Professor David Gauntlett
Professor of Creativity and Design
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David Gauntlett is Director of Research at Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design. He writes and teaches about the ways in which digital media gives people new opportunities to create and connect, and the social implications of this 'everyday creativity'.
He has also led the development of new approaches to the study of media ('Media Studies 2.0') and pioneered the use of creative research methods in social research.
He is the author of several books, including Creative Explorations (2007), Media Studies 2.0, and Other Battles around the Future of Media Research (2011), Making Media Studies (2015), and Making is Connecting: The social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 (2011), which has been widely discussed internationally and has been translated into Italian and Korean. A second edition is being prepared for 2018.
He has made several popular websites and YouTube videos, and has worked with a number of the world's leading creative organisations, including the BBC, the British Library, and Tate. For almost a decade he has worked with LEGO on innovation in creativity, play and learning.
He was previously a Lecturer at the University of Leeds (1996-2002) and a Professor at Bournemouth University (2002-2006).
Main website with blog, videos and more
David Gauntlett teaches about digital media, creativity, and social theory, on a number of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
He created the module Creativity, a popular undergraduate option module which considers creativity in a broad sense - how it can be defined and understood, as well as how it can be developed in oneself, nurtured in others, and 'managed' within organisations.
Professor Gauntlett also supervises a number of PhD students (see 'Research').
David Gauntlett is the author of several books, including Moving Experiences (1995, 2005), Web Studies (2000, 2004), Media, Gender and Identity (2002, 2008), and Creative Explorations (2007), which was shortlisted for the Times Higher Young Academic Author of the Year Award.
This was followed by Making is Connecting: The social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 (2011), which has been widely read internationally and has been translated into Italian and Korean; and Media Studies 2.0, and Other Battles around the Future of Media Research (2011).
He has been Principal Investigator on the following funded research projects:
- Community-powered transformations: Digital transformations in the creative relationships between cultural and media organisations and their users, awarded £29,836 from the AHRC Research Development Grants Scheme (Ref: AH/J01303X/1), 14 February 2012 to 30 September 2012.
- Digital Engagements: Online Exclusion and Social Capital, awarded £340,823 from the AHRC Research Grants Scheme (Ref: AH/H038736/1), 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2013.
- Young people's creative understanding of their mediaworlds, awarded £188,365 from the AHRC Research Grants Scheme (Ref: AH/F009682/1), 1 September 2008 to 30 September 2010.
- Building Collaboration and Engagement for Media Professionals and Academic Researchers, awarded £47,524 from the EPSRC Research Grants Scheme (Ref: EP/H032568/1), 1.1. 2010-30.9.2010.
- Audience and producer engagement with immersive worlds, awarded £74,243 from the AHRC & BBC Pilot Knowledge Exchange Programme Scheme (Ref: AH/F006756/1), 1.7.2007-30.6.2008. - Extended in 2009 with £17,034 of 'Knowledge Infusion Funding' (second phase 1.1.2009-30.4. 2009).
Innovation and impact
David Gauntlett has worked with a number of organisations on creative uses of digital media, and innovative strategy in relation to everyday creativity.
Key examples include:
- Collaboration with the LEGO Group: Working with the LEGO Learning Institute, LEGO Education, and the LEGO Foundation, Gauntlett has worked on products (LEGO Serious Play: adult, education, and open source versions) and reports (on futures of play, creativity, and learning) which have made observable impact in the company, 2004-13.
- Collaboration with S4C: Gauntlett's proposals of new aims, and ideas about the role that everyday people in Wales could play in building the diversity of Welsh-language media, became part of their digital strategy in 2011, and were central to their revised corporate values published in 2012.
- Collaboration with BBC: The AHRC/BBC study of an virtual world for children (2007-09) led by Gauntlett proposed a set of play orientations, and critical remarks about the development process, which led to a change in commissioning in BBC Children's.
- Gauntlett has pioneered creative research methods, in which participants make things - such as video, collage, drawing, or 3D models - as part of the process. These methods are now taught in methods courses and books, and have been the subject of an (external) ESRC project on innovation in research.
Further information can be found at www.davidgauntlett.com.
David supervises a number of PhD students on projects about digital media and creativity. Former students who have gained their PhDs under his supervision include Ross Horsley, Chris Pullen, James Pope, Richard Berger, Fatimah Awan, Huong Dang, Aliaa Dawoud, Mahalakshmi Mahadevan, John Hondros, Tim Riley and Didem Ozkul.