The labs are a mechanism to help the University of Leeds’ Creative & Cultural Industries Exchange and its partners innovate their academic research by catalysing collaborations between academics and the region’s creative and cultural industries.
The lab curates cohorts of academics, students and creative technologists to prototype new works, ideas and methodologies at the intersection of art and technology, during a six-week residency.
Carbon was granted a residency in the inaugural edition of the labs, developing a digital storytelling concept which subsequently became the basis for an eighteen-month research programme. Carbon was later commissioned to design and deliver four further editions of the labs – drawing in cultural partners such as Opera North and The Hepworth Wakefield – as well as produce a detailed paper assessing the impact of the labs.
The labs programme has so far given rise to more than twenty concepts and prototypes ranging from apps exploring the history of Harold Pinter plays; videogames on the ethics of drone warfare; web exhibitions on Islamic pilgrimage; smartphone tools for training actors; visualisation of sonic data and platforms for community storytelling and citizen art history. Many have gone on to receive further research funding.
The success of the labs has also helped define the university’s new Cultural Institute, launched in 2016.
Find out more at leedscreativelabs.com