Located in the heart of Bristol, the Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC) is a loose-knit, collaborative and anti-disciplinary network of researchers distributed across UWE Bristol. While located principally in creative industries and cultural studies, DCRC members work within technology, architecture and social sciences, pursuing a dynamic research agenda driven by a mix of creative, applied and critical work, and an engagement with thinking through making. The Centre is also home to an expanding cohort of doctoral candidates and a range of visiting academics.
DCRC makes its home at the Pervasive Media Studio, as the strategic research partner of a unique and diverse community of artists, creative companies technologists and academics exploring experience design and creative technology.
Creative Economies Lab
Established in 2016, the Creative Economies Lab (formerly Creative Economy Unit) is a research and delivery team within UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre. We specialise in supporting research, development and innovation in the creative sector. We provide tangible, real-world benefits to creative professionals and businesses by funding research and development (R&D), expanding their professional networks, offering business support, and other forms of intervention to support the wellbeing of the creative and cultural sectors.
To date, we have been funded with over £10M by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Research Councils UK (RCUK), leading large-scale knowledge exchange grants and commissions to support this work. Through these programmes, we gather evidence for national conversations on creative policy, and are exploring radical, critical alternatives to existing models of creative economic growth. We develop and deliver all these programmes with our partners Watershed.
As part of the DCRC, we develop platforms for creative practitioners, businesses, thinkers, artists, and academics to collaborate to explore questions about the role of digital technologies in our everyday lives and futures: from data, surveillance and control, to the promises and problems of Artificial Intelligence, through to the role of technology in togetherness and performance, and human-centred responses to climate change.
Through our Knowledge Exchange (KE) work, we take an ecosystemic approach – thinking about how people, places, organisations, and things are connected – to explore a better, more hopeful future for creative work, underpinned by real-world experimentation, and critical conceptual enquiry. We conduct research, write, teach and speak about our work, and run the biannual Creativity Knowledge Cities conference.
Take a look at the breadth of DCRC's projects and events series which represent a part of our research centre’s ongoing activity. Members are involved in research collaborations and partnerships, working with national and international academic and industry partners and with a broad range of community, cultural and third sector organisations. The Centre also organises academic symposia, workshops and public events, with a particular focus on bringing research to curriculum development.
In a context of transforming media cultures and the digital shift, our work seeks to interrogate, articulate, intervene, make and create practical approaches to responsible technological futures. DCRC research creates new knowledge about creative media applications in real world contexts, and about everyday life in today’s digital media ecology.