We are a design-led research group delivering creative and transdisciplinary initiatives that bring together community partners with academic expertise from across the disciplines. We explore the novel questions, and solutions, that emerge across disciplines through engaged research – developing, doing, and disseminating our activities in partnership. 

Our research-to-practice collaborations are delivered with schools, community leaders, and young people. We specialise in co-creating integrated art-science educational initiatives and delivering research in partnership with the arts and cultural sector.  

Through collaboration and co-production, our aim is to strengthening understanding between researchers and the communities they serve. 


Dr Briony Thomas

Research Group Lead

Briony is an Associate Professor of Design Science at the University of Leeds and has a joint appointment across the Faculties of Arts and Engineering. This cross-faculty role reflects where her work is positioned – at the intersection of the arts, science, and society. She has a distinctive combination of a practical artistic background that was developed through an education that integrated science with design.

Briony leads a portfolio of research on creative and cultural learning and arts-integrated approaches across the disciplines, and maker-centred learning. She is a University Public Engagement Champion and mentor, specialising in arts-science projects and creative engagement. 

Outside the University, Briony holds a voluntary role as Chair of Leeds Cultural Education Partnership, a network of organisations from the cultural, education and community sectors, committed to creative learning opportunities for children across the city. Briony is passionate about the transformative power of creative and cultural learning on the lives of young people. She dedicates much of her time to working with schools and young people to share her energy and enthusiasm for creative exploration of the world.

  • Ahlam Abumughli
  • Yu-Hsiang Chen
  • Jianan Hu
  • Sylwia Orynek
  • Stephanie Scott
  • Mian Wang
  • Francisca Mayambala (2023) 
  • Suzannah Dearden (2022-2023) 
  • Siza Dube (2022) 
  • Samuel Feroleto (2022) 
  • Frances Thompson (2021) 
  • Dinuo Liao (2020-2022)
  • Kacper Dobras (2019-present) 

Postgraduate Researchers

  • Dr Akeel Abtan, PhD 2019
  • Dr Taegyun Kim, PhD 2019
  • Dr Choaran Wang, PhD 2017
  • Dr Yu-Chun Huang, PhD 2014
  • Dr Eunsuk Hur, PhD 2013
  • Dr Maryam Daroodi, PhD 2012
  • Dr Meong Jin Shin, PhD 2012

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Suzannah Dearden, Internship 2022
  • Samuel Feroleto, Internship 2022
  • Sean Martin, Internship 2021
  • Alexis Oke, Internship 2020
  • Frances Thompson, Internship 2020
  • Kacper Dobras, Internship 2019
  • Elly Hughes, Internship 2015
  • Moteijus Valinuas, Internship 2014-2015
  • Adam Arstall, Internship 2014