Posts By / cscott

CQR and CEL: Creativity, the key to connectivity

The Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) and the Centre for Qualitative Research (CQR) are natural allies for creative endeavours–in research and dissemination for CQR, and education or CEL. Members from both centres will be working together to share ideas, skills and resources across the fusion areas of Education, Research and Professional Practice.

CEL are developing a strong creative strand, led by Curie Scott with Lego, Collage and Origami workshops continuing to be taken forward in the University. For example, using collage with 60 post-graduate research students and Lego with MA Corporate Communication students. Origami is used across education and research, read a report on the Origami in Science, Maths and Education conference here.

CQR is led by Kip Jones, Centre Director, and Caroline Ellis-Hill, Deputy Director.

CQR members are known for:

  • Involving creativity in humanising health and social care;
  • gathering data in novel ways;
  • participant involvement at every stage of research and dissemination;
  • unique ways of interpreting and disseminating data;
  • and new ways of writing–including fiction, script-writing, poetry, and auto-ethnography.

CQR has been the home of the development of Performative Social Science (PSS) for more than fourteen years, led by Kip Jones. An arts-led approach to research and its dissemination, it is not simply art for art’s sake, but based in the theoretical premises of Relational Aesthetics. Recently lauded by Sage Publications, they described PSS as pioneering work that will ‘propel arts-led research forward’ and be a ‘valued resource for students and researchers for years to come’.

CQR consists of several subgroups:

  1. Arts in Research Collaborative
  2. Humanisation Special Interest Group
  3. Narrative Research Group
  4. “Gang of Four” Doctoral Methodological Support Group

This year’s CQR ‘Go Create!’ seminars support the BU 2025 call for “Advancing knowledge, creativity and innovation”. List of dates and topics can be found here.

CEL and CQR are excited about more endeavours together in 2018 and beyond.

Join us in our mutual creative endeavours!

Reflecting on research using creative methods

We invited a lecture hall of postgraduate research (PGR) students to reflect on their hopes for their research studies using a collage methodology. Image-making enables cognitive disruption (in a good way). Collage can be mediated in various ways. In this situation, magazines and cut-out magazine images were spread across the lecture theatre. PGR students were given the prompt “what are your hopes for your future studies”. They tore out images that caught their attention which were glued onto an A4 page. The meaning of these posters was shared to gather core themes. These were then uploaded to a padlet board. At the end of the session students wrote their action plans on A4 people and sent them (literally) with doctoral college staff by launching paper planes. CEL work with teams to embed making processes into teaching practice. Please contact for further information.

Good luck to all those starting post-graduate research studies!

Origami for Science Maths and Education International Meeting

The Origami in Science, Mathematics and Education (7OSME) 7th International Meeting occurred recently in Oxford. The conference started with a visit to The Satellite Applications Catapult at Harwell. They work with organisations to make use of, and benefit from, satellite technologies. Michael Loweth from ‘Oxford Space systems’ are one of the companies there. They develop deployable space antennas, booms and panels using origami to produce products which are lighter less complex and more stowage efficient to send into space.

The lead conference organiser, Professor Zhong You, opened the conference. His specific area of research is about origami structures and materials and he shared the invention of an origami stent. Many of the presentations were linked to engineering, design and maths. The full programme and abstracts can be downloaded here at







There were two keynotes.


Sergio Pellegrino is the Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aeronautics and Civil Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, JPL Senior Research Scientist and co-director of the Space Solar Power Project. He discussed the complexities of transferring folding principles from paper to carbon fibre for future space telescopes, spacecraft antennas, and space-based solar power systems. Issues include differences in structural composition of material flatness, thickness and stiffness which all impact how sheets of carbon fibre are joined, reducing damage from folding and unfolding as well as smooth deployment. Further information and videos are on

Tadashi Tokieda, professor of mathematics at Stanford University, presented maths in a mesmerising way. He performed a ‘magic show’ projecting live folding and cutting of Möbius strips to create a square, hearts and rings *PHOTO* (apparently this was his marriage proposal). He is fascinated by origami’s intrinsic and extrinsic geometry. His effusive joy of real-world surprises through mathematical physics problems came through brilliantly! He is active in inventing, collecting, and studying mathematical toys. You can create these by following videos hosted by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute here

Established crease patterns and tessellations such as the Momotani brick wall, Yoshimura folding and Miura-ori patterns were exhibited in different materials across disciplines. Examples included origami in fabric, fibreglass, carbon fibre as well as paper. Displays alongside academic posters included folded lamps, models to teach fractions, a changing seating arrangement and even a bulletproof shield.



I was intrigued by Alun Kirby, a scientist-artist working with the philosophy of memory to create camera-less photographs. For his ‘metamorphograms’ he creates simple origami tatos (traditional envelopes) using cyanotype tissue paper. This iron laden ink is exposed to light for several days, unfolded and washed. The resultant pattern holds the memory of the folds in layers of ink. This can be transposed to cultural memory, as each person exposed to different experiences leave a trace in different ways, just as the paper does

Joseph Choma develops foldable composites for architectural applications. For example, using accordion folds in fibreglass into collapsible structures which are layered with resins that can harden the end product.


The panel I was chairing was rather busy and we had three presenters from different disciplines.

Mark Bolitho is an origami artist and runs Crease Lightning. Mark critiqued his own origami artistic practice considering “When is a model finished?” This has relevance to every maker such as artists, designers and creators in many disciplines. The completion of a product relies on a concluding point in the creative’s journey. For any maker it is the artist’s choice when a model is ‘finished’. This may be a point where they decide they have created the ‘right’ form for an exhibition or when the product responds in the best possible way for a client’s brief. Mark works with an intuitive sense of when a model is finished. Intriguingly, he critiqued Birkhoff’s assertions of two key aesthetic measure (M) of order (O) and complexity (C) where M = O / C.  

Eckhard Hennig, Professor of digital and integrated circuit design at Reutlingen University, does origami as a hobby. He now uses origami exercises to teach students various theoretical and practical aspects of engineering. He has developed a new modular origami construction system with excellent load bearing capacity. He brought a bridge as an example and has generously shared diagrams for the nine units for you to create Nicholas Orndorff presented his first boat build as an example of curved folding. He discussed the benefit of developable surfaces.








Another fascinating session was by Miri Golan who presented ‘Origametria’ (using orgami to teach maths). This is an established programme and the team have developed an e-learning package at Lesson plans focus on geometry principles rather than creating a particular origami model. Each lesson is animated so no origami skill is necessary alongside prompt questions for the teacher to utilise that keep the discussions of geometry open. The attitudes of maths teachers was the research focus and they all commended the benefits of the programme.

The event finished with two keynotes. Emma Frigerio is central to OSME and presented her life journey with origami. She developed and taught origami workshops to teach and explain mathematics for teacher training programs at two universities in Milano (Italy). Tomohiro Tachi, associate professor in Graphic and Computer Sciences (University of Tokyo) has research interests in origami, structural morphology, computational design, and digital fabrication. He designs three-dimensional and kinematic origami through computation and developed origami software tools including “rigid origami simulator”, “origamizer”, and “freeform origami”, which are available from his website here*

It was a pleasure to be with others who are enthusiastic about origami. I use origami for reflective practice and look forward to sharing this with you over the coming months.

Report of the Annual International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference (IGNCC)

This year CEL has promoted active making and creative origami and lego workshops to connect with the Fusion strands of Education, Research and Professional practice. We were delighted to hear about the Annual International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference at BU. Dr Julia Round  reports here with additional photos of ‘sketchnotes’ ( a superb visual note-taking process) by @Johnmiers ‏ and Paul Fisher Davies @CrosbieTweets ‏ For more information on the conference itself and our previous events, please see our website


thanks to Paul Fisher Davies @CrosbieTweets ‏ 

thanks to John Miers @Johnmiers











From 27-29 June 2018, the Annual International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference () returned to Bournemouth University. This was our ninth annual event after many previous successful conferences held at various venues (Manchester Metropolitan University, Dundee University, Glasgow University, the British Library, the University of London in Paris, and Bournemouth University). We were overwhelmed with submissions and were delighted to welcome over 100 international scholars to the beach to explore comic books past and present under the theme of ‘Retro! Time, Memory, Nostalgia’.

Despite soaring temperatures, everybody kept their cool, and the event has been a fantastic success. Particular highlights included six keynote talks from many notable international practitioners, researchers and scholars. Local Bournemouth artist Rozi Hathaway (Cosmos, Njálla – Breakout Talent Award Winner, Broken Frontier Awards 2016) opened our event with a talk on ‘Retrospective Storytelling: From Childhood to Characterisation’, about how her own work uses and adapts autobiographical themes, and reflecting on the methods and reasons for doing so. The following sessions on Wednesday examined areas such as fan events and activities, methodologies for approaching comics histories, British comics, gender reboots, and more. We closed our first day with prolific author Anne Digby (writer for School Friend, Girl, Tammy, Jinty and the Trebizon children’s books), in conversation with Mel Gibson (University of Northumbria) (Remembered Reading) on ‘Writing Comics for Girls’. This was the first time Anne has spoken about her work at a comics event, and her insights and memories of the industry were incredible.

On Thursday 28 June we welcomed Ian Gordon (National University of Singapore) (Superman: the Persistence of an American Icon; Kid Comic Strips: A Genre Across Four Countries; and Comic Strips and Consumer Culture 1890—1945) who spoke on ‘Nostalgia and the Materiality of Comics’, drawing on his personal history to reflect on the changes seen in the industry. Additional papers on curation, conflict and memory, hidden histories and anonymous creators all followed, as well as discussions on how ‘retro’ could be used as a theme, aesthetic, or idea. These debates were summarised wonderfully by Woodrow Phoenix (Rumble Strip, The Sumo Family, Sugar Buzz, She Lives) in our closing keynote, who spoke on ‘The Intersection Between Memory And Possibility In Alternate Realities, Or: What If? Is The Past More Than Just A Story-Generating Machine?’ Woodrow’s reflections on his work drew together ideas about how retro styles might be used to complement – or disguise – deeper meaning, and was inspirational in its scope and enthusiasm (as well as in the free comics he generously gave us all!)

Our final day on Friday 29 June was led by a keynote from 2000AD artist and British comics researcher David Roach (Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art), who spoke about ‘The Spanish Masters’ – giving a detailed history of the Spanish artists who worked on British and American comics in the last century and whose work reshaped both industries. Papers on memory, trauma, temporality, digitization, rewritings and revisionism were also presented, alongside a further talk and display of Woodrow Phoenix’s giant graphic novel She Lives – a celebration of the physical properties of comics as well as an exploration of the intersection between installation artwork and comic strip. Finally, the presentations were closed by keynote Catherine Anyango Grünewald (Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Sweden) (Heart of Darkness: Observer Graphic Novel of the Month 2010) speaking on ‘Committed To Memory: Remembering And Responsibility In Visual Storytelling’ – reflecting on the methods she uses in her own practice to reintroduce marginalised and unspoken points of view.

IGNCC18 was also complemented by the art exhibition ‘Retro! in Process: From Scripts to Comics’, which was curated by Alexandra Alberda and Zuzanna Dominiak  and on display at the Executive Business Centre from Wednesday 13 June 2018 – Saturday 30 June 2018. These images conveyed the process of artists turning writers’ scripts into a finished comic, encouraging visitors to explore the process of making comics through the works themselves and the reflections of their writers and artists. The exhibition was tied into the launch of the Retro anthology – a themed body of work produced on the conference theme and published by Inkpot Studios/UniVerse Comics, which was launched at the close of the event with a free copy for every delegate.

Across all three days we were overwhelmed by the quality and thoughtfulness of papers and research presented by all of our participants. IGNCC welcomes scholars, practitioners and students alike, and one of our key strengths comes from blending different perspectives in this way. We particularly encourage outstanding work from doctoral candidates through our annual Sabin Award, which is presented to the best paper given by a postgraduate student. The conference is organised by Julia Round (Bournemouth University), Chris Murray and Golnar Nabizadeh (Dundee University), and Joan Ormrod and Dave Huxley (Manchester Metropolitan University), and under the aegis of two scholarly peer reviewed journals: Studies in Comics (Intellect Books) and the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (Routledge). Selected papers will be published in a special issue or edited collection.

For more information on the conference itself and our previous events, please see our website

Coaching available for PGRs and researchers

BU is committed to developing a coaching and mentoring culture. My name is Curie Scott and I work in the Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL). I am part of the coaching bank at BU.

I have space to coach two people now or starting in Sept 2018-19

This coaching opportunity is open to postgraduate students, academics and professional services staff. My interests are in personal and professional development through creative reflective practice. In terms of research, I am at the end of my PhD journey and willing to walk alongside you if you are studying. My particular research interests are visual research methods and their potential at enabling conversations about difficult or sensitive topics. However, coaching is not about me but you and your goals! Let me know if you are interested in coaching here

How does it work?

My role as a coach is to walk alongside, listen attentively and ask you deep questions. I’m experienced with one-to-one and peer coaching groups with academics and professional services staff. I’m part of a Womens’ Education coaching network and and have done life-coaching too. Coaching conversations are shorter term working relationships. They help you stop, be listened to and see what arises in a safe space to work through complexities. Each coaching conversation is different and develops based on your own goals. Typically, we meet for 1-1½ hours each month for 3-6 months. I’m practiced in a variety of reflective and coaching tools for self-awareness and self-development.

How could coaching help?

Coaching facilitates exploratory conversations with goal setting that we review together. The whole process is supportive but can also be challenging as you approach blocks and decide upon new ways of working. Coaching is helpful in navigating personal and professional goals, job or role transitions, career aspirations, and interpersonal relationships. This list is not exhaustive!

Want to chat?

If this intrigues you and you want to know more before committing, drop me a line on

Registration open for 7th International Meeting on Origami in Science, Mathematics and Education (7OSME)

I’m the organising committee for the 7th International Meeting on Origami in Science, Mathematics and Education (7OSME). Yes, isn’t amazing that this is even a ‘thing’.

This two day event is on 5-7 September 2018 in Oxford. This is a rigorous academic meeting and welcomes educators and researchers across disciplines such as design, maths, engineering….YOU in fact! Further info and a link for registration is here

Please get in touch for origami related conversations:

14 March 10-4pm Knowing through Making: Workshop for Educators and Researchers

Book a day away for an exploratory workshop on 14th March (10-4pm).

Curie Scott and Ashley Woodfall will share approaches using creative/art/embodied methods in research and teaching. Adopting practices which decentre the written word, we look to create a playful space for knowing and being through making – in a way that looks to the unbounded, reflective and dialogic. If you like creativity, this is for you. If you say ‘Oh, I’m not creative’ then this is DEFINITELY for you!

This is a relaxed studio setting in Boscombe. Lunch at a local café is included.

Please wear comfortable clothes and bring an old magazine to donate!

By the end of this workshop you will:

  • have considered the potential of knowing through making
  • be aware of several creative/art/embodied methods through the experiential studio setting
  • be able to negotiate the transferability to your own research and teaching practice.

Further details are here
To book your place on this workshop please email Organisational Development