The Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE) has full-time, part-time UK/EU and overseas students studying for PhDs in a wide variety of subjects. These include visual arts, digital technology, creative media, design issues, heritage and art education. The approaches range from theory driven enquiry, through case-studies and other techniques, to practice based research. Research students are supported by a supervisory team, made up of a main supervisor and co-supervisor, and assisted by a personal tutor. Seminar and training programmes offered by the School, College and wider University enable students to develop a disciplinary understanding alongside more transferable research skills. They also have access to extensive digital, media, information and workshop facilities. We encourage prospective students to contact us so that we can put them in touch with specialist staff with whom they can explore their research ideas and the opportunities we offer.
With over 30 research-active members of staff in the Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE), including both embryonic and early career researchers, art and design research is engaged in theory and practice based investigations in creative technology, design innovation, socially responsible design, issues in contemporary fine art and public engagement.
Recent research activities and achievements in the field of design innovation and public engagement include the work resulting from Andrew Wootton and Caroline Davey’s partnership with Catch 22, the national young people's charity, to develop and deliver Youth Design Against Crime (YDAC), a creative community engagement programme empowering young people to design out crime. This innovative project was awarded a Manchester Beacons for Public Engagement Recognition Award in November 2011. Other research in this area includes the work of Paul Haywood and Sam Ingleson with the AHRC funded Knowledge Transfer Fellowship ‘Supporting Arts and Enterprise Skills in Communities through Creative Engagement with the Local Area’ which has resulted in the highly successful ‘Guns into Goods’ project in partnership with the charity CARISMA and the Greater Manchester Police.
Practice based research in the areas of fine art and creative media includes ‘Golden Venture’ an exhibition by Jill Randall, at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, which attracted 75,000 visitors. Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon have recently presented their interactive videoconference art installation ‘Picnic on the Screen’ between Shanghai University and the Liverpool Biennial. And Jonathan Carson and Rosie Miller presented ‘The Other Child’ at MediaCityUK, exploring cultural representations of childhood, featuring Rhian Harris, Director of the V&A Museum of Childhood.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), staff from the Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE) made their first submission to a national assessment of research and secured an impressive national power ranking, positioning them in the top half of UK Higher Education Art & Design institutions. With the approaching Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 the Centre are building on the platform provided by their initial submission through the impact of longstanding research projects such as ‘Design Against Crime’. The focus is on achieving high quality research outputs, making use of the world leading research facilities at MediaCityUK particularly the Digital Performance Lab and the EGG media exhibition space.
In addition to practice based research outputs, including installations, performances and exhibitions, art and design research is also disseminated via refereed journal articles, books, reviews and international conference papers. Much of the School’s work has an excellent record of high social and cultural impact. The Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE) is also exploring the relationships between research in its disciplines with teaching and learning and how this should influence the curriculum. With the arrival of Professor Allan Walker as Head of School of Arts & Medias in November 2011, the School is building on the strong links with the creative economy and its distinctive provision with a renewed commitment to high quality specialist and interdisciplinary programmes which are closely informed by research and are increasingly international. The School is exploring closer relationships between fine art and design disciplines, which have traditionally adopted different ideological positions, to inform a distinctive new teaching and research culture.
My creative practice explores the 'stuff' that surrounds us. I'm interested in the everyday things that form an increasingly complex part of our lives, objects that are as much an expression of taste and choice as they are a backdrop to our existence. Harvested from the glut of popular culture, I'm interested in narrating an alternative life for the, often decorative, ephemera I find. For me, the language of decorative styles is inherently married to the complex psychology of our relationships - a chandelier becomes a vehicle for its owners dissatisfaction with life, a curtain serves as a thin veil over the darkness of a relationship gone bad. In changing an existing article or creating something new, I undertake a re-examination of things we feel we know, courting my audience's engagement with the familiar, but sometimes sinister, sometimes absurd, etiquette that structures our lives.
Associate Head (Academic)
T: 0161 295 6712
Jonathan Carson's Research Profile
Dr Jacques Rangasamy
The following inform my research interests: (a) the political and cultural impacts of foreign influences on indigenous European, Asian and African cultures (b) the ensuing influence-processing and adjustment in human, cultural and aesthetic terms, (c) the ways the same influence-processing and adjustment manifest in contemporary art-making. Broad Research outcome: (a) an informed understanding of the varieties of sensibilities, perspectives and cultural beings and cultural activities that thrive and struggle under the umbrella of globalisation, and that inform and make diasporic existence possible/tolerable. (b) the evolving of pedagogical materials and teaching strategies that enable students to see the world in their cultural beings and find their places in the world (c) develop the cultural and spiritual competencies for living with diversity meaningfully.
T: 0161 295 2625
Dr Jacques Rangasamy's research profile
Makes sculpture and installations investigating the stories and histories behind objects. Much of the work is site-specific, and has included large-scale public art projects involving collaborations with architects, landscape architects and engineers. The work investigates the nature of time through the dual preoccupations of archaeology and alchemy, and recent projects have involved collaborations with scientists and industrial processes, for example the Irwell Sculpture Trail Residency at the Magnesium Elektron factory and a Residency at Wollaton Hall Natural History Museum in 2005. Practice addresses the 'charged' object, and the continued relevance and significance of objects in the 21st Century. Personal research investigates the notion of the sublime in contemporary sculpture, and artists as alchemists. The work is conceptually driven, but exploits specific qualities and associations of materials, currently metals and found objects, and often involves the recycling of materials invested with history through their past use. Exploration of the nature of time is frequently expressed through the evidence of process acting on material; both applied and natural processes invested through exposure to the elements, burial and immersion. Work also explores ideas about value; the notion that a saints relic, for example, is valuable, irrespective of its monetary worth, but because of its associations, carrying the 'cargo' of its journey, be it real or metaphorical. Work also explores and exposes 'secrecy', and the reinventing and reinvesting of lost and forgotten objects, places and eras in history. Randall's practice as an Artist has recently shifted from gallery exhibitions to Residencies in industry and heritage sites as the starting-point and driver of the work. The research process itself has sometimes become the work, and collusion with scientists and new materials and technologies have opened up new directions and possibilities.
T: 0161 295 2618
Jill Randall's research profile
Robert Shadbolt graduated from the RCA in 1984. Since then he has sustained a diverse and varied career working for clients in editorial, advertising, design, the web, publishing, textiles and ceramics. Over the past ten years the computer has added to range of materials he can use in that he is able to draw together the many strands of his work combining painting, drawing and photography and his archive of found material. He also runs the Illustration Pathway. Here he is able to explore with the students the potential of illustration and drawing in the world today; a recent project examining the way we draw the human head produced almost 6000 images, you can see some of the results on his flickr stream. His work still predominantly relies on drawing. He currently works on a project which explores the Fornasetti Themes and Variations as inspiration. Replacing the face of Lina Cavalieri with the face he draws on an reoccurring basis, the smiling contented face with eyes closed; which probably derives more from illustrators like Savignac, Paul Rand and Saul Bass, although the more he looks the more he sees the face almost everywhere.
T: 0161 295 6426
Robert Shadbolt's research profile
Rosie Miller’s art practice is focused on her interest in narrative. Early work experimented with handicraft, modeling and play as a way of both creating tableaux and tapping into the adult and childhood emotions that sparked the narratives. Her current work blurs the boundaries between drawing and writing, exploring the tension between revealing and concealing stories.
Rosie Miller also works collaboratively with fellow artist Jonathan Carson as Carson & Miller. Their practice is also driven by an interest in narrative, particularly their need to tell and re-tell stories. Carson & Miller work in a variety of contexts– including working with museum collections, creating books, maps and games. Recent work has explored life writing. Carson & Miller also reflect on their art practice; writing and speaking about their work in national and international contexts.
Critical & Contextual Studies Area Leader
T: 0161 295 7242
Rosie Miller's research profile
Professor Paul Haywood
As a practitioner Paul Haywood has diverse interests. He mostly collaborates with other artists, designers, educators and community governance professionals and volunteers. He has a continuing interest in 'live' performance and installation through a more regular engagement with social intervention, regeneration and public art projects. In recent years he has developed a range of approaches to the use of art processes to encourage pedagogic engagement. Over the past five years he has maintained a steady involvement in projects that employ creative research in public planning and development of the built environment. Since 2000 Paul Haywood has been working with various partners and individuals to extend their role as social facilitators and activists. One of his core interests is to question the logic and rationale of urban redevelopment. He shares an interest in hidden histories, social memories and 'derelict' landscapes that have resulted in a range of entirely 'process' led investigations of site or place. Paul Haywood's collaborations with Maxine Kennedy largely focus on outcomes that are funded as public art. They utilise creative survey and observational strategies to accrue knowledge and information from specific sites. The normal process is to build a portfolio of evidence; visuals, sound, stories, from a site in question. The usual outcome is one or a series of design briefs for products that will add to the identity of a site or specify a particular history. They have further collaborated with architects, manufacturers and engineering companies to evolve products that are very precisely located to the communities of physical spaces. Paul Haywood's performance and installation activities are similarly connected to site or setting. They attempt an improvised response to context and utilised either plagiarised or fictional narratives to extend the range of possible structures that frame the experience of the work. He has been working with ideas related to scale and composition, limiting the timeframe to short and concise phrases. He has been collaborating with sound artist Helmut Lemke since the late 80's and has started to experiment with film media. Most performance work is concerned with legacy and evidence of action.
T. 0161 295 6175
Professor Paul Haywood's research profile
Sam Ingleson is a multi media visual artist whose art practice is centred in social engagement and participatory performances. Her core research themes are the exploration of creative space and engagement in the formation of artistic strategies that include makers and performers, her current interest is collaborating to developing board games that bring groups of people together to celebrate, learn or reflect. Sam has worked in the School of Art and Media since 2000 and is part of the Community Engagement team within the School. Her current role is as KTF Project Manager, responsible for management and co- delivery with Paul Haywood of an AHRC funded Knowledge Transfer Fellowship ‘Supporting Arts and Enterprise Skills in Communities through Creative Engagement with the Local Area’. Guns to Goods is one of the projects she is currently working on; The Guns to Goods project brings together multiple agencies whose shared aim is to support young people in leading campaign initiatives that will improve their life experiences and opportunities. Guns to Goods makes use of Art, Fashion, Design for Manufacture and Enterprise skills, transferred from the University of Salford and its students, to address and counter issues of gun ownership and gun related crime affecting communities in the Inner South Manchester Area. Sam has worked as an artist delivering workshops in schools and community settings since 1998, leading to working primarily as a project manager, trainer and consultant and also been an Artsmark Validator for Arts Council, North West for the last 3 years and an Arts Award Advisor. In response to working in Arts Education with Schools the Community Engagement Team have developed a new work based learning postgraduate course for teachers, MA Creative Education on which Sam is the course Leader.
T: 0161 295 2626
Sam Ingleson's research profile