Director of Studies: Gillian Swanson
Other members of the proposed supervisory team: Jennifer Stein (UWE)
Professional partner: Arup Global Research; Bristol VR Lab
Project details:
The Digital Cultures Research Centre at the University of West of England Bristol invites applications for a three-year full-time Doctoral studentship, fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), to undertake practice-led research into creative forms that consider new forms of engagement with public space in light of new immersive experiences.
Technologies for the Creative Industries, specifically technologies of immersion like augmented and virtual reality, will reshape the ways in which we experience increasingly hybrid physical and digital spaces. Fundamental to these technologies are well-designed immersive and interactive experiences that put the human at the centre of the experience. This studentship will explore a set of speculative experience design experiments that consider how public spaces will become more playful and engaging through the use of technologies of immersion.
This practice-based research studentship will combine theories of design, human-computer interaction, emerging technologies, urban design, and immersion and presence to explore and develop near future experiences of the Augmented City. Design research topics will investigate creative approaches to storytelling and performance using transformative digital technologies and emerging principles for human-computer interaction for immersive experiences. Potential research includes playful and playable experiences with enchanted public spaces that might exist at the intersection of the physical and digital world. 
The Digital Cultures Research Centre has a strong track record of successful PhD completions and the studentship offers access to an exciting creative and intellectual community with fellow students researching emerging creative practices. We expect research students to take a full and active role in the Research Centre and to take part in regular workshops, conferences and seminars. The studentship commences October 2017.
Possible research areas include:
• Immersive Technologies, including Augmented and Virtual Reality
• Speculative Futures and Design Fiction
• Human-Computer Interaction
• Experience Design for Immersive Experiences
• Architecture and Urban Design
For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email