About

The C3 Centre is the newest of Staffordshire University’s Research Centres and focusses on the Creative Industries and Creative Communities.

It provides a single overarching structure for all staff working with our creative partners through the medium of arts in relation to the creative and cultural economy, society and sectors.

In short, it is not ‘about the arts’ but rather ‘through the arts’.

It provides a structural framework for activities that reflect the search for new conceptual and critical insights into practices used by individual artists, collectives and creative thinkers who are passionate about engaging, interacting and co-creating with their surrounding communities. 

It focusses on those areas of Ceramics, Creative Industry and Creative Communities that make our region so impactful through its creative engagements.

Example research questions our researchers are asking are:

How can we develop novel digital solutions for engaging more immersively with audiences?
Polina  ZIOGA’s work locates itself within the digital economy, widening access to arts and culture via more innovative digital solutions by producing applications in the area of brain-computer cinematic performance. Marc ESTIBEIRO and Dave PAYLING, are producing more immersive experiences through interactive sonic / visual installations. Eunice MA has published monographs and books on design methods for mixed reality applications, and Ester MACCALLUM-STEWART’s work is onaddresses the role of play in our digital economy.

How do we use personal narratives more effectively for advocacy?
Carmel THOMASON’s co-created first-person accounts situated within a journalistic trust-focussed journalistic practice promotes advocacy for people whose voice may not otherwise be heard.achieves advocacy. Emma TEMPLEs work reassesses historically and critically reassesses the role and value of British journalism in the twenty-first century and Steven SPEED uses photography and journalistic practices to document activist communities, intentionally drawing attention to diverse narratives in communities that are often perceived in stereotypes.

How is our cultural engagement evolving to go beyond ‘the author’? Are we seeing a new co-production turn of the creative economy?
Co-creation, co-production and co-ownership is central to this Unit and to the C3 Centre, exploring theory and practice around the widening of access to arts and allowing human’s innate need to be creative to drive social and economic resilience. Carola BOEHM‘s work on arts-academic partnerships makes use of Sacco’s Culture 3.0 conceptual framework, exploring the evolution of cultural engagement towards the co-production turn of the economy and applying this in an Arts-Council funded leadership intervention. Peter RUDGE is applying his triple-helix partnership-based film production practice to establish models for creative industry clusters in second-order cities such as Stoke on-Trent. Fiona GRAHAM, is applying her model of film-production practices within civil society, driving placemaking through heritage-related filmic practices and Andrew STUBBS, explores all of these phenomena in his scholarly and critical work about the modern film industry.

What role did our region play in formulating the underpinning conceptual frameworks for participatory theatre forms?
Mark BROWN and Rob MARSDEN are critically and in practice exploring the development of pantomime and the ‘Stoke Method. The latter is a fore-runner of verbatim theatre devised by the late theatre producer Peter Cheeseman of Stoke-on-Trent’s NewVic, exemplifying its contemporary placemaking capability.

What role is played by media practices and communicative strategies in the constitution of local culture and what is the role of knowledge in the aesthetic appreciation by society?
David WEBB,is examining the philosophy of communication in the work of Michel Serres and how this changes the way we understand knowledge, information, and the temporal and spatial characteristics of identity and belonging. Doug BURNHAM’s work includes a consideration of the deeper transdisciplinary nature of aesthetics and how this can explain the influence of knowledge and context on our appreciation of culture. David WEBB and Doug BURNHAM’S work shares an interest in how we understand the local and the global in view of the connection between social, political and geographical environments. Lisa MANSELL‘s practice and theoretical exploration connects different artistic practices to achieve a sense of place by translating the knowledge of a local practice of ceramic glazing into a new poetic form.