Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Ellen Hughes

PhD student

Ellen joins the Centre for Fine Print Research in January 2017 to undertake a full-time PhD funded by UWE. Her programme of studies will be supervised by Professor Carinna Parraman, Professor Stephen Hoskins and Professor Jon Dovey from the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries, and Education plus Dr Glenn Parry and Professor Don Webber from the Faculty of Business and Law.

The doctoral study Design Values in the Bristol and Bath Region draws from the outcomes of the Bristol and Bath by Design Project undertaken between 2014 and 2016 . Ellen will undertake an in-depth study into the personal motivations and values of designers in Bristol and Bath to provide a bottom-up picture of design and the wider creative industries in the region. Using the substantial qualitative data set collected for the Bristol and Bath by Design project: interviews with designers in the region, the researcher’s collection of interviews with the regional creative industries for her podcast Bristol Kitchen Radio, and her extensive experience conducting life story interviews with crafts people for National Life Stories at the British Library. She is in a unique position to conduct an analysis of the people and companies who are making the culture of our region from the bottom up.

Ellen will undertake an analysis of the motivating factors that influence designers’ decisions study design and subsequently become professional designers. This will include a consideration of designers’ family backgrounds, early years education, the value placed on design as a creatively rewarding occupation as well as its value as a means of income. Data gathered will enable a mapping of designers’ geographical migration from place of birth, to university and to places of employment and explore reasons for moving and their attraction to the region. Many designers talk about their company culture: the qualities the company value (skills and attitude to work) and things they look for in an employee. The study will explore these values, the impact of the company culture of the region’s many Quaker companies and the Californian ideas imported by Hewlett Packard and how these values inform a company’s links to the local community and how companies utilise this set of values when recruiting staff as well as the limitations of only employing staff with similar values.