SKILLS IN ACTION (SiA) was a collaborative events programme that examined some of the challenges facing early career arts and humanities researchers. In particular, SiA explored the concept of Knowledge Exchange through a series of discussions and interactive workshop sessions.

Knowledge Exchange (KE) is a bi-directional process between academia and external groups, i.e. communities, businesses, or organisations, that enables the flow of information and knowledge between the two (or more) groups. The importance of KE, along with public engagement and the ability to demonstrate impact of publicly funded research, is of increasing importance, particularly within the current funding landscape of Arts and Humanities.

Skills in Action was a multi-institution programme, led by Edinburgh College of Art and supported by our partners, Creative Edinburgh, New Media Scotland, and Creative Services Scotland.

Who We Are

Dr Deborah Maxwell, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh

Debbie MaxwellDebbie is a research fellow at Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh. Her research interests are on the ways that people interact with and reshape technology and the roles that storytelling can play across media. Past research includes her doctoral research working with traditional storytellers in Scotland, mobile digital interpretation projects in rural Northumberland, and the design of digital tools to facilitate and encourage serendipitous encounters in research. She is also a Co-Investigator on ‘StoryStorm’, a Communities & Culture Network+ network that uses storytelling as a method to explore and deepen our awareness and understanding of storytelling as a fundamental human activity.

Dr Gemma Kearney, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University

Gemma KearneyGemma is the Design in Action Research Fellow at Gray’s School of Art in Robert Gordon University. Her role includes organising Design in Action activities, conducting research and acting as a PhD Supervisor. Gemma has a range of research interests including entrepreneurship, design and the use of open innovation in small businesses. Gemma also has previous experience in engaging with small businesses having worked on Business Skills for Growth (a European Social Fund project) and the Sporting Chance Initia-tive (a European Regional Development Fund project). Both initiatives engaged in knowledge exchange, supporting small businesses to collaborate with academic institutions to encourage growth. Gemma holds a BA (Hons) MA from Trinity College Dublin and a PhD from the Robert Gordon University.

Fabrizio Gesuelli, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh

Fabrizio GesuelliFabrizio is an architect and PhD Candidate at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in architecture & protest, hacktivism, and occupation of space. As part of Skills in Action, Fabrizio assisting in coordinating the two-day festival, managing the ECR and PhD travel grant applications and liaising with speakers and venue.

Dr Lynn-Sayers McHattie, the Glasgow School of Art

Lynn-Sayers McHattieLynn is based in InDI Glasgow, where she researches the role of design innovation in enhancing wellbeing in complex social situations. Lynn is a designer and researcher with over 20 years business experience. She has an ongoing interest in exploring design process and practice in diverse contexts and in so doing researching the role design plays in economic regeneration. She completed her PhD (2011) at The Glasgow School of Art in The School of Design: Visual Communication. She is particularly interested in the role of the visual in practice-based research contexts and developing experimental and emergent methodologies that contribute to design theory.

Dr Suzanne Prior, Abertay University

Suzy PriorSuzy is based at Abertay University where she is investigating how communities support Knowledge Exchange in a variety of contexts, including the Scottish sports sector. Suzy’s PhD research (University of Dundee) investigated how adaptations to traditional design methods could facilitate the inclusion of adults with profound and complex cognitive and physical disabilities in the participatory design of assistive technology. Her current research interests surround the variations between communities in different online environments and the physical world, and the means by which newly formed communities can be supported in order to achieve Knowledge Exchange.

Dr Henning Berthold, University of St Andrews

Henning BertholdAs part of Design in Action, Henning researches the emergence of new businesses across the five key sectors: wellbeing, food, sport, rural economies, and ICT. Henning is a full-time researcher with the Institute for Capitalising on Creativity (ICC) at the School of Management, University of St Andrews, and currently working on two externally funded consortium projects. Henning’s research interests lie in the area of organisation studies and centre around pragmatist theories of inquiry and knowledge considered in the context of creative work environments. He holds degrees in Management from the Hanze University Groningen (BBA), Warwick Business School (MSc) and the University of St Andrews (PhD).

Dr Jen Ballie, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee

Jen BallieJen is a post doctoral researcher within Design in Action, AHRC Knowledge Exchange hub. Her research is focused on the rural economy sector within Scotland, exploring how small to medium enterprises might apply design strategically to flourish. This is being investigated through Design KIT an online and physical design innovation toolkit designed to energise business through new thinking, including methods to support knowledge exchange, innovation and trend forecasting. Her previous research explored social, interaction & sustainable design for fashion furthering the design process through service design. She has delivered workshops for the V&A, London, Marks and Spencer’s Shwop Lab and online retailer ASOS.