Prof. Paul Coulton

Coulton
Chair of Speculative and Game Design
Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Game Design, Design as Rhetoric, Research through Design, Design Futures, Play, Toys
p [dot] coulton [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk

I have a background as a game designer, programmer, and hardware designer and now spend my time subverting perfectly good technology to create novel games, playful experiences, and toys. My research largely falls into what is known as Game Studies, an area of research that deals with the critical study of digital and non-digital games. More specifically, it focuses on game design, players and their role in society and culture. This means that Game Studies has evolved naturally as an inter-disciplinary field with researchers and academics from a multitude of areas, such as design, computer science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, arts and literature, media studies and communication, etc. This activity is embodied as ‘research through design’ and, in particular, to the speculative design of novel, hybrid, physical/digital interactive games, playful experiences, and artefacts. Some of this research is conducted using techniques I helped pioneer and relates to an, 'situated' evaluation methodology utilising 'app stores' and social networks as an experimental platforms. This element of my work has led to international recognition by industry as well as academia in that I was selected as one of 50 most talented mobile developers worldwide from a community of over 2 million to be a founding Nokia Champion and the first academic invited to speak at the mobile section of the Game Developers Conference. Increasingly, my work encompasses the consideration of interaction design as rhetoric across a range of application areas and increasingly the use of Design Fiction as a way of exploring technological futures for areas such as the Internet of Things and Digital Empathy. 

“Play is the highest form of research.” - Albert Einstein

Updates and Outcomes

Emma Murphy talks research with Create Hub

Emma Murphy talks research with Create Hub

Interview with Samuel Fry about the Taking the Artwork Home project.

Dr Emma Murphy was asked to give a short interview with Create Hub, a publication that seeks to explore innovations and collaborations between art and technology. They were particularly interested in the collaborative...Read full update

Mobile Augmented Reality in the Cloud

Articleby Paul Coulton, Emma Murphy
Mobile Augmented Reality in the Cloud

Our Digital R&D Fund for the Arts project 'Taking the Artwork Home' is exploring how digital technologies can facilitate engagement with the arts and unveil new curatorial strategies. After further development and testing, we have just launched the second prototype of the mobile augmented reality application. In much of this development period we have been ensuring that the application will work across a wide range of phones and...Read full article

Making in the City (3D Printing) Design Jam

Making in the City (3D Printing) Design Jam

Bringing London-based digital and creative small and medium businesses together to create innovate concepts for cities.

ImaginationLancaster is organising three ‘Cities Design Jams’ in central London that will focus on diverse themes within cities. The first design jam will take place on the...Read full update

Living with the Dead: Emergent Post-Mortem Digital Curation and Creation

OutcomeBook Chapter
Living with the Dead: Emergent Post-Mortem Digital Curation and Creation

Just in time for Halloween the book chapter ‘Living with the Dead: Emergent Post-Mortem Digital Curation and Creation’ I wrote with HighWire PhD student Selina Ellis Gray’ is out today.   ...More information

Big Data Art

Big Data Art

How do you visulaise 2.5 billion calls and text messages exchanged between 5 million users?

As an output from some research using supplied as part of the Orange Data For Development Challenge we created a novel 3D printed representation of the data. The data itself relates to Orange phones...Read full update

Imagination welcomes Dr JongHo Lee from SADI, South Korea

Event4 years and 10 days ago
Imagination welcomes Dr JongHo Lee from SADI, South Korea

17th of June 2013

Dr JongHo Lee, Head of Product Design Department and UXLab Leader at SADI visits ImaginationLancaster while in Europe

Imagination recently welcomed Dr JongHo Lee from Samsung Art and Design Institute (http://www.sadi.net/) while he was visiting Europe on a...Read full update

Ubicomp'12 paper

Paper accepted for Ubicomp'12

Paper titled ' Democratizing ubiquitous computing – a right for locality', based on Sebastian's Phd research has been accepted for the 14th ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing to be held from September 5-8, 2012 in  Pittsburgh,...Read full update

PhD Studentships related to Design for the Internet of Things

Articleby Paul Coulton
PhD Studentships related to Design for the Internet of Things

We are pleased to offer two funded PhD studentships to work in conjunction within Imagination academics in two areas related to Design in the Internet of Things. These two posts provide not only the opportunity to work with leading design academics but in conjunction with the recently established UK Cyber Security Research Hub for the internet of things which includes nine of the country’s leading universities (PETRAS). PhD Design Fiction for The...Read full article

Digital Installations in Hawkshead Church

Articleby Paul Coulton

As part of our Creating and exploring Digital Empathy project we have recently installed a system at St Michael’s and All Angels in Hawkshead, which allows people to type in prayers that are then projected onto the church’s interior wall. These prayers are then shared in a similar way with St Peter De Beauvoir Town Church in Hackney. The Diocese of Carlisle have created their own fil shown below to highlight the...Read full article

NEW Lecturer post in Data Prototyping and Visualisation

Articleby Paul Coulton, Martyn Evans

As part of Lancaster University’s 50th Anniversary Lectureships Scheme to appointment of 50 early career academics we are seeking candidates for a new lectureship in Data Prototyping and Visualisation. ...Read full article

Mobile Augmented Reality in the Cloud

Articleby Paul Coulton, Emma Murphy
Mobile Augmented Reality in the Cloud

Our Digital R&D Fund for the Arts project 'Taking the Artwork Home' is exploring how digital technologies can facilitate engagement with the arts and unveil new curatorial strategies. After further development and testing, we have just launched the second prototype of the mobile augmented reality application. In much of this development period we have been ensuring that the application will work across a wide range of phones and...Read full article

Local Trade-Local Wealth prototype testing with ESTA

Articleby Paul Coulton
Local Trade-Local Wealth prototype testing with ESTA

Local Trade is a Catalyst launch pad to create a system which records trading patterns within the local trading economy of Lancaster. We are working with Lancaster Ethical Small Traders Association (ESTA) to create a prototype system using NFC enabled phones and cards to help record the local trading economy. Last night we demonstrated the first prototype to the ESTA group and will be incorporating some suggested changes before ‘in the wild’...Read full article

You can find a list of Paul Coulton's publications on the Lancaster University research pages.

Key Projects

Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy How do we unlock the digital communication of empathy
FictionWareFictionWare FictionWare For all your future Design Fiction needs!
Creative ExchangeCreative Exchange Creative Exchange Creating New Contexts for Growth in the Experience Economy