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Our Projects:

Northumbria University is leading and/or contributing to more than 20 projects through Creative Fuse.  Find out more about our projects below.

Get Ready to Innovate

An action-packed creative workshop programme that helps small businesses gain a fresh perspective on opportunities and challenges, develop ideas for new products and services, and nurture their creative confidence.  Designed and delivered by Northumbria’s design-led practitioners at the Northern Design Centre.  The programme is informing research on innovation readiness and creative confidence. 

Project contacts: Mark Bailey, Nick Spencer, Nate Sterling, Kate Lampitt Adey, Manos Chatzakis, Josh Hornby, Justine Carrion-Weiss, Freddie Gibbons



Northern Dance

A collaborative project exploring and developing applications for tagged motion-tracking to enable dancers and artists to control a total media environment by using their body movement to trigger visuals, light and sound.  Combining interaction design, dance, animation and Visual FX, and fine art, the project will culminate with the performance Ephemera at the Northern Dance studio in the Ouseburn. Find out more [Link to vimeo once uploaded]

Project contacts: Steve Gibs

on, Paul Goodfellow (with Northern Dance)




A project focused on the production of a graphic novel anthology and social media campaign (#WhatDoYouSee?) to challenge the stigma surrounding homelessness.  Inspired by real life, Northumbria’s Illustration students produced five short illustrated stories; these have been compiled into a graphic anthology and will form the basis of the social media campaign.  A collaboration between Northumbria University, Fulfilling Lives, Oasis Aquila Housing, and Roots and Wings. Find out more.

Project contact: Dave Wood (with Oasis Aquila Housing, Fulfilling Lives, and Roots and Wings)




A bespoke professional digital development programme delivered by New Writing North.  Providing resources, workshops, and one-to-one mentoring to help writers audit their existing digital profile and capabilities, to build and/or transform their online presence, and to grow their profile and business through the co-creation of a professional website.  Find out more.

Project contact: Heather Robson (with New Writing North)




Support for Creative and Cultural Organisations 

Providing opportunities for creative and cultural organisations to tap into the latest academic thinking and expertise in this rapidly developing sector.  Offering postgraduate placements and one-to-one support to increase capacity for creative and cultural organisations to explore new ideas and ways of working, and to engage with new opportunities, markets and audiences. 

Project contact: Heather Robson, Julie Crawshaw




Digital Media Projects

A collaboration between Northumbria University and Guerilla Communications to offer digital media and communications support to help local SMEs build a new brand, visual identity, and communications strategy, and explore new markets, customers, and audiences. 

Project contacts: Jamie Steane (with Guerilla Communications, artisan at The Biscuit Factory, The Empty Space, and Panda Babies Media)




Autonomous Vehicles

This project involved an exploratory research workshop to define and correlate key aspects of future mobility around the use of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in relation to the user, the stakeholder and the required infrastructure. Within this context, a number of challenges and opportunities were identified and discussed.

Project contact: Matteo Conti (with Urban Foresight)



A project aimed at producing printed materials for the charity Rape Crisis to disseminate, informed by expert advice. The project involves Northumbria Illustration students and will result in creative printed materials which will provoke dialogue.

Project contacts: Dave Wood, Sophie Carr, Brian Brewis, Ruth Lewis (Josh Aitken) (with Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland) 


Innovation pilots, in collaboration with other universities and external organisations.


Heritage Hunter Gatherer

Working towards a first stage demonstrator of a digitally-enabled, multi-sensory visitor experience system for heritage sites and attractions.  Aiming to enable visitors to populate digital and on-site environments with visions of the past, tailored to the venue.  Using the recently re-opened site of Seaton Delaval Hall as a test-case for a working demonstrator application. Find out more.[Link to website once it’s running – contact Consult and Design for an update]

Project contacts: Neil Smith, Manos Chatzakis

Partner organisations: Durham University, National Trust, Consult and Design



NEone Creative: Driving Freelancer Fusion

NEone Creative is an early stage online platform designed to support, promote and facilitate the connection and collaboration of independent professionals. The consortium have created a set of behavioural archetypes to help independent professionals better understand themselves and their needs. Currently, the consortium are developing and testing a prototype platform amongst independent professionals in the region.

Project contacts: Nate Sterling, Mark Bailey

Partner organisations: Newcastle University (Paul Fleet), Laura McKay (lead creative), Harry Ronchetti (design developer)


Cybercrime: Public Awareness and Behaviour

This project responds to two cybercrime challenges identified in collaboration with Northumbria Police: raising public awareness about cyber security, and improving public understanding of digital policing practices. Northumbria University’s academics and Multidisciplinary Innovation students developed a series of provocations and activities for a ‘Solution Hack’ event with SMEs and freelancers. Creative Fuse academics then prototyped a series of Cyber Wellbeing solutions which could be supported by CDIT fusion.

Project contacts: Mark Bailey, Nick Spencer, Nate Sterling, Kate Lampitt Adey, Manos Chatzakis, MDI students

Partner organisations: Northumbria Police



This project combines wearable technologies and AI for the sports and healthcare sectors with the overall aim of promoting personal health and wellbeing. The technology can assess and monitor an individual’s gait to recommend your ideal trainer. The project team from Shoes2Run, Northumbria University and the University of Sunderland is developing, testing and validating the AI system.

Project contacts: Longzhi Yang, Hubert Shum, Edmond Ho

Partner organisations: Sunderland University, LDT Design, Shoes2Run Limited


Augmented Reality for the Sight Impaired

This project will develop a pilot Augmented Reality app that will help visually impaired people navigate unfamiliar spaces, beginning with accessible washrooms. This project brings Spearhead Interactive together with local business NYMAS, Teesside University’s Healthcare Innovation Centre and South Tees NHS trust.  Teesside University, partnered with Northumbria University, contribute strategic design thinking. The project aims to lead to an improved understanding of partially sighted user needs and a proof of concept for an AR app aimed at this group.

Project contact: Manos Chatzakis

Partner organisations: NYMAS, Teeside University, South Tees NHS Trust



Virtual ADR Platform

This project aims to create an early-stage demonstrator of a virtual Alternative Dispute Resolution platform. This will offer a way to resolve complex civil legal disputes away from the courtroom. The platform would seek to increase access to justice in a way suited for the emerging digital society. 

Project contacts: Neil Smith, Manos Chatzakis

Partner organisations: Teeside University, fourteen




iCoda Health

This project aims to develop a novel digital arts-therapy product. Initially focusing on dementia sufferers and paediatric patients, this project will draw on the expertise of health care professionals and rehabilitation experts to develop a minimal viable product for the iCoda-Health app – a sound-responsive image application for home and clinical use. This tool would aim to calm children’s fears before surgery or stimulate memories for those living with dementia by encouraging expression and interaction.

Project contacts: Steve Gibson

Partner organisations: Coda Arts, Tyne & Wear Care Alliance, Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Innovation North, Durham University, Robin Fencott (lead programmer), Kate McCavana (consultant)



Noize Reduction Choir

The aim of the project is to test the effects of inclusive, improvisational singing on stress reduction and enhancement of wellbeing. Noizechoir are a choir that perform without musical notation or words. They use improvisation, voice-games and graphic scores to create an inclusive environment ‘where no sound is wrong.’ The project will bring these techniques to staff from the NHS and the North East emergency services. This will result in a new understanding of the benefits for wellbeing of performing in an experimental choir.

Project contacts: Petia Sice

Partner organisations: Noizechoir, Pro Software UK, Newcastle University, Sunderland University



This project explores the potential application of the principles of the sharing economy to the construction sector, producing a business case for a digital platform that facilitates equipment sharing. The project team is developing an Internet of Things (IoT) device that can monitor the usage patterns of construction equipment. This will be trialled at a working construction site to inform a business strategy.

Project contacts: Mark Bailey

Partner organisations: Circology Ltd, Costain Ltd, Durham University, Newcastle University


Passive Management of Building Environments

The project combines blown metal structures with Phase Change Materials (PCM), substances capable of storing and releasing large amounts of heat energy. By encapsulating PCMs within a sculpture, the project team will research the potential of these aesthetic vessels to thermally manage the built environment – with the scope to create a beautiful and energy-efficient architectural solution. The collaboration involves Full Blow, an Ouseburn-based art studio specialising in blow metal sculptures, along with the Joseph Swan Institute at Newcastle University and researchers from Northumbria University.  The project will develop processes to combine the components and field test the results to assess the impact on indoor climate and energy use.

Project contacts: Brian Agnew, Bobo Mingsum Ng

Partner organisations: Full Blown, Starbank Consulting, PCM Products Ltd., Newcastle University



Youseum aims to capture people’s reminiscences around treasured objects in an interesting and accessible way. The app enables people to attach words, videos, images and web-links to online representations of their objects and share them with others. The project sees Hedgehog lab collaborating with Newcastle and Northumbria Universities to develop a prototype through iterative design and user testing within Health and Education contexts.

Project contacts: Andy Frith

Partner organisations: Hedgehog Lab, Memory Lane, Newcastle University



Democratising Creative Processes in Theatre Using Digital Tools

How can creative process innovation enable democratic digital participation in theatre-making? This project will develop and test digital tools within a young people’s theatre project, asking “What will you do when you’re in charge?”. The project team will research and test how digital participation can be democratic; developing digital technologies that reflect Unfolding Theatre’s participatory creative processes and creating tools to reach new audiences.

Project contact: Kate Lampitt Adey

Partner organisations: Unfolding Theatre, Tyneside Theatre Northern Stars, Teeside University, Durham University


The Middlesbrough Settlement

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), Thirteen Group and community groups in the North Ormesby area are working together to re-purpose the 19th Century model of The Settlement, driving social and physical regeneration.

The Innovation Pilot will deliver a crucial ideas generation phase, engaging partners conversation. An ideation day in Spring 2018 explored ideas on what housing in North Ormesby could look like. The project will culminate in a series of prototypes and recommendations.

Project contact: Josh Hornby

Partner organisations: Mima, Sunderland University, Teeside University, NONDET, Middlesborough Borough Council, Thirteen Group, Changing North Ormesby, Tees Valley Combined Authority, New Boosbeck Industries


Green Places

The team from Layers Studio, Environmental Science Consultant Paul White, and Newcastle and Northumbria Universities are developing an app that collates information about local green spaces. The app would organise sites by accessibility, suitability for sports, tranquillity, biodiversity, pet friendliness, and of course, location. By providing user data for sites to land managers, planners, policy makers and other relevant organisations, the Green Places app has the potential to help improve the quality and sustainability of green spaces whilst also increasing usage.

Project contacts: Mike Jefferies

Partner organisations: Layers Studio, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Newcastle University



Smart Sensory Spaces

People with ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition) can be affected by many sensory factors that are not currently taken into account in the design, adaptation and management of the urban environment.

The project will generate an exemplar sensory map, including shopping streets, public parks and commercial environments – raising awareness, sensitivity and empathy about how autistic people experience the city as individuals and how the environment might be modified to better suit them.

Project contacts: Seraphim Alvanides

Partner organisations: Studio UrbanArea LLP, Teesside University


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