This is a case study of knowledge exchange activity between a creative arts university and two industry partners: the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in the UK, and Pamoja tailoring school in Zanzibar (United Republic of Tanzania). The poster narrates an example of participatory textile making methodologies and how these have been applied to develop new capabilities in the production of drowning prevention equipment among low-resource communities in Zanzibar. The poster aims to highlight the roles of the creative university as boundary spanner and depict shifts in creative thinking towards more sustainable and inclusive outcomes.
As a global burden, 90% of accidental deaths from drowning occur in low and middle-income countries. To address this and develop sustainable strategies that can be implemented in low-resource settings, the design of lifesaving equipment is being made open-source through the RNLI, to reduce the cost of manufacture and incentivise local low-carbon supply networks.
The role of the creative university has contributed to a shift in creative thinking between the designers (RNLI and its partners) and design adopters (Zanzibar communities) by highlighting the roles of makers in the pre-production and production process. As a result, a new innovation ecosystem of actors is being cultivated to meet the challenge of sustainable futures in Zanzibar. The poster maps the emergence of this new innovation ecosystem by depicting transitions between 2019 to the present day.
Arts University Bournemouth
My research as a PhD Design student at Imagination Lancaster (Lancaster University) brings together perspectives from innovation studies and design studies to examine the roles of higher education institutes in the development of innovation ecologies. Following on from my MSc in Innovation for Sustainable International Development at SPRU (Sussex), I took on the role of Innovation Manager at Arts University Bournemouth, a specialist creative HEI. My work focuses on the design and facilitation of knowledge exchange projects across creative industries as well as science, technology and health. Since 2017, I have helped to facilitate hundreds of creative-led knowledge exchange projects, making shifts in creative and design thinking for the university and its industry partners. I have a particular interest in continuing as an interdisciplinary researcher, focusing on the governance of innovation and the roles of design-led innovation ecosystems.