Creative Spaces for Wellbeing: Imagination, Virtual Reality and the Built Environment
Research Lounge, Level 5, North Wing
How do creativity, actual/virtual space, technology and wellbeing relate to one another? And how can different creative enterprises help us construct spaces for wellbeing in 21st century Australia? This panel discussion, co-hosted by the Creativity and Wellbeing Research Initiative (CAWRI) and the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Contemporary Culture Research Unit (ERCC), brings together scholars from various disciplines to explore these questions. Clare Newton (Melbourne School of Design), Jenny Waycott (School of Computing and Information Systems) and Peter Otto (ERCC, Faculty of Arts) will discuss how creativity factors in the construction and use of contemporary learning spaces, virtual spaces afforded by digital and networked technologies, and the imagined fictional worlds of literature.
Dr Jenny Waycott, School of Computing and Information Systems
Dr Jenny Waycott
School of Computing and Information Systems
Jenny Waycott is a Senior Lecturer and ARC Future Fellow in the School of Computing and Information Systems in the Melbourne School of Engineering. Her research investigates how technology can be designed and used to enrich older people’s lives, including through creative pursuits. She has worked on two recent ARC projects that used technology to facilitate social connectedness through creative activities. The ‘Growing Old, Staying Connected’ project trialled a photosharing application to help alleviate older people’s experience of social isolation. More recently, she contributed to the ‘Ageing and Avatars’ project, in which older adults codesigned a virtual reality environment and created playful selfrepresentations for use in a reminiscencebased social VR setting. Her Future Fellowship is critiquing how new technologies are used for social enrichment in aged care, which includes digital storytelling, art making and music activities that are supported by technology and aim to foster social engagement.
Professor Peter Otto, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne
Professor Peter Otto
Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne
Peter Otto is Professor of Literature at the University of Melbourne, Executive Director of the Faculty of Arts' Research Unit in ‘Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Contemporary Culture’, and a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He teaches and researches in the literatures and cultures of modernity, from Romanticism to the new media of today; and this in turn provides both backdrop and vehicle for his longstanding interest in the histories of creativity, the roles it plays in modernity, and its relation to wellbeing. He is completing a book on ‘William Blake, Secularisation, and the History of Imagination’, while working on an ARCfunded project on ‘Architectures of Imagination: Bodies, Buildings, Fictions, and Worlds’. The first maps the roles played by imagination in the passage from religious to secular modes of thought. The second aims to provide a resource for thinking differently about the relation between space, place, fiction, and creativity.
Associate Professor Clare Newton, Melbourne School of Design
Associate Professor Clare Newton
Melbourne School of Design
Associate Professor Clare Newton is a registered architect and Doctor of Education in the Melbourne School of Design. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on architectural design from users’ perspectives. Clare was Chair of the Ageing Hallmark Research Initiative and founding member of the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN). Clare is currently a Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects. The most recent is called Building Connections: Schools as Community Hubs. She led two further ARC Linkage projects on learning space design and evaluation. The Talking Spaces symposia instigated from her first ARC has run as annual conversations between industry and academia for the past decade. Clare was Director of the Bachelor of Environments with over 2,000 students and codeveloped Design for Ageing as part of the Master of Ageing, as well as two other interdisciplinary and crossfaculty Masters. She is currently codeveloping coursework on evidencebased design for health and wellbeing.