RMIT: The power of creative practices to drive sustainable socio-ecological transformation

Inspiration and creativity are at the very core of the RMIT CreaTures team, which includes Dr Jaz Hee-jeong Choi, RMIT lead for the CreaTures Project and Director of Care-full Design Lab, Professor Ralph Horne (Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation, College of Design and Social Context), and Ana Tiquia (PhD researcher, School of Design).

The eleven-strong research consortium explores the potential of creative art and design practices to support socio-ecological transformation.

Ampatzidou, who is based at RMIT Europe, said the project’s main goal is to develop insights that will enable creative practitioners to focus their efforts more effectively and provide recommendations to policy-makers and implementers.

“We help policy makers to see the merit of employing creative practices, without using them instrumentally as is often the case.”

Alt Text is not present for this image, Taking dc:title ‘undefined’RMIT Europe Research Fellow Cristina Ampatzidou works on the Creative Practices for Transformational Futures (CreaTures) Horizon 2020 project.
The researchers look at creative projects that have had success in supporting sustainable transformations and seek to identify and examine the specific qualities that allowed the project to succeed in this way.
“It’s important to find ways to measure and communicate the impact of creative practices; we know they hold immense potential, but their impact is largely fragmented and understudied,” Ampatzidou said.

“For example, we tend to think that the general public is the main audience with which creative practices interact.

“In our research so far, however, we see that creative practitioners form relationships and networks that are far more complex, and engage with scientists, civil society organisations, academia and other cultural institutions in impactful ways.”

Ampatzidou’s background in citizen engagement with urban issues and sustainability using new media and games puts her in the perfect position to manage RMIT’s responsibilities in the engagement and dissemination of CreaTures.

“As part of the RMIT team that leads the engagement and dissemination program, I get to do research on how the creative practitioners in our consortium identify and engage with their audiences,” she said.

To find out more about the CreaTures project, keep an eye on the website for events, podcasts and zines to discover the ways the research team is encouraging and supporting future transformational creative practices – from the individual to infrastructural level.

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