Updated: 06 Jan 2012

University's Creativity Symposium Will Be a Picnic

15th May 2007

Getting to grips with creativity will be the remit for a ground-breaking public symposium when delegates will enjoy some unexpected conference activities including a picnic in the park and stroll beside the river.

The two day symposium exploring creativity with high profile experts from industry and academia, is being run at De Montfort University's pioneering Institute of Creative Technologiesin Leicester on 11 and 12 June, and will challenge the usual concepts of a conference.

The two-day Creativity Conversation symposium is aimed at people working in the creative industries and researchers who want to enhance their understanding of creative processes, and the reality and exploration of creativity.

The theme of the symposium is 'conversation' and the programme is designed to stimulate this. To ensure discussions are dynamic and fresh, the programme will feature unconventional elements including a creativity stroll, a picnic lunch in Castle Park, and a light hearted picture competition.

Conversation topics will focus around the central questions:

The conference is being organised by DMU's CREativity East Midlands (CREEM) group, under its Director, Professor Stephen Brown.

Professor Brown said: "There are serious reasons behind the unconventional elements of our symposium; the essence of creativity is getting out of the rut of everyday thinking. By breaking the mould of the conventional conference we aim to help delegates to do something different in a friendly, supportive but challenging environment."

"Creativity is a fundamental human attribute, critical to cultural and economic well-being yet it is still mysterious in many ways. We need to understand it better because in a post-industrial global economy, creativity is likely to be a key to future economic success as well as cultural well-being.

"The creative industries are among the fastest-growing areas of the UK economy, growing by 8% per annum between 1997 and 2001, significantly more than the economy as a whole, and contributing £11.5 billion to the balance of trade in 2001. Creativity impacts on so many aspects of our lives: health care, politics, business, entertainment, education, and much more," said Professor Brown.

In addition to highly distinguished key speakers there will be parallel workshop sessions covering a variety of practical activities and a discussions session that will allow delegates the facilities and time to get together to discuss self-defined topics.

Workshops will be held on topics including creative digital writing, machinima, gaming, tools for collaboration and conversation, robotic stories.

Conversations will be triggered by input from keynote speakers including Frank Boyd, who co-founded Unexpected Media in 2000. They work mostly in the digital media sector supporting innovation and facilitating creative research.

Frank has also worked on a series of innovative programmes to support creative, social and economic development in the UK's new media sector since founding the Arts Technology Centre (Artec) in 1989. He is currently working with Creative London on a series of initiatives to encourage growth in Londondigital media industries including the London Games Festival and a new A/V market, Rights Lab, as well as the pioneering BBC Innovation Labs.

The other keynote speakers are:

Giles Lane, Director of Proboscis, an artist-led collaborative studio. The key to the studio's activity is collaboration between artists, writers, curators, critics, designers, technologists, film makers, scientists and theorists.

Prof Margaret Boden, Research Professor in Cognitive Science at Sussex University's pioneering centre for research into intelligence and the mechanisms underlying it.

Prof Richard Coyne, Professor of Architectural Computing at Edinburgh University, researches and teaches in the areas of information technology in practice, computer-aided design in architecture, the philosophy of information technology, multimedia in design, digital media, and design theory.

Dr Claudia Eckert, Assistant Director of the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge, is involved in several projects on aspects of design process improvement for complex engineering processes. Her previous work involved communication and inspiration in the knitwear industry.

To register or find out more visit creem.dmu.ac.uk/CreativityConversation/

For further information or to be kept informed about IOCT activities, please contact:
The Director, Institute of Creative Technologies,
De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH
Tel: (+44) 0116 250 6146
Email: eedmonds [at] dmu.ac.uk

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