Daniel Marshall awarded his BA designing for children with Autism


exhibition autism 2Congratulations to Daniel Marshall who was awarded his BA this year in Product Design at Cardiff Met. Daniel has been working to design for children with Autism to facilitate interaction between parents and children. Daniel undertook extensive research into autism for the project and this has really shown in the final outcome. His work was shown at this years degree shows at Cardiff Met. Visitors who came really liked the product, took photos and enquired about the design process. Daniel reports that children throughout the exhibition were constantly wanting to interact with the toy! We wish Daniel all the best in his future studies and career. Well done Daniel! You can contact Daniel about his work at daniel.marshall31@btinternet.com.

CARAID visits CEWN event Living Longer, Living Well

Leah DSC05227and Gary Beauchamp from CARIAD had an informative morning at The Atrium this week, collaborating on the latest CEWN event, scoping potentials for creative knowledge exchanges under the title ‘Living Longer, Living Well’. It was an eventful morning, developing persona profiles and brain storming early ideas and interventions for our scenarios.

The afternoon saw the development of our int3erventions to new heights through re invigorating an old collaboration with ThinkArk and PlayArk creative companies in Cardiff. Looking forward to further collaborations developing our new ‘Breaking Bread’ service, facilitating residents in care homes to make bread. Watch this space!

Congratulations CARIAD for winning THREE prestigious SIP (Strategic Insight Programme) Awards this term.

Congratulations CARIAD for winning three prestigious SIP (Strategic Insight Programme) Awards this term.

Cathy won an International SIP with Arts and Health in conjunction with her ‘Making a Difference’ project investigating the ways new technologies and smart materials can be used to extend individual experience of creative playful activity for the elderly. She will be off to Australia in the next few weeks to work with the Powerhouse Museum, develop ongoing projects and cement new relationships internationally. Leah won her SIP to further scope the creative potentials of sensory and immersive technologies and the ways they can facilitate the well-being of young people in hospitals.

The SIP is a part of CARIAD’s i-Magine project http://www3.cardiffmet.ac.uk/English/CARIAD/Pages/iMAGINE.aspx and will bring in Richard Crandon from On-PAR productions to continue the project planning.

Our final SIP was awarded to Wendy to work with the Artis Community, to widen participation with the arts and well-being. The project will create closer links between the CARIAD research centre and communities in the South Wales Valleys and signal the importance and benefits of engaging with the local community to provide meaningful and important research across Wales. Well done to all, these promise to be exciting projects and thank you to Cardiff Met for your support in providing us with the means to continue our research 🙂

CARIAD presents at international conference in Lisbon, ‘Creative Processes in Art’

DSC03562CARIAD’s Leah Mc Laughlin presented some of her research activities at the international conference ‘Creative Processes in Art’ at the Centre for Fine Arts Lisbon.http://creativeprocessesinart.weebly.com/index.html. There was plenty of insightful discussion over the two days. Some interesting papers for CARIAD included: the relationship between corporate businesses and performance art. We were also treated to a guided tour of the infamous University building which houses the faculty of Fine Arts, it even included areas which are no longer open to the public!

It is always very informative participating in such an interesting conference topic and to speak to a largely theoretical and philosophical audience. It seems that whenever ‘creativity’ is discussed, its multiple interpretations and various modes of application and understanding elicit thoughtful and provoking debate. It also became apparent that CARIAD’s commitment to applied methods also has a clear and necessary place within these largely theoretical consortiums.

The ways in which CARIAD directly works with people and our developing research methods to accommodate this was a point of interest and praise for many of the delegates. Some very interesting relationships were established and CARIAD are looking forward to many future collaborations.

Congratulations to Wendy on winning her Rayne Foundation Award to develop Gesture-Based Technologies for people with learning difficulties

CariadinteractiveCongratulations to our Director Wendy Keay-Bright for being awarded funding from the prestigious Rayne Foundation this week. The Rayne foundation echoes many of CARIAD’s aspirations to understand and engage with the needs of the vulnerable in society we are delighted to have their support and partnership.

Wendy will be working with her design partners at Cariad Interactive to continue her pioneering research developing Gesture-Based applications to bring new creative opportunities to adults with severe learning difficulties in the South Wales Valleys. We are looking forward to following what promises to be great project – well done to all involved on securing the bid :)!

CARIAD has its official launch at the Senedd supported by Leanne Wood AM and Eluned Parrott AM




CARIAD had our biggest event to date on Thursday, our official launch at the iconic Senedd building in Cardiff bay. We were honoured to have the support of three assembly members. Leanne Wood AM officially launched the centre and offered wonderful words of support and encouragement for the team. Eluned Parrott AM was our official sponsor and made the day possible. She presented some insightful thoughts and offered her congratulations to the successes of CARIAD thus far. We are looking forward to welcoming Eluned Parrott AM at some of our workshops in the near future! Jenny Rathbone AM also attended the day in full support of all of our research projects. We were also thrilled to have the wonderful Glynis from the Hollies School and Anthony from Trinity Fields on the podium to represent our stakeholders and say a few words about their experiences working with CARIAD. John Killick from Dementia Positive closed the session with a touching poem and invited everybody to come and have fun at his workshop later.

In true CARIAD style the day was much much more than a launch, we also hosted two separate workshops and demonstrated some of our capturing and video coding technologies working with AnalysisPro LTD http://www.analysispro.net/ and the Centre for Performance Analysis http://www3.cardiffmet.ac.uk/english/sport/about/staff/academic/pa/pages/home.aspx

CARIAD paper prototypingWendy’s Paper Prototyping workshop used paper to rapid prototype interactive and non-verbal communicative devices. The morning invited our PLC (professional learning community) group in Gesture-Based Technologies http://kinectsen.wikispaces.com/ and many new stakeholders to come up with a technology, using only paper, which might facilitate communication. These were presented back to the group and a vote was taken on which technology to develop further. The ‘rhythm detector’ won in the end and our invited coding and technology experts from our partner’s at CARIAD Interactive http://cariadinteractive.com/ created a code and working prototype which we were all playing on by the end of the session, not bad for a day’s work!

john killickOur second workshop was last of Cathy’s OPAN funded sessions, we invited John Killick from Dementia Positive to come and run one of his infamous ‘invitation to have fun’ events, and fun it was. We made human statues, described objects through touch and even had a puppet show! While the sound of laughter was echoing from the building throughout the day the message was poignant: Dementia is not something to be frightened of or to shy away from. We need to find ways to engage with it and adopt a more positive and responsive attitude towards investigating and understanding some of the underlying features of the condition and ‘we must not be afraid to laugh’! You can read more about the day’s events and see more pictures here on Cardiff Met’s main page: http://www3.cardiffmet.ac.uk/English/News/Pages/CardiffMetlaunchesinteractiveandinclusiveartsresearchfacility.aspx
Our latest edition to the team Steve Coleman PhD student (read about him here http://cariadblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/cariad-awarded-ria-research-innovation-award-to-support-new-phd-student-steve-coleman-investigating-the-benefits-of-creative-play-for-people-with-dementia/ ) also made this fantastic video documenting the day’s events, take a look https://vimeo.com/75386114 thanks Steve!

CARIAD really has so many people to thank for the successes of the day and rather than thank a few here publicly we would rather thank EVERYBODY privately. Here’s looking forward to making this an annual event, thanks to all involved


CARIAD awarded RIA (Research Innovation Award) to support new PhD Student Steve Coleman investigating the benefits of creative play for people with dementia

DSC02110CARIAD are delighted to announce the latest edition to the team, our first fully funded PhD student Steve Coleman. Steve was awarded the prestigious RIA (Research Innovation Award) scholarship from Cardiff Met to research the therapeutic benefits of creative ludic play for people with dementia. This is a part of one of CARIAD’s bigger projects led by Cathy into well-being within the aging population.

Steve completed an outstanding Masters here at Cardiff Met which looked at the healing potentials of being playful. We are thrilled that he has been given the opportunity to develop the project here at CARIAD and to have such a dynamic and committed new academic associate to contribute to the centre. I’m sure everybody will be keen to extend their congratulations in due course. On behalf of CARIAD, well done Steve excited to have you on board and looking forward to working with you!

CARIAD makes an impact at the Well-Being conference Birmingham 2013

A huge success and representation for CARIAD at the Well-being conference at Birmingham City University http://www.bcu.ac.uk/research/news-events/events/well-being-2013/keynotes . Wendy gave a keynote Presentation alongside Dilys Price OBE and founder and director of the touch trust Cardiff http://www.touchtrust.co.uk/ .

ReacTickles MAGIC interfaceThey talked about a range of inclusive design activities and used a series of digital stories to evidence the broad spectrum of cases CARIAD projects encounter. The videos also invited delegates to consider and reflect on notions of playfulness, engagement and movement as communication

Our second CARIAD representative Cathy also presented a joint paper with Dr. David Prytherch http://www.biad.bcu.ac.uk/research/site/pages/staffprofileJR.php?id=46 from Birmingham City University. Their paper ‘Walk and draw: a methodology to investigate subjective wellbeing’ describes two studies that focus on walking and drawing as a research methodology. This presented findings from the AHRC funded ‘Urban Flows’ project, which also included drawings by textiles Senior Lecturer, Helen Watkins http://www.cathytreadaway.com/research/walk-and-draw/.

Digital Stories at the Hollies School with the wonderful Glynis!

DSC02208CARIAD had a wonderful morning at the Hollies School in Cardiff today http://www.theholliesschool.co.uk/welcome.html . Wendy and Leah filmed Glynis Thomas who discussed the ways some of the kids are interacting with Somantics and Reactickles as part of the impact studies for the Shape project in Birmingham http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/education/shape/index.aspx
Glynis was part of CARIAD’s founding project and was the very first school to participate in Wendy’s work so she will always have a special place within CARIAD. It’s so lovely to be able to go back nearly ten years later and to see how things have moved on and to listen to Glynis expertise and understandings of the children’s personalities.
The sessions were carried out in the same way as Anthony’s last week,  and it seems the format is working. We are editing the videos together as we speak so watch this space for some amazing digital stories are coming your way!

Showcase Event CEWN(Creative Exchange Wales Network), i-Magine Project




CARIAD today enjoyed the final showcase event run by CEWN (Creative Exchange Wales Network) at the Wales Millennium Centre where the i-Magine project disseminated the project’s outcomes thus far (see previous blogs). The entire spectrum of CEWN projects (starting, in progress and complete) were represented and given the opportunity to present their projects via posters, stands, banners and videos. The day was a mix of networking, reflecting and key note speakers from esteemed academics and partners within knowledge exchange and the creative industries. It was wonderful seeing the exciting range of outputs already achieved and to get some useful feedback for the future of i-Magine which includes a new collaboration with the BBC! Well done CEWN we look forward to the next stages of these exciting ventures into knowledge exchange!