Current projects

Check out our varied portfolio of projects we are currently working on.


  • AHRC Creative Cluster – Future Screens NI

    AHRC Creative Cluster – Future Screens NI

    Funding:  AHRC Creative Clusters Initiative, £5,625,771 (2018-2023)

    Grant number: AH/S002855/1

    Investigators from UoA32: Prof Karen Fleming, Dr Justin Magee, Alec Parkin

    Principle Investigator: Professor Paul Moore

    This is one of 'eight new creative research & development partnerships bringing together the UK’s renowned creative industries with our world-leading university sector' (AHRC, 2018).

    Future Screens NI comprises the two higher education institutions (Ulster University and QUB) 20 investigators and a number of key industrial partners central to the creative economy in the region, including NI Screen, BBC, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour, Causeway Enterprise Agency, Digital Catapult, Catalyst Inc., RTE, Games NI, Kainos, Invest NI, Techstart NI, Matrix and Tourism NI.

    The Northern Ireland Assembly defines the creative industries as 'those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property'.

    The Partnership has, from this, developed a definition of, and a working model for, the creative industries in NI which is focused on participation, cultural and economic growth, and social and economic regeneration placing the Partnership as a leading developmental catalyst in this NI sector.

    Art & Design researchers are mostly involved with the immersive work package, however also contribute to the leadership work package.

    They have been involved in the delivery of the following funded sub projects:

    • Lead2grow : Embedding design culture and applied design research methods into SME’s across NI (Dr Justin Magee with Business colleagues Prof Karise Hutchison and Rachael Fergie)
    • Axial 3D and HUMAIN : Design led methods changing how pre-surgical procedures are conducted in orthopaedics, cardiology and neurosurgery through Machine Learning code and 3D virtual modelling (Dr Justin Magee with School of Computing & Intelligent Systems colleague Dr Shane Wilson)
    • NI Screen : 4K rendering development for Screen companies across NI (Alec Parkin)
    • Taunt: Real-time rendering R&D for pilot project (Alec Parkin)
    • Enter Yes : Creation of a High Definition Rendering Pipeline to compete internationally and establish an industry standard. Received praise from Invidia (Alec Parkin)
    • Boom Clap Play : R&D for an untethered spatial control solution for creative visualisation- gesture based control systems, gaming and installation (Alec Parkin)
    • White Pot : Development of a hyper-efficient real time terrain deformation system enabling player self-expression (Alec Parkin)
  • An alchemy of exploration

    An alchemy of exploration, screen print in the fashion industry 1990-2004

    Funding: Leverhulme Trust, Research Project Grant (Humanities) £116,350 (2020-2021)

    Grant Number: RPG-2019-335

    Investigators from UoA32: Trish Belford

    This project will investigate screen printed techniques developed by Belford Prints Ltd between 1990 and 2004. Original samples created for high end fashion designers (Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes, Neisha Crosland)  will be catalogued. The recipes developed by Belford will be analysed in order to evaluate the possibility of developing more sustainable methods of screen printing. The final outcome will be an extensive recipe book, explaining the blend of chemistry, textile constructions and techniques, endorsed by insights from the designers, supported by a range of new contemporary innovative samples.

  • Art Unwrapped

    Art Unwrapped

    Funding: Belfast City Council £10,000/year (2018-2025)

    Investigators from UoA32: Dougal McKenzie

    Other Investigators: Prof. Raffaella Folli

    A collaboration between Belfast City Council, Belfast School of Art and National Museum’s Northern Ireland. Art Unwrapped showcases an artistic masterpiece as a Christmas gift to the city of Belfast carefully considered by the Artistic research teams in the University and the Museum curators.

  • Britain Chile Solidarity

    Britain Chile Solidarity

    Funding: The Henry Moore Foundation £1,000 (2020)

    Grant Number:

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Lorna Dillon

    Other Investigators: Prof Brandon Hamber

    In 1973 Henry Moore was one of 43 British artists who were part of a global cultural project linked to solidarity campaign for president Salvador Allende, of Chile (Fraternidad Artistica Politica 1971- 1973, Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende 2012, 270-280). Leading artists from around the globe sent works of art to Chile as part of a unique cultural artistic model to establish a museum of modern art in support of Allende, a democratically elected socialist president. During governmental change in Chile, the British works art remained in London and were exhibited as part of Summerstudio at the ICA. This research project will fill in a gap in knowledge about British participation and contribute to our understanding of this unique cultural project.

  • Cardiology Training Tool

    Cardiology Training Tool

    Funding: Western Health & Social Care Trust £6,000 (2017-present)

    Contract Research

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Justin Magee

    Other Investigators: Dr Aaron Peace, Dr James Shand (WHSCT)

    Design and development of a system to enable better craft and dexterity for the cardiology operational practice of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

  • Ceramics and its Dimensions

    Ceramics and its Dimensions

    Cultural heritage and creativity in a multi-cultural Europe

    Funding: CEC - Creative Europe £19,747.06 (2014-2018)

    Grant Number: 2014-335/001-001

    Investigators from UoA32: Michael Moore

    The project Ceramics and its Dimensions brings together 18 partners from museums, universities, and companies together to investigate the various aspects of the issue from all angles – culturally, academically, and industrially and thus to create sustainable results.

    Moore led Module no. 10 'Congress' leading to Ceramics and its Dimensions Congress. Ulster University researchers Dr. Christopher McHugh and Dr. Pamela Topping chaired the 2 day conference 'Ceramic Values. Can Ceramics make a difference?' at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent, during the 2017 British Ceramics Biennial.

    The conference includes six keynote speakers, 11 sessions with 4 speakers and a round table discussion.

    For more information see https://ceramicsanditsdimensions.eu/who-we-are/partners

  • Collaborative Growth Network

    Collaborative Growth Network

    Funding: £22,000 (2016-2017)

    Investigators from UoA32: Janet Coulter

  • Communities as constructs of people and architecture

    Communities as constructs of people and architecture

    Funding: AHRC £312,276 (2015-2018)

    Grant number: AH/M001342/1

    Investigators from UoA32: Prof Donovan Wylie

    Other Investigators: Dr David Coyles (PI), Prof. Brandon Hamber, Prof. Michael Gregory Lloyd, Prof. Anne Power, Laura Lane

    This project assesses the architectural legacy of The Troubles, the social-historical phenomenon between 1969 and 1994 when the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland was at its most extreme.

    The influence of The Troubles was such that it has had a profound impact on the social, political, economic, cultural and spatial structures of Northern Ireland.

    There are many visible architectural remnants of the Troubles in contemporary Belfast, most notably the 'peace-walls' between a number of Protestant and Roman Catholic residential communities.

    Quite distinct from this recognised architectural legacy, this research encapsulates a specific, discrete and barely recognised aspect of the cultural structures of The Troubles: a range of distinct and divisive architecture within individual communities in Belfast, now embedded in the contemporary urban fabric.

    As Northern Ireland moves forward in a post-Troubles era, a plethora of housing, roads, landscaping and related artefacts continue to divide and spatially fragment communities.

  • Design Innovation and Land Assets

    Funding: AHRC grant award of £34,228 (2020-2021)

    Grant ID: AH/T006048/1

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr. Brian Dixon

    Partners: Glasgow School of Art

    Project website: Visit the Project Website

    Working with the Glasgow School of Art’s Innovation School, the Design Innovation and Land Assets project draws together a network of academics, rural community landowners, policy makers and design practitioners in an exploration of the potential of design to support landscape decision-making processes.

    Taking the context of community landownership in the Hebrides in Scotland as an initial exemplar case, the overall aim is to develop an early-stage, landscape decision-making framework with wide applicability/transferability to other contexts in the UK. After a series of design workshops with individual Hebridean communities, the project will conclude with a symposium to be held in October 2021, which will simultaneously draw together, evaluate and disseminate the project’s overarching insights and findings.

    Impact beyond academia will be an embedded component of the research, in the sense that real issues will be explored in the workshops with community members. Dissemination of the project will occur through the production of a publication/report, visual assets (videos and photography) to be distributed both physically and digitally amongst all partners, relevant regional and international policy-makers and the wider public.

  • Disability and design culture after the First World War in Britain

    Disability and design culture after the First World War in Britain

    Funding: The Wellcome Trust £2,628 (2016-2017)

    Grant Number: 201893/Z/16/Z

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Joseph McBrinn

    This small grant was the first stage in establishing a larger project that aims to reconsider the role of the disabled maker in modern design and industry.

    Taking as a case study a group of five design businesses set up by charities at the time of the First World War, it aims to re-evaluate a range of objects made by disabled ex-servicemen.

    The project takes as its focus objects made by the disabled and not for them and aims to shed light on disability not as a form of passive consumption but rather as a site of active production.

    The outputs of the larger project (of which this scoping exercise is the first stage), a monograph and a touring exhibition, will engage new and diverse audiences at national and regional levels.

  • ElectroTex

    ElectroTex

    Funding: Rolls Royce Science Prize £6,000 (2016-2018)

    Investigators from UoA32: Janet Coulter

    The workshop-based, action research involved staff and students from Physics, Art & Design, and Technology, collaborating in the co-design of the project. Questionnaires administered at the pre- and post- stages of the project evaluated if creative and multidisciplinary approaches to learning science through e-textiles can positively enhance students’ perceptions STEM delivery in the curriculum. The ElectroTex Project has recently been awarded the Rolls Royce Science Prize (Employees Choice) 2017 at the Science Museum, London.

  • Guidewire Separator

    Guidewire Separator

    Funding
    • Western Health & Social Care Trust £4,989 (2015-2019)
    • Ulster University: HEIF Commercial Impact Fund £6,702
    Contract Research

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Justin Magee

    Other Investigators: Dr Aaron Peace (WHSCT), Dr Robert Kelly (Beacon Hospital)

    Design and development of a device to improve the cardiology operational practice of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), during guidewire manipulation.

  • KTP with axial3d Ltd.

    KTP with axial3d Ltd.

    Funding:  Innovate UK / Invest NI and axial3d, £147,840 (2017-2019)

    Grant number: KTP010763

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Justin Magee

    Other Investigators: Dr Shane Wilson (School of Computing & Intelligent systems)

    To develop a 3D web-based visualisation system, for use by medical professionals, enabling realistic and accurate representation of anatomy at a pre-production stage. This research project was a case study in the BEYOND 2019 inaugural Innovation Showcase and graded ‘Outstanding’ by Innovate UK, securing the certificate of excellence.

    For more information see https://www.axial3d.com

  • KTP with CDE Global Ltd

    KTP with CDE Global Ltd.

    Funding:  Innovate UK / Invest NI and CDE Global, £89,393 (2014-2016)

    Grant number: KTP009750

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Justin Magee, Terry Quigley

    To develop a virtual 3D marketing system that is distance editable, for simulation of modular quarry equipment installations tailored to the customer’s geographic environment.

    This KTP was assessed by Innovate UK as ‘outstanding’ securing the certificate of excellence. It was a finalist in the THELMA (2018) KE initiative of the year. It was used as a case study for Invest NI, CBI and Innovate UK.

    For more information see https://www.cdeglobal.com

  • Linen Lace Concrete

    Linen Lace Concrete

    Funding: £79,515 (2017-2018)

    Grant Number: AHRC AH/P008526/1

    Investigators from UoA32: Trish Belford

    Other Investigators: Prof Ruth Morrow (QUB)

    This research brings together the technologies of textiles and concrete, innovatively blending these two diverse materials to produce highly innovative surfaces. This follow on funded project aims to commercialise unresolved findings in the original AHRC practice led grant 'Woven Concrete' (AH/E006248/1) which aimed to create innovative concrete textile surfaces. The original findings of using linen as the most suitable base fabric to withstand the harsh alkaline properties was developed in collaboration with MYB textiles, Scotland to generate large scale panels.

  • Northern Bridge Consortium, Doctoral Training Partnerships

    Northern Bridge Consortium, Doctoral Training Partnerships

    Funding: AHRC DTP2

    Investigators from UoA32: Prof Karen Fleming

    Partners: Durham UniversityNewcastle UniversityNorthumbria UniversityQueen’s University BelfastSunderland UniversityTeesside University and Ulster University and their strategic partners.

    Project website: http://www.northernbridge.ac.uk/

    The Northern Bridge Consortium offers up to 67 fully funded studentships per year to outstanding postgraduate researchers across the full range of Arts and Humanities subjects, including Creative Practice disciplines. It provides an environment for specialist supervision, training and development of the highest quality, tailored to the needs of 21st-century researchers. There are options for part-time and full-time funded scholarships through the standard route or the collaborative route with an external partner, involving a paid placement of 6 months.

    For more information see https://ahrc.ukri.org/newsevents/news/ahrc-commits-to-postgraduate-research-through-new-doctoral-training-partnerships

  • PUPI

    PUPI

    Funding: Northern Health and Social Care trust £6,290 (2017-2020)

    Contract Research

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Justin Magee

    Other Investigators: Dr Mark Porter

    Design and development of the Pressure Ulcer Prevention Innovation (PUPI) achieving zero level loading.

  • Reviving the William Liddell photographic damask plates from Donaghcloney

    Reviving the William Liddell photographic damask plates from Donaghcloney

    Funding: Heritage Lottery Funding £61,500 (2016-2019)

    Grant Number: OH-16-01266

    Investigators from UoA32: Trish Belford, Prof. Barbara Dass

    The Heritage Lottery funded project ‘Reviving William Liddell’s Damask Designs’ concerns a unique collection of 1600 photographic glass plates discovered in 2007 during the dismantling of the Ewart-Liddell factory at Donacloney, County Down. The photographs document the design and development work for Liddell’s Damask patterns. This work represents the labour of a highly skilled workforce of designers, draughtsmen and women and weavers working for the company during the years 1900’s to 1970’s.

    For more information see https://www.shuttlesandshafts.com

  • The Shadow of Sodeisha

    The Shadow of Sodeisha

    Funding: Japan Foundation Endowment Com £ 6,753 (2017-2018)

    Investigators from UoA32: Michael Moore

    The Sodeisha or ‘Crawling through the Mud Association’ aimed to reject traditional historical precedents. They favoured instead work rooted in the international models and idealism of modernist art using clay in abstract sculpture. Paying homage to this, one of Japan’s greatest contributions to 20th century world art, twelve artists (six representing Japan and six representing Ireland) were invited to participate in this show.

  • The Symbolic in Processes of Transitional Justice: Textile Art in Latin America

    Funding: Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship ECF 2018 – 686

    Grant Number: 77866266

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Lorna Dillon

    Principal Investigator: Dr Lorna Dillon

    This project explores the work of textile artists and art collectives in Latin America that use embroideries, quilts and arpilleras (applique art) to mobilize against injustices and human rights abuses.

    Lorna has undertaken this project thanks to a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. She is working with artists, academics and textile art groups from Chile, Colombia and Mexico to explore the way they use needlework, exhibitions and the internet to unify communities and campaign for social justice.

  • TRACES

    TRACES

    Funding: Horizon 2020 in collaboration with £ 74,013 (2016-2019)

    Grant agreement ID: 693857

    Investigators from UoA32: Dr Aisling O’Beirn

    Other Investigators: Dr Martin Krenn

    Social sculpture research exploring the future of the Maze/Long Kesh site beyond its current state of limbo.

    The former prison has both a physical presence and conceptual importance. Indecision about its future at government level says much about the political climate of a ‘post-conflict’ society. Given this, the artists are interested in how one can think beyond the site’s legacy and to its future.

    The artists worked with individuals who have had first-hand experience of the prison such as ex-prisoners, former visitors, ex-prison staff and community museums to collaboratively photograph existing prison artefacts or to co-create unique small sculptural objects to reflect their personal experiences of this site.

    Techniques for creating the new objects include methods traditionally used in making prison art.

    This project is part of Traces, a three-year project funded in 2016 by the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Ulster University is a partner in the Traces project.

    For more information see http://www.traces.polimi.it

  • Warped Destruction

    Warped Destruction

    Funding: Carlow Arts Festival £1,514 (2014-2015)

    Investigators from UoA32: Trish Belford, Prof. Barbara Dass

    In response to the Carlow Arts festival call mapped against 'new materials and technology' a collaboration between a textile printer (Trish Belford ) and weaver ( Barbara Dass ) was formed to deliver a Research outreach workshop.

    Weaving begins with yarns and a conception of their interaction in three dimensions, preparatory work is extensive and determines in large measures the final outcome. printing starts with a fabric and takes it through a set of transformations, usually focusing on colour and pattern; it is very direct and interactive.

    To mix the two practices will be an interaction between long and methodical (weave) and quick and spontaneous (print) process and thinking.