Bedfordshire’s School of Art and Design celebrated a successful academic conference at the University’s Luton campus earlier this month.
Around ninety guests attended the Play with Purpose?event held over two days, where creative experts and academics discussed the?pivotal?role of ‘play’ across all areas of the creative industries and education.
Held at the Postgraduate Centre, the conference was opened with an introductory talk from the University of Bedfordshire’s Interim Vice Chancellor. Professor Rebecca Bunting considered the importance and concept of ‘play’,?what it meant to her and how she has incorporated it into her daily life and career within the education sector.?
Overall, Play with Purpose?explored the concept of? ‘play’ on a wider scale and how established professionals, researchers and students have been enthused and engaged through creative, purposeful and intelligent ‘play’.
The conference included thought-provoking keynote speakers, a series of panel discussions, breakout sessions and workshops with spokespeople from across the country and Europe. Highlights include...
Gemma Harrison, co-founder of VC London, encouraged guests to ‘Create, lose your way, then find your direction through play’, based on her experience of working in luxury fashion (including Alexander McQueen) to launching an all-female motorcycle community where she now works with brands such as Vans, Harley Davidson and Redbull.
Professor Rebecca Earley, co-director for the Centre of Sustainability at University of the Arts London, discussed the fashion? ‘circle’? and how the?textiles and fashion? industry must move forward to become more sustainable and earth friendly.? Professor Earley considered how we can educate young people to understand? the by-products of fast fashion,? water wastage and air miles involved, in her presentation entitled ‘Who made my Uniform?’
Phil Holmes and Paresh Parmar, co-founders of Global Sound Movement, discussed the benefits of increasing people’s interaction with culturally rich and rare musical instruments. Through? the development of an extensive interactive library of world-wide instruments and sounds, their research encourages? participants to learn and engage through ‘play’.
Catrine Val, award-winning international artist and photographer, explored feminism, identity and? ‘play’,?introducing her work with the School of Art and Design through images, text and film, Asphyxia: Pioneers of the Heart.
Brad Benford, University of Bedfordshire alumni?(MA Art & Design), discussed storytelling and social narrative as a form of creative ‘play’ with purpose, evidencing his ‘Sensory Safari’. This ‘live project’ was coordinated through a community of disabled users where art and technology enthused and stimulated those with multiple learning disabilities, allowing them to participate and react to a perceptual storytelling journey.
A number of lecturers and PhD researchers from across the University of Bedfordshire also took part by presenting? their research during the conference, including Noel Douglas, Dr Sian-Kate Mooney, ?Beverley Bothwell, Dr Nicolo Giudice, Viv Cherry, Kathryn Pugh?and Professor Alexis Weedon?from the Research Institute for Media, Art and Performance.
Throughout my thirty year career, the concept of creative, intelligent ‘play’ has been key in my art practice and as an educationalist. Using this pedagogic approach, I encourage students at the University to explore ‘play’ and fail, then explore and ‘play’ again, which allows them to rediscover, create and innovate their working process. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?This conference has allowed creative professionals and researchers to discuss, debate and share their experiences of purposeful ‘play’, and is the first of an annual event series.
Play with Purpose?culminated with a private viewing of an exhibition showcasing MA research students’ Master Works, displayed on the ground floor foyer of the University Library.
University of Bedfordshire Senior Scriptwriting Lecturer Toby Norways has been named one of five winners of the national screenwriting competition ‘Twisted Tales in Lockdown’.
Emergency funding to help support local artists has been successfully secured from Arts Council England (ACE) thanks to a collaborative effort by the University of Bedfordshire, Luton Borough Council and a number of creative charities.
Ahead of the International Day of Yoga on 21st June, University of Bedfordshire’s Get Active team are celebrating a 94% uptake of their online yoga offering since lockdown began.
During office hours
+44 (0)1234 400 400
Outside office hours
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89
University of Bedfordshire
UK, LU1 3JU