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First EXPLORE session in the E11 Studio: Oculus Quest Virtual Reality and Tilt Brush by Google

Thursday 6th February, 4pm to 6pm. Drop-in at any point.

Oculus Quest is an all-in-one system built for virtual reality. You can now play almost anywhere with just a VR headset and controllers. It is not just for gaming though, it is also a creative tool for applications such as Tilt Brush. Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality and upload your creations to the web. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless.

We have several Oculus Quest headsets in E11 and this session will enable to you try out the Tilt Brush application for yourself. Have a look at the Tilt Brush Artist in Residence examples to see what is possible.

If you’d like to drop by please let us know in advance so we can be ready with enough tea, coffee and biscuits!

EXPLORE drop in sessions take place at:

E11 Studio, Edinburgh Napier University, Merchiston Campus, 10 Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH10 5DT.

Featured post

E11 – a new Creative Informatics Studio at Edinburgh Napier University opens its doors.

This month we are launching a brand new Creative Informatics workshop and events space at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus! E11 will be a base for CI Studios events in 2020 and beyond, offering a range of informal workshops, events and drop in sessions for individuals working in the creative industries who would like to experiment with, and explore the potential of, digital and data-driven technologies in a friendly and supportive environment.

To mark the opening of E11, we are holding an Open Studio event on Wednesday the 4th of December. Book your ticket here

There will also be an opportunity to try out cutting edge creative technology, such as 3D creation tools for virtual reality, responsive sound and audio, immersive 360 degrees video, interactive lighting, and sensor driven robots!

If you are a creative business or individual based in Edinburgh or South East Scotland (Fife, the Lothians and the Borders), please come along to find out more about our plans and tell us how you would like to use E11, over some drinks and nibbles.

Going forward, CI Studio events will take place at E11 and in venues in and around Edinburgh and South East Scotland, providing opportunities for creative practitioners of all disciplines to try out emerging technologies that could inspire and inform new ways of working for the creative industries. We also hope that you will tell us how you might like to use the space in 2020 and how exploring and experimenting with digital technology might inspire, and inform new creative work? How might a tactile, analogue, material-based creative practice for example be informed by intangible, digital and immaterial technology? What is Virtual Reality and how can it be applied in a creative way? How could immersive video be utilised by creative practitioners who work for a creative practice? These are just some of the questions that CI Studios will explore.

Please join us on the 4th of December if you can, otherwise, we look forward to seeing you at one of our CI Studio events in 2020.

We look forward to meeting/seeing you!
Inge Panneels, Ingi Helgason, Michael Smyth, Oli Mival and the rest of the Creative Informatics team.


CI Studio #13: Getting started with NoCode

24 June 2021 (Eventbrite link)

This interactive CI Studio provided an overview of the ideas behind no-code to help you get started on your journey to building that innovative MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or creative project.


Max Haining is a social entrepreneur and community builder who helps non-techies and creators build websites, apps and software without code. He runs the 100DaysOfNoCode community which helps beginners leverage the power of no-code by facilitating connections between like-minded learners and delivering courses and workshops.

Oliver Littlejohn is Head of Partnerships at CodeBase. Since CodeBase’s inception, Oli has worked on bringing together the tech community. In his current role he works on a range of programmes (including Creative Bridge) to help upskill startups.

Frances Odera Matthews is founder of The Notion Bar, where she’s a certified Notion Consultant, coach and template builder, helping people and small businesses level-up through her services and products. Frances has become a thought leader in the Notion community, giving talks and building a large following based on her unique style, committed to aesthetics, usability and infusion of pop-culture into Notion projects.

Links and Resources covered in the Studio event

Tools and communities:

  • 100DaysOfNoCode “100DaysOfNoCode is an online community connecting you with the people, content and habit fueled system to build great things. Build your dream products. Make lifelong friends + collaborators. Diversify your income.”
  • Notion “All-in-one workspace. One tool for your whole team. Write, plan, and get organized.”
  • Bubble “The best way to build web apps without code Bubble is the most powerful no-code platform, empowering entrepreneurs to build production-ready web apps” The How-to-build section
  • Airtable “The power of a database with the familiarity of a spreadsheet.”
  • Softr “Build full-stack apps from Airtable, in one single place.”
  • Intuiface “Digitally Transform the Physical Space. Intuiface is a no-code platform dedicated to the effortless creation, deployment, and analysis of interactive digital experiences.”
  • Symbolab is an advanced math education tool. It allows users to learn, practice and discover math topics using mathematical symbols and scientific notations as well as text.
  • Miro “Miro is the online collaborative whiteboard platform that enables distributed teams to work effectively together, from brainstorming with digital sticky notes to planning and managing agile workflows.”
  • Figma “Figma collaborative interface design tool, brings your teams together to design better products from start to finish.”

Projects built with NoCode tools:

  • Missing Black People “Building Safer Communities. Help us find missing Black people worldwide and bring families and communities back together.”
  • Exit to Community “A new exit strategy for the startups we love”

CI Studio #12: Introducing BBC MakerBox

20 April 2021 (Eventbrite link)

BBC MakerBox is a place for creators to connect, learn and try out cutting edge tools for developing digital content.

Connected Studio MakerBox is something new from the BBC, a place for you to join an online community of like-minded creators and experiment with the latest cutting edge technologies, including tools for creating interactive narratives and responsive storytelling, new ways of using voice and AI, and much more.

Experiences built with MakerBox tools include BBC Click 1000InstagramificationDiscover Your Daemon, and immersive audio horror story Monster, all of which are available at BBC Taster, the home of new ideas at the BBC which hosts experimental pilots and ideas that audiences can try, rate and share.

In this interactive CI Studio led by the MakerBox team, we explored two BBC R&D built tools, StoryFormer and Audio Orchestrator, as well as doing a couple of creative exercises to get participants thinking how to use these tools.

StoryFormer is a tool for creating flexible, responsive stories. Using StoryFormer, the flow of a story and the media used to tell it can change dynamically, responding to the viewer’s input, their preferences, or their context. This can happen either before the story starts, or while it’s underway. The same story can be told differently to every viewer. Different parts of a story can be explored at will, expanded in depth, or avoided entirely.

Audio Orchestrator allows you to take your audio projects and rework them into interactive, 360°, spatial audio that envelops your listeners in sound – from above, from behind, sending sound to one, many or all connected devices to tell your story in a new and unique way. The tool’s unique creation process ensures that the experience can adapt to fit any number and many different types of devices – even if this changes during listening.

CI Studio #11: Exploring Livestreaming Economies

30 Mar 2021 (Eventbrite link)

This event explored how platforms such as Twitch & YouTube are offering new models for engaging audiences & monetising online performances.

Aimed at people exploring new ways to host, engage and transact with online audiences. Do you want to know more about the business models and monetisation of livestreaming on platforms such as Twitch and Youtube? Chris Elsden explored the weird and wonderful ways to pay and be paid through livestreaming. This informal and playful session, examined how livestreaming platforms provide ‘free’ content, without tickets, but nonetheless cultivate a loyal and paying community.

From new currencies and tip jars, to subscriptions and gifts, the studio introduced various examples of emerging transactions and payments on leading livestreaming platform, Twitch. Taking these as a template, we then worked with participants to imagine how these online practices could translate to new ways to pay and engage with traditional creative work, especially in the performing arts.

This CI Studio is part of Creative Informatics research project ‘What is a Ticket?’.

Dr. Chris Elsden is a design researcher, with a background in sociology, and expertise in the human experience of a data-driven life. Using and developing innovative design research methods, his work undertakes diverse, qualitative and often speculative engagements with individuals and organisations to investigate emerging relationships with technology – particularly data-driven tools, distributed ledgers and financial technologies.

Through the Creative Informatics programme, Chris’ own research explores ‘Creative Transactions’: how new financial technologies will mediate creative practice, business models and relationships with audiences.

Dr. Evan Morgan is a Research Software Engineer in Design Informatics, supporting the technical implementation of research prototypes, systems, and data science across the Institute. He has a background in media and arts technology, with a particular interest in technologies that are designed to interpret and influence human behaviour.

CI Studio #10: Knowing your users – understanding your customers and market

16 March 2021 (Eventbrite link)

Are you developing a new creative product or service? How much research have you carried out on your potential customer base and target markets?

For CI Studio 10, we were joined by market research specialists who shared their experiences of conducting user research, with some tips and tricks that can be adapted for start-ups, sole traders and small businesses in the creative industries.

Collecting reliable data about your market or audience is vital to the development of any business concept, and can help you build a case to attract funding and investment. This informal session will focused on practical approaches to market research. We covered different methods for getting to know the intended users of your new creative product or service.

Our speakers:

Oli Mival is a highly experienced UX professional bridging the gap between academic theory and research to industry practice and implementation. Oli is Director of User Research at Skyscanner and is a Principal Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University.

Catherine Richards is Head of Customer Design at Tesco Bank. Catherine is an experienced design leader and has worked for some of the UK’s leading banks where she’s led on embedding and deepening a culture of customer-centricity through Design. She’s currently at Tesco Bank and her work includes redefining the customer strategy and how propositions are developed so that they focus on the needs of Tesco Shoppers.

Bas Raijmakers is co-founder of design research agency STBY, with offices in London and Amsterdam, STBY carry out creative research projects to connect organisations with the lives and experiences of their customers.

Aleks Wruk is a UX researcher, facilitator and speaker. She has worked for some of Scotland’s top tech companies, building bridges between product teams and their users. Aleks is focused on promoting user centeredness and the culture of learning to help organisations design outstanding products and services.


Oli Mival’s presentation (pdf).

Article with further references. A quick reference guide for UX testing methods and their purpose. by Aleks Wruk on Medium

Book: The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you, by Rob Fitzpatrick (mentioned by Aleks Wruk).