of craft in the 21st century. To address this challenge and improve wellbeing of (and in) the craft sector, a new national strategy was devised, Craft Festival Scotland (2010). Funded by Creative Scotland with support from many national organisations and independent creative businesses in 2010, today it can be followed through www.facebook.com/CraftFestivalScotland
Additional funded R&D projects include:
Prototype: design and craft in the 21st Century (2009-2013); Design in Action (2010-2013); Future Craft (2010-2011); Craft as Mindful Inquiry (2007-2010); New Craft Future Voices (2006-2007); Past, Present & Future Craft Practice (2004-2010); The Activity of Rhetoric in the Process of a Designer’s Thinking (1998-2003).
* Wellbeing is a loaded word and here, in this context, it is used to refer to creative, cultural, economic and social wellbeing for craft and design, their designer’s, both in Scotland and around the world. It is also in relation to the benefits design and craft can accommodate for business and organisations where design management and leadership strategies are relatively unknown.