Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-22-2014 | Award Amount: 2.68M | Year: 2015
RAPID-MIX brings together 3 leading research institutions with 4 dynamic creative industries SMEs and 1 leading wearable technology SME in a technology transfer consortium to bring to market innovative interface products for music, gaming, and e-Health applications. RAPID-MIX uses an intensely user-centric development process to gauge industry pull and end-user desire for new modes of interaction that integrate physiological human sensing, gesture and body language, and smart information analysis and adaptation. Physiological biosignals (EEG, EMG) are used in multimodal hardware configurations with motion sensors and haptic actuators. Advanced machine learning software adapts to expressive human variation, allowing fluid interaction and personalized experience. An iterative, rapid development cycle of hardware prototyping, software development, and application integration accelerates the availability of advanced interface technologies to industry partners. An equally user-centric evaluation phase assures market validation and end-user relevance and usability, feeding back to subsequent design cycles and informing ultimate market deployment. The RAPID-MIX consortium leverages contemporary dissemination channels such as crowd funding, industry trade shows, and contributions to the DIY community to raise awareness across the professional and consumer landscapes of novel interface technologies. Project output is encapsulated in an Open Source RAPID-API exposing application level access to software libraries, hardware designs, and middleware layers. This will enable creative partner SMEs to build a new range of products called Multimodal Interactive eXpressive systems (MIX). It also allows broader industries such as quantified self, and DIY communities, to use the API in their own products in cost effective ways. This assures the legacy of RAPID-MIX and marks its contribution to European competitiveness in rapidly evolving markets for embodied interaction technologies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-CG | Phase: ERC-CG-2013-SH3 | Award Amount: 1.83M | Year: 2014
Who are the people of Europe? This question is facing statisticians as they grapple with standardising national census methods so that their numbers can be assembled into a European population. Yet, by so doingintentionally or otherwisethey also contribute to the making of a European people. This, at least, is the central thesis of ARITHMUS. While typically framed as a methodological or statistical problem, the project approaches this as a practical and political problem of assembling multiple national populations into a European population and people. Why is this both an urgent political and practical problem? Politically, Europe is said to be unable to address itself to a constituted polity and people, which is crucial to European integration. Practically, its efforts to constitute a European population are also being challenged by digital technologies, which are being used to diversify census methods and bringing into question the comparability of national population data. Consequently, over the next several years Eurostat and national statistical institutes are negotiating regulations for the 2020 census round towards ensuring Europe-wide comparability. ARITHMUS will follow this process and investigate the practices of statisticians as they juggle scientific independence, national autonomy and EU comparability to innovate census methods. It will then connect this practical work to political questions of the making and governing of a European people and polity. It will do so by going beyond state-of-the art scholarship on methods, politics and science and technology studies. Five case studies involving discourse analysis and ethnographic methods will investigate the situated practices of EU and national statisticians as they remake census methods, arguably the most fundamental changes since modern censuses were launched over two centuries ago. At the same time it will attend to how these practices affect the constitution of who are the people of Europe.
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 161.02K | Year: 2017
This Follow-On Funding for Impact and Engagement proposal is based on research from the AHRC Digital Transformations project, Transforming Musicology (AH/L006820/1), and the Electronic Corpus of Lute Music project, most recently as Lute Music in the Open (ECOLM III), AH/H037829/1. It explores the concept of playability of music. By developing a system to assess the difficulty of a displayed piece, and then using this system to create on demand a set of practice exercises based on passages within the music judged to be tricky by the system, it will help students learning to play an instrument (flute, guitar, or renaissance lute). The guitar is the most widespread instrument in the world today, and the internet provides a literally bewildering number of tabs (scores notated in the format known as tablature) requiring no formal knowledge of music notation. Tablature provides instructions about the placement of fingers to form chords or melodies and the sequence in which they should be played. It is a system that has stood the test of time, and has been used for hundreds of years, at least since the 15th century, and is particularly useful for instrumental teaching, especially in the early stages. There is a vast amount of music available online and the system we create will help musicians find music to suit their skill level. The system will analyse the playability of tablature versions of pieces of music for guitar (classical and other styles) and for renaissance lute (we already have a corpus of c10,000 pieces in ECOLM). Using measures based on hand-stretches and position-shifts indicated in the tablature well compute indexes of playability of individual chords and transitions between them. The flute is another very popular instrument among self-learners and young people, especially in schools; based on figures from the Hackney Music Service, we estimate that over 3,000 non-beginner flute students take lessons in London schools alone. Well build on earlier work carried out by co-I Fiebrink on the modelling of difficulty in flute music, a very useful starting point, since the simpler texture of the music allows us to focus on its melodic aspects rather than on chords (as on guitar or lute). Well then use standard machine-learning techniques to build models of playability to identify difficult passages in unknown flute, guitar and lute pieces. They will also be used to grade pieces (based on the difficulty of the most technically-challenging passages) and the results compared with the grades listed by music publishers in their catalogues. The proof-of-concept demonstrator forming the main output of the project will then use simple algorithms to generate entirely new exercises derived from these passages for practising by a student. All the above will be evaluated by our user community - players at various levels and flute, guitar and lute teachers. The music will be presented within a high-quality graphical user interface provided by our music-industry partner, Tido Music. Currently used for a number of educational packages, mostly aimed at amateur pianists, it will be adapted to communicate remotely with the playability estimation and exercise generation back-end developed and maintained by Goldsmiths. This way our models can be tested from the outset with a professional user-interface, and use musical scores from the Tido music library (access restrictions entirely under Tidos control), or from elsewhere, without compromising rights ownership. The lessons learned will be applied directly in two ways. We shall hold a workshop for professional and amateur musicians, including those involved as beta-testers, to discuss their assessment of the system with its designers and developers. This feedback will then be used as material for a full proposal to Innovate UK for funds to carry out further research and development to take this work beyond proof of concept to a commercially viable product.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 771.44K | Year: 2017
Digital making (a.k.a. maker culture or the making movement) has gained impetus with the increasing availability of low-cost microprocessor-based platforms, affordable 3D printers and lasercutters, and an online community sharing best practice and crowdfunding new projects. This has the potential to enhance UK manufacturing, multiply access to new products and encourage new forms of DIY. So far, however, these technologies have mainly been confined to FabLabs, Maker Faires and Hackathons, and used primarily by self-identified geeks for self-motivated projects. Only a small proportion of schoolchildren have access to making activities despite wide interest because expertise and resources are lacking, and more generally these technologies remain practically inaccessible to the majority of the population. Citizen Naturewatch will bring digital making to a new and broad UK audience by linking with the BBCs award-winning Springwatch series to produce collections of bespoke digital devices that viewers can make at home. Springwatch, produced by the BBC Natural History Unit over an intensive three-week period, is shot live from a home base usually located in a nature reserve. The core of the show consists of footage gathered from numerous outdoor cameras that film birds and animals throughout the site, as well as footage from other locations, all strung together, enlivened and enriched with commentary from expert presenters. The devices we build will add to this content by supporting people from around the UK to collect images, sounds and data that might be used on the show. The devices will be developed in consultation with the Natural History Unit as well as other relevant expert groups, and might include systems for photographing, weighing and even identifying local birds, or for tracking foxes, watching fish, or counting hedgehogs. The aim will be to produce designs that are engaging, easy and affordable to build, and which produce content worthy of showing on Springwatch. We will produce an initial set of designs and kits to try out with seed groups including makers, students and wildlife clubs. With their help we will refine the designs for release as open-source specifications to reach the widest possible audiences. With promotion by the BBC, and easy to follow instructions including videos, we anticipate them being taken up by hackers, hobbyists, student clubs and birdwatching groups all over the UK. Over the course of two Springwatch cycles, we will develop the designs, and the publics who engage with them, as a resource that can augment Springwatchs existing content. Springwatch is already a world-leading example of public engagement with environmental science. This project will support this mission by allowing people to gather their own environmentally-relevant data and content. In the process, we will support public engagement with new technologies as, motivated by the chance to contribute to the show, a range of students, hackers and nature lovers try out, modify and build the devices we come up with. Thus Citizen Naturewatch will serve as a powerful impetus to involve a wide public to engage in digital making activities. With the BBC helping to publicise the project, activities in schools and maker spaces, and a domain that should attract a wide variety of younger and older participants, the impact will potentially be to inspire and inform a wide range of UK citizens to engage with the latest technologies.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 566.77K | Year: 2017
Each year, criminals steal an estimated £280 Billion of secret information. These crimes are hidden, with the perpetrators potentially thousands of miles away. Where does this crime happen? In the cyber world. Cyber criminals target valuable company assets, as they hack computers and bypass security systems to steal confidential business information, prototype designs, strategic bid information and customer lists. These assets are collectively known as trade secrets, as they derive their value from their secrecy. When this theft is done to benefit foreign countries, it is known as economic espionage. Concerned governments and companies are effecting important changes to combat this problem. Yet, despite the huge economic impact of these thefts, very little is known about them. This research seeks to address this lack of knowledge by investigating data on the theft of trade secrets to understand their economic impact. Using a unique source of data, this research examines what is actually happening in cybercrime. Analysis of information from court cases generates a systematic understanding of what is stolen, who the criminals are, and how this affects victims and the economy as a whole. By definition, the stolen trade secrets are secret, and therefore very difficult to investigate. This project uses the rare insights and information found in court cases to tease out a better understanding of this cybercrime. Over the course of this project, a team of researchers will collect and analyse court data. The researchers will use statistical and other analytical techniques to create a robust understanding of trade secret theft and its implications. These findings will be publicised using conferences, seminars, academic papers and social media, so that groups and individuals interested in these topics can engage with this project and the research team. This research will benefit businesses, policy makers, researchers and the general public. Businesses will hve a better understanding of the value of their trade secrets and how best to protect them. Policy makers will be able to develop better policy as the project will generate evidence to ground economic insights and objective analysis into action. These improved policies, which create mechanisms to protect assets, will benefit the economy as a whole, as law and policy will be better tailored to the actual, as opposed to our current theoretical, situation. Researchers and innovators, from the fashion designer working on their next collection, to the aerospace engineer developing a new aeroplane, will be able to better protect their valuable prototypes, software programs and other trade secrets. Researchers who focus on cyber security and trade secrets themselves, will have improved insights leading to better cyber security systems designs, data to test social policy and estimates of the value of trade secrets. Legal scholars will have access to a rich source of information to combine empirical analysis with theoretical approaches. Finally, the general public will benefit from enhanced security and improved policy environment. Improved cyber security means better protection of personal data. The policies informed by this research will encourage innovation. Innovation improves lives, as we enjoy new fashions, advanced aeroplanes and new medicines. However, one group is not likely to benefit: the would-be thieves and corporate spies who target trade secrets.
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 184.40K | Year: 2015
This research project studies how - by what processes, according to what criteria, and subject to what kinds of verification? - truths emerge about the political violence that took place in the 1970s and 1980s in Argentina and Chile. Although that period of violence is now past, many facets of it are still unresolved. Beyond the legal mechanisms that continue to unearth truths about the last military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-83) and the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990), there are several sites at which these unresolved issues emerge for debate and verification. There is a need to address the unresolved and still controversial nature of many questions as the presentation of the story of what happened becomes a focus of new memorial spaces and Memory museums, as well as at other sites where truths are tested, including where biological identities are tested via DNA or where human or material remains require forensic testing. The research will take place at a range of diverse sites that we call forums for telling. Its premise is that truths about the past are of different kinds because they have to pass through different processes of hypothesising, testing and reflection before they are affirmed and allowed to emerge as true. Thus the production of truth at a museum of memory differs both in process and in terms of the truths it seeks and can affirm, from the production of truth by the law courts, or by the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Teams attempts to establish identities through the testing of human remains or DNA. The research concerns how the different forums and spaces approach this task differently, how they involve different material and human witnesses, different procedures and place different constraints on the objects of their interrogations. In studying these processes we will ask: What candidates emerge to tell the truth about the past? Which truths are allowed to emerge at the different sites? How are they understood as relevant to the forum that debates their status? What tests must they pass in order to attain their status as true? How are emergent truths presented, arranged and mediated for consumption? How is their status challenged? The importance of these questions becomes apparent when one considers the pedagogic dimensions of the activities at stake. We will highlight the pedagogic and inter-generational dimension. What do the different forums understand as the relation between the production of truth and the presentation or curation of the story of the past as a wider societal imperative? How do they agree to present their work domestically and internationally, including digitally? How do they seek to overcome the dangers of making a spectacle of the past, or else using it within a strategic instrumentalisation that insists that listening repeatedly to horrors of past violence will inoculate us from ever repeating the past wrongs? The research will use observation, interviews and documentary data gathered from significant sites chosen for their potential to speak to these interests. In Argentina, we will visit the largest and most notorious of the ex-clandestine centres for detention, torture and extermination (ex-ccdte), the ESMA in Buenos Aires, now an official Site for Memory, and where debates about the use of the space have raged for several years, but where new changes to the use and especially the pedagogic aspects of the site are presently coming to fruition. Additionally we will visit two ex-ccdte sites further afield, in Cordoba and Tucuman. In Chile, we will also visit ex-centres of detention in Santiago (Londres 38, Villa Grimaldi) and one further afield in Chacabuca in the north. In each country we will also be visiting important newly opened Museums of Memory (in Santiago and Rosario). To complement these, we will observe and interview members of the important Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, as well as following key legal cases that are on-going.
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 80.78K | Year: 2016
Around the world, people, mainly women, leave their home place in lower income countries to take care of people and look after other peoples homes in higher income countries. This project investigates one group of migrant care workers, women from the Philippines, who live and work in London and Hong Kong, two important destinations for Filipino migrant care and domestic workers. Our aim is to use art events and public exhibitions to increase migrant welfare in the places they live and work and enhance the benefits of migration for themselves, their families and their home country. The work that these migrant domestic and care workers undertake elsewhere enables them to build houses and invest in the future of family and loved ones who are left at home. More broadly their remittances collectively account for a significant percentage of GDP in their home country. Scholars debate whether those remittances contribute to longer term development. However, they generally agree that the development benefits of migration would be substantially greater if migrant rights to a fair wage and good working conditions were protected and if migrants invested not just in personal consumption but in sustainable social and economic enterprises. Working closely in collaboration with our non-academic partners, community based and charitable organisations in London, Hong Kong and Manila, we will run a series of art events and public exhibitions about Filipino migrant care workers. Migrant care workers themselves will be centrally involved in producing and curating the art events and exhibitions. First, using photographic and collage techniques with objects and images from social media, camera phones, posted photographs and personal collections, we will ask migrants to illustrate both their experiences as migrant care workers living abroad and their contributions to development in their home country. We will use the images they produce to engage migrants in conversations both about their everyday concerns and welfare needs and about their future aspirations for themselves, their families and their home country. Second, working with both migrants and our non-academic partners, we will select some of the images they produce to be professionally printed and displayed in a series of public exhibitions to be held in each city. We will also commission two original pieces of art work from Filipino visual artists residing in London and Hong Kong respectively to contribute to the exhibition. Together, the images and art works created and displayed at those events and exhibitions will help to raise public awareness about the vital work that these migrant care workers perform and help us show that by protecting migrant rights and ensuring their welfare we enhance the welfare of those that they care for both in home and in host countries. The art and public exhibitions, together with the workshops we organize around the exhibitions, will also generate discussions among migrants and with policy makers and collectively enable them to identify new ways to increase the longer term benefit and development impact of migrants investments. Scholars and activists have for some time now actively sought to challenge the view that migrant care and domestic workers are simply maids to order . That has led to a better appreciation for the skills these women acquire and the creativity they exercise in overcoming different sorts of social boundaries and cultural barriers. However, those migrant care workers are still largely left out of conversations about migration and development in their home country. Through novel use of art and public exhibitions this project will bring these creative and resourceful people into that conversation and jump start those long overdue dialogues about development.
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 161.63K | Year: 2015
What does the relationship between a mixed public space of leisure and the people who use it reveal about social dynamics in the contemporary city? European leaders such as David Cameron and Angela Merkel have proclaimed multiculturalism dead. However, this does little to account for either the everyday ways that people rub along (Watson, 2009) in diverse spaces, or the historical, economic and migration contexts that continue to create spaces of super-diversity (Vertovec, 2007). This research starts with a seemingly ordinary place, a bowling alley, used by a diverse population in terms of age, class and ethnicity and standing on a busy crossroads in a fast changing neighbourhood at the intersection of three London boroughs. While the current interior design borrows the chrome and neon of Americana, the diverse collection of bowlers who use it reflect contemporary London. Through an in-depth examination of who uses the space and how, the research seeks to find out: What kinds of interactions, tensions, strategies of avoidance and of negotiation, does the space engender? What are the limits to the sharing of space and how do divisions outside the bowling alley play out within (forms of territoriality among young people, for example)? As well as examining space sharing and exchanges in the bowling alley, the research also seeks to examine the relationship between social relations inside the bowling alley and the wider and complex world of the local area. Firstly, the research will uncover how the changing uses of this site reflect the social historical processes (including economic processes and migration histories) that have shaped the area; the bowling alley is only the most recent incarnation of this building which has been a tram depot, a roller rink that never opened, a cinema (notorious during the First World War for gambling, prostitution and amorous soldiers liaising with loose women Harper, 2011), a dance hall and a bingo hall. Secondly, the neighbourhood is set to undergo major redevelopment and so the bowling alley and the time period of this research will provide a prime location for investigating these processes of change and debates about what constitutes valuable urban space, what stays and what goes; how processes of change are co-opted, resisted or celebrated by both customers at the bowling alley and by other local stakeholders. Furthermore, the research will explore how this space of diversity enacts how the neighbourhood is connected to the wider world through patterns and histories of migration. In order to answer these questions, the project uses a variety of methods including interviews with bowlers and local stakeholders, participant observation and the use of photography and video. Research participants will be asked to share photos and video taken of their activities within the bowling alley. In addition, new documentary footage will be shot, using everyday technologies (iphone) to mirror that used by the participants. The project will produce not only written reports and academic journal articles but also a short documentary and an interactive website that will be accessible, and actively promoted, to the general public. Overall, this research seeks to analyse how a diverse population co-exist and interact through the study of one site and the transnational, socioeconomic forces that connect in it through the practices of people.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2015 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016
Forensic Architecture is an emergent field that refers to the presentation of architectural evidence in legal contexts. As contemporary conflicts increasingly take place within urban areas, homes and neighbourhoods become targets and a growing number of civilian casualties occur within cities and buildings. Architectural investigation thus becomes an essential tool of conflict analysis, not only for its crucial role in the pursuit of accountability, but also because it enables ground breaking methodological and theoretical inquiries into the context and conduct of urban conflicts. Forensic Architecture (FA), as developed by the PI, employs a novel set of research techniques to analyse violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights (HR) as they bear upon the built environment. FA employs architecture in three distinct ways: as an object of analysis; as a method of research; and as a mode of presentation. As such FA is able to provide unique, solid, and clear evidence about incidents that other methods of investigation cannot engage with. This proposal, Forensic Architecture: The Media Environments of Conflict (FAMEC) will further develop the field of FA in response to a set of newly evolved challenges. These are concerned with the way in which new modes of documentation and analysis based on social and environmental media have shifted the relation between conflict and built spaces. Working closely with leading HR organizations, the project will provide novel types of architectural evidence in the context of a number of high profile IHL and HR investigations, in such places as Syria, Israel/Palestine and Amazonia/Brazil. Our forensic work will be the starting point for a set of theoretical reflections articulated in books, articles, journal special issues, conferences and exhibitions that will ground FA in the histories of forensics, architecture, and human rights.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 195.45K | Year: 2016
Focusing on neoliberalisms emergent feminist discourse in the UK and the US, I aim to provide a multi-dimensional theorization of this phenomenon. Two central questions inform this project: 1) Why does neoliberalism need feminism at this particular historical juncture in order to reinforce its hegemony? and 2) How and in what ways do certain themes of feminism lend themselves to the neoliberal project? Working on the seams of feminist theory, cultural studies and sociology, I will embark on a comparative study, examining one key but neglected site of neoliberalisms adoption of feminism: the discourse of a happy work-family balance. In order to accomplish this, I will employ a multidisciplinary methodological approach, combining textual and discourse analysis, qualitative data analysis and intersectional theorizing. My premise is that the resurgence of the work-family balance, which is being articulated as a feminist ideal, is the site through which the contemporary entanglement of feminism and neoliberalism is most clearly articulated. RNF therefore has four main interrelated objectives: to map the current resurgence of the work-family balance discourse in the mainstream print media in the UK and the US; to uncover the racial and economic underpinnings of this balance discourse; to analyse the new feminist subject this discourse is creating; and, finally, to build a theoretical framework that not only helps to explain why neoliberalism needs feminism at this historical juncture, but one that can help account for other contemporary alignments between feminism and neo-conservative and neoliberal projects in the broader European and Western context.