A Colourful District

CREA-Zone cluster event

The Research + Enterprise Department is involved in the CREA- Zone cluster project which brings together partners from Belgium, France and the Netherlands all of whom are delivering Interreg funded projects.

The current economic crisis has driven regions and cities to find new ways to inject the economy with creativity and innovation. Through collaboration with creative and cultural industries, traditional industries can find ways to enhance their resilience in the face of increased economic, social and environmental challenges.

The Interreg projects have researched and experimented with concepts aimed at increasing the visibility of the economic value of the creative and cultural industries and this is the focus of The Colourful District event, taking place on the 5th and 6th of November. A digital publication summarising the findings and projects will be available at the end of November.

Interreg projects will be presented at the event, held in the Budafabriek, in Kortrijk, Belgium, where synergies between different projects will be pulled into focus and success stories will be shared with a broad audience.

The event programme is packed:

Wednesday 5 November – Budascoop/Budafabriek Kortrijk

6 p.m.                WELCOME AT BUDASCOOP, Kapucijnenstraat 10, Kortrijk (Belgium)

6:30 p.m.         WORD OF WELCOME: Franky Devos, director arts centre BUDA / Budafabriek

6:35 p.m.         CREA-Zone – international cluster for the promotion of the creative industry: Ellen Bisschops, project manager SPK Turnhout


6:45 p.m.         DAAN ROOSEGAARDE

In a world shifting between the analogue and the digital, Studio Roosegaarde is the social design lab of artist Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers. The studio creates interactive designs that explore the dynamic relation between people, technology and space. The studio develops its own innovations and is internationally known for interactive projects such as Dune, Intimacy and Smart Highway.

Interview: Hilde Bouchez

7:30 p.m.         Short walk to the Budafabriek, Dam 2A, Kortrijk


The collaboration between designers, entrepreneurs, students, artists and active citizens leads to concrete results. At the imposing Budafabriek, good practice is presented by the University of the Creative Arts Canterbury, SPK Turnhout, Avans Hogeschool Breda, TIO3 Ronse, Pictanovo Tourcoing, Entrepreneurial Centers Mechelen and West Flanders, Flanders DC and Buda Kortrijk.



A green economy is an important issue for entrepreneurs, designers, scientists and artists alike. CREA-Zone selected international projects that transcend the sense of defeatism that tends to surround ecology and environmentalism:

The Green Light District presents work by Alberto Baraya (CO), Nick Ervinck (BE), Lucas Foglia (US), Brandon Ballengée (US), Annemie Maes (BE), David Bowen (US), Luc Deleu (BE), Maya Smrekar (SI), Peter De Cupere (BE), Bart Stolle (BE), Future Farmers (US), Nano Supermarket (NL), Honoré d’O (BE), Ralph Kim (UK), Mattia Casalegno (IT), Martin uit den Bogaard (NL), Koen Vanmechelen (BE), Eduardo Kac (US), Heath Bunting (UK).

In addition there is  scientific research by Howest, Kulak, Vives & Provinciale   Tuinbouwschool and entrepreneurial projects by Vasch Aquaponics, Deceuninck, Vanheede, Alpro, Drukta, Ocular, Devolder Architecten.

Curator: Christophe Dejaeger

Thursday 6 November – Budafabriek Kortrijk

9 a.m.              BREAKFAST MEETING – Croissants, coffee, creative entrepreneurs, politicians, policy advisors, students …all welcome!

10 a.m.           CREA-Zone – international cluster for the promotion of the creative industry: Ellen Bisschops, project manager SPK Turnhout


Prof Annick Schramme is professor and academic coordinator of the master’s program Cultural Management at the University of Antwerp. In addition, she leads the Competence Center Creative Industries of the Flanders District of Creativity at the Antwerp Management School.

11 a.m.                        3 INSPIRING EXAMPLES FOR A COLOURFUL DISTRICT

  • Made or Cartamundi / SPK Turnhout
  • Incunables / Pictanovo Tourcoing
  • Results of the temporary stay of the students from Thomas More Mechelen @ Buda



Johanna Van Antwerpen is the founder of the Amsterdam Innovation Motor (AIM). AIM is the innovation agency of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area which merged, with other organisations, into the Amsterdam Economic Board in 2013. AIM has been set up to help preserve and strengthen Amsterdam’s key position in the knowledge-based economy. The Amsterdam Economic Board promotes innovation, cooperation and new activities in relevant economic sectors such as; creative Industries, ICT, Life Sciences, Sustainability, Financial and Business services.


  • GaIl Baxter or Neil / University of Creative Arts Canterbury
  • The Smell Project / Avans Hogeschool Breda
  • Buda::Lab / Buda Kortrijk



Ellen Bisschops, project manager SPK Turnhout


For more information contact Susiane at ssampaio@ucreative.ac.uk

The mystery deepens...

Folkestone Centipede

Supported by the Recreate project and showcased as part of the Folkestone Triennial Fringe from Aug – Nov 2014, the Folkestone Centipede is a fictitious narrative about Mme Mireille Hachette’s secret research project that led to an extraordinary discovery in the field of cryptoarchaeology. The find came to be known as the Folkestone Centipede.  From late August until November an international team is attempting to replicate that earlier work using much of the original equipment, to establish whether its results were genuine. Unlike the earlier researchers, the team is keen to develop public interest in their work.  Visitors are welcome to inspect the research processes that the team have set-up in the laboratory.

The Centipede Project may be found on the beach to the west of Folkestone Harbour, near the Dolven Bell. It is housed in a white-painted freight container.

A new CREA-Zone publication: breaking regional boundaries in the pursuit of innovation

Watch out for a digital publication that shows off the activities of the CREA-Zone partners, an  externally-funded cluster  from across the UK, Belgium, France and Netherlands. The cluster aims to bring partners together to promote knowledge exchange and collaborative opportunities.

The publication will be launched at the CREA-Zone event on 5th and 6th November 2014 in the Budafabriek, in Kortrijk, Belgium.

CREA-Zone capitalizes on three previous Interreg projects – VIVID, Crysalis and Villa Cross Media – which were implemented by partners and have contributed to the development of opportunities for entrepreneurs and therefore fostered the development of local areas.

The CREA-Zone publication promotes best practices by showcasing a series of case studies which demonstrate how collaborative and open approaches can be a powerful way of bringing together creative and traditional industries, local governments and members of the public, to co-create innovative concepts, products and services.

The publication encompasses themes such as ‘changing needs required new concepts’, ‘supporting the creative sector’, ‘organising and connecting people and spaces’ and ‘ the power of co-creation’. UCA contributes several examples to the publication, such as:

  • Crysalis Knowledge Transfer Activity – Gail Baxter – Years of tradition embrace new concepts

Gail Baxter is a research student at UCA and a contemporary lace practitioner. She was been working with the Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode (CIDM) and Prud’homme, which is the lace manufacturers’ legal copyright registry, as part of a team tasked with creating a new lace design for one of their historic lace looms. The outcome, a new lace, is modern and innovative in design and style, affording a distinct departure from the tradition floral motifs so often used in lace design. More information here.

  • Crysalis Digital Encounters – Neil Bottle – Travelogue Collage
 two-seater sofa and wall hanging installation

Neil Bottle is a designer with over 25 years’ experience in the fashion textiles industry. His work is held in collections around the world. In the Travelogue Sofa project, Neil has explored the relationships between traditional and contemporary textile print methodologies. Digital print is often associated with mass production; however in this project the limitations of digital design software are pushed to new boundaries with multiple layer applications creating engineered pattern shapes for one piece of furniture. The result is a unique object, which has been designed around the 3D furniture form, encompassing both traditional crafted upholstery technique whilst developing a new level of expertise in the digital textiles design process. More information here.

  • Edge creative expertise and technical services

Universities support graduates in an early stage of their careers by connecting them to the intellectual and physical resources they need for developing their professional practice. Edge provide graduates, freelancers, organisations and businesses access to advanced technology, creative method and a wealth of industry experience. There is a broad variety of specialist equipment to choose from, including; digital textile printing and Gerber pattern cutting for fashion; 3D scanning and 3D printing for innovating and testing concepts in many sectors; laser cutting which helps product developers to be even more creative and, at the same time, more precise and cost effective; thermal efficiency equipment which makes it easier for architects to determine how energy efficient a building is; bronze foundry and glass hot shop support artists to explore new designs concepts. More information at www.ucaedge.com

  • Edge Talents

UCA’s online open innovation platform enables students and industry to co-develop innovation assets via an innovation workflow model. It facilitates engagement and creates collaboration opportunities via the showcasing of students’ skills, creative concepts and early stage designs. At the heart of this programme is a way of working that enriches the student journey and adds value to business. It also allows a greater understanding of factors that enable an increased adoption of university IP by industry and fosters student awareness of commercial needs and this creates innovation outcomes for academics and students alike. More information at www.ucaedge-talents.com

Further information: Susiane Sampaio at ssampaio@ucreative.ac.uk

UCA produce multi-disciplinary artwork in collaboration with the Royal Opera House on Verdi’s Requiem


UCA staff, alumni and students’ hard work and creativity were showcased at the Royal Opera House’s High House Production Park in Thurrock in early July as a part of an ongoing project to explore new territories for the meeting of sound, sculpture and light.  This project, as with many other student projects taking place across UCA, was made possible by support through Interreg funding.  The work produced was also showcased at the FUSED Festival, a three-day festival of concerts, workshops and exhibitions run by the Royal Opera House.

Using Verdi’s Requiem as the starting point, students from two courses at Rochester and Canterbury campuses investigated ways in which the piece could come alive visually using light and sculpture whilst still maintaining an integral relationship to the sound.

The animation course in Rochester visited a November performance of the Requiem and  using motion sensors attached to the conductor’s body, captured the movements over the 90 minute performance.  Through a series of technical processes, the data was transformed into seven pieces of sculpture.  Phil, Course Leader on the CG Arts and Animation course called upon the skills and talents of his existing students, alumni and colleagues to conceive of and develop the project.  Jonathan Simms (Lecturer in Photography at UCA) described this as a ‘community of learning’.

Although many hands and minds came together to bring this work to fruition, there were two key individuals who played significant roles in the development and actualisation of the work.  Ethan Shilling provided a high level of technical know-how and research to take the original data from the conductor and transform these into digital curves, which became the building blocks for other students to develop ideas from, and Tim Hall, a UCA alumni, who now successfully runs his own business, willingly took on the project and single-handedly fabricated all seven sculptures from sheet metal.

The sculptures were exhibited in the Walled Garden at the Royal Opera House’s High House Production Park in Purfleet, during two festival performances of the Verdi’s Requiem on 3rd and 4th July, conducted by the celebrated Arie van Beek with Thurrock Community Chorus and Brighton Festival Chorus joining forces with Orchestre de Picardie and Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne.

Over at the Canterbury campus, Hugh Harwood, Course Leader Graphic Design: Visual Communication and sessional staff member Hala Georges embedded the project into their Level 1 programme and involved almost 40 students in the production of visual and typographic responses to the Requiem.  These unique and individual responses were digitally stitched together and came together as little moments that illuminated the large outer wall at the Backstage Centre from where the performance had just taken place.  Hala Georges, a UCA sessional staff member working with Hugh said “We were thinking about whether the projection would work on the concrete or the grey wall. We tested it on various surfaces, and seeing it now, it’s very satisfying.”

Richard Brittain, Head of Thurrock Music Services, remarked about the projections; “They are creating a very evocative mood. A great deal of creative thinking has gone into the designs and as the darkness is falling in, they are peering through the light.”

The project enabled some artists to step back from their normal practice to focus on a new direction. Jordan Buckner, a graduate teaching assistant at UCA and CG Arts Alumni said, “I worked on generating ideas for the sculptures in the early phase of the project. Through it, I’ve managed to break away from doing the same thing that I might normally do. It’s allowed me a lot of artistic freedom during the design process. I think my new works will be influenced by this project and allow me to move into new directions, and away from what people might typically expect from a CG Arts graduate”

It also enabled students to learn more about the process of commissioned art. Jonathan Simms, Senior Lecturer, Photography at UCA, said “The value of these external projects to our students, the work that goes into working with external partners and the work that the students do is incredible. These projects join the dots with the academic world and the professional world of commissioned art.”

Members of the audience were invited to put their own slant on the sculptures and showed their enjoyment of the exhibition through their animated conversation. Audience members described the artwork variously as “Those lampshades that we used to get in the 70s that were pre-packed and you had to put together”, “a horses mane” and “a double doughnut,”

Gabrielle Forster-Still of the Royal Opera House said, “It’s interesting to see how the Requiem can inspire art – I really like that.”

UCA’s involvement with the performance and the festival take place as part of ACT – A Common Territory, a European partnership between 12 different organisations. ACT supports creative and collaborative projects with local and European partners and is co-funded by the ERDF Interreg IVA France (Channel) England programme

To view the Images of sculptures, click here.

Join the Crysalis Business Inventory!

If you’re a business, an entrepreneur, a creative arts practitioner, a student or anyone who wants to open themselves up to new opportunities in textiles, then The Business Inventory is for you.
The Business Inventory is part of the Crysalis programme and is a network of people working in textiles including those who are pursuing networking opportunities with potential partners in Europe and those who are interested in acquiring new skills or engaging in knowledge transfer. The database encompasses businesses, organisations, freelancers, sole traders, and people looking forward to finding out more and getting involved in textile innovation.
By registering yourself in the business inventory, you’ll become part of the network of people and organisations throughout Europe looking to build long term business relationships. You will also benefit from introductions to other businesses through Crysalis partner institutions.  To sign up you just need completing Crysalis Business Inventory Online Questionnaire here 
We’re encouraged by the numbers of businesses and practitioners signing up to the Business Inventory so far in the UK, France and Belgium. The network covers a huge range of sectors – whatever is important to textiles: printed textiles, textile design (print/ drawing), clothing manufacture, textile manufacture, clothing retail, textile retail,product design, artists, dye suppliers, equipment supplier and maintenance, schools, vintage garments, lace manufacturer, charities, online fashion sourcing, textile association, design and management consultancy and  textile research.

Lace Effects 2 opens

Dawn Cole's artwork "head case still bad"

Lace Effects 2, part of the Crysalis project and Moving Textiles series of exhibitions, opened on May 25th  at the International Centre for Lace and Fashion at Calais.  The works on displays were selected from the responses to a call for projects aimed at established professionals, young, up-and-coming designers and students, and transmitted through a network of Crysalis partners.The exhibition focuses on directly addressing the traditional techniques of handmade lace through a variety of artistic approaches.

Lace Effects 2 echoes Crysalis’ ethos of dedication to textile innovation, and features 20 artists from the UK, France and Belgium, including artist and printmaker Dawn Cole from North Kent and Gail Baxter, a current research degree student as well as Emma Gribble, artist at Plymouth College of Art, another Crysalis member.

Amputations Etc

Amputations Etc

Dawn says

I am delighted to be exhibiting as part of Lace effects 2. The museum at Calais has a beautiful collection and fascinating history and to have my works exhibited amongst these is a real honour. The 3 works exhibited are a part of a larger body of work entitled ‘Reading Between the Lines’. This comprises a series of solar plate etchings, printed using white ink on black paper, that respond to the archive of a WW1 VAD Nurse who was posted to France in Sept 1915. The prints, although appear to be of fine lace, are actually made from the words written in the nurses diary and explore ideas of entrapment and deception, the very origins of the word ‘lace’ itself.

Gail’s work, Tracing the Line, explores the connections between lace’s intrinsic nature as a series of holes, absences and gaps, and the inherent holes, absences and gaps in museum archives. The work is a free, contemporary interpretation of a lace pattern created by hand-sewing thread onto machine-made tulle.

Lace Effects 2 runs until 7th December 2014. More information here.


A Sense of Place in East Kent

Canterbury and Dover play host to East Kent Cultural Conversations III’s symposium, exhibition and networking event on 13th June 2014. This one-day event will bring together academia, art organisations and cultural institutions as well as individual artists and designers to share the achievements and foresights into East Kent cultural development.

The day will offer a forum in which to share approaches, findings and theoretical insights regarding creating a sense of place.

There will be  six keynote papers delivered by cultural catalysts and visionaries from East Kent and beyond. The talks will reflect on the sense of innovation, regional and social cohesion, borders & boundaries, collective identity, cultural representation of a region, physical and social transition and more. In the afternoon delegates will enjoy  A Sense of Place exhibition by University for the Creative Arts and École Supérieure d’Art et Design Le Havre Rouen at Dover.

To participate in the event please register via EKCC’s website by 1st of June:  http://www.eastkentcc.com/?page_id=303

To present at the event, please submit a 200 words proposal by Friday 23rd of May to Marta Patlewicz at eastkentcc@gmail.com