Matthew Day, AHSS Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation) & StoryLab Interim Director

Matthew is an interdisciplinary researcher with interests in travel literature and early modern manuscript and print culture. He has a keen interest in knowledge exchange and partnership work and actively promotes collaborations. He has undertaken research-based projects with organisations including The Tennyson Research Centre, The Wordsworth Trust, Writing West Midlands, The Birmingham REP and The Library of Birmingham.

Fabrizio Galeazzi, Associate Professor in Heritage and Creative Technologies & StoryLab Deputy Director

Fabrizio’s interdisciplinary research explores the combination of digital technologies and multimodal storytelling to develop heritage-led creative interventions for socio-cultural revitalisation and sustainable development. Fabrizio is particularly interested in evaluating the impact that the integrated use of 3D interactive visualisation, immersive narratives and participatory research might have on increasing adaptation and resilience to climate change and conflicts, as well as promoting heritage innovation, preservation and interpretation.

Emily Campbell, Business Manager

Emily works with StoryLab’s Director, staff, students and external partners to support the smooth running of StoryLab and its projects. Emily began her career working as a theatre set designer and scenic artist, before working as a producer of performance and events in outdoor and non-traditional settings, and as a consultant in a public art commissioning agency. More recently she has held senior management positions in an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and a national arts education charity.

John Bickley, Business Manager (Maternity Cover)

John is a consultant in business development in the field of classical music. Having started his career in music as a chorister at Westminster, and after reading English at Cambridge University, he started his own music management company managing artists such as The Hilliard Ensemble and The Sixteen on a worldwide basis. He has worked for the Britten Sinfonia and the Academy of Ancient Music in Cambridge. John is Deputy Chair of Wysing Arts, and a trustee of Cambridge Early Music, Sir James MacMillan’s festival, The Cumnock Tryst, and The King’s Singers Foundation. He is the European Governor of the Federation for Asian Cultural Promotion.

Lisa Lin, Research Fellow

Lisa Lin is a documentary producer and media scholar specialising in convergent media, digital streaming aesthetics and immersive documentary storytelling. She has developed and produced award-winning documentaries for Channel 4, National Geographic Asia, the BBC and Channel News Asia in the UK and Singapore.

Katie Davies, Research Fellow

Katie is a practice-led PhD supervisor and filmmaker, working with communities to explore the construction of collective identities through moving image. Nationalism and violence often form a central critique for the projects and having worked with The UN Armistice Commission, The United States Forces in Korea, The Home Office and The House of Lords, she is interested in how moving image can produce new imagined communities and reclaim places and identities.

Lesley Johnston, KTP Research Associate

Lesley is a Narrative Designer working with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and Storylab. Her interests lie in Virtual Heritage, exploring methods to document and share material culture and intangible heritage. Lesley’s research focuses on blending XR (extended reality) technologies with archival content and storytelling to enable meaningful and emotive heritage-based experiences.

Elizabeth (EB) Landesberg, Research Assistant

EB is a filmmaker, producer, educator and translator, who has collaborated with young people through educational programs, media workshops and community organisations throughout the Americas. Her most recent project, the cross-border collaborative documentary Only the Ocean Between Us created through Another Kind of Girl Collective, had its world premiere at Hot Docs 2021. At StoryLab, she supports projects at all stages, from pre-production through distribution and impact.

Chris Nightingale, Research Assistant

Chris is an Electronic Engineer with a keen interest in product design, games design and the transportation sector. Alongside his studies, he has turned a long-held hobby interest in games design and development into freelance work, and is now enjoying translating a range of skills into the unique and impactful environment of StoryLab.

Outside of work, he enjoys sailing, working on his hobby projects, team endurance sim racing.

PhD Researchers

Hind Al Ghalyini

Let’s Talk About Death: A Practice-led Examination of Picture Books for Muslim Children
in Addressing Bereavement and Loss in Saudi Arabia

My interests lie in creating a children’s book illustration that will help children from 6 to 8 understand and cope with bereavement and loss, by acting as an enabler for beneficial family discussions in a home (as opposed to clinical) environment, within a Saudi Arabian Islamic family context, on the subject of death.

Jennifer Dathan

Investigating the resilience potential of heritage in response to climate change-related conflict in UK-based Syrian refugees

Jennifer joined ARU in September 2020 as a PhD student on the Vice Chancellor’s Studentship ‘Investigating the resilience potential of heritage in response to climate change-related conflict in UK-based Syrian refugees’. The project is focused on understanding how heritage can enhance adaptation in response to climate change, conflict and migration.

Sara Elias

Narrating Female trauma and recovery on film- (practice led)

Sara’s Phd research aims to film survival stories and emotional recovery journeys of female trauma within the socio-political context of the Mena Region. This study will present a prototype film, which employs trauma and psychoanalytic film theories as part of its practice, to create a potentially healing narrative and to demonstrate the most impactful cinematic and narrative techniques in which the film experience can become a catalyst for a therapeutic process, not just entertainment.

Emily Godden

The Lost City: A practice-based investigation into environmental storytelling reclaiming stories, landscapes and technologies to hack the heritage of Dunwich

Emily researches the impact XR storytelling can have on our attitudes towards the environment and how these experiences can support micro restorative experiences. Working with hacker and maker methodologies applied to heritage and the environment Emily will be working within a site-specific context focussing on the location of Dunwich also known as the lost city.

Rebecca Lee

Immersive storytelling, ‘re-constructing’ or ‘re-inhabiting’ places, with and for audiences of the future: The use of emergent technologies to embed fragile, intangible cultural heritage in local landscapes.

Rebecca’s practice-based PhD focuses on the re-inhabiting/re-animating of tangible heritage landscapes, with intangible stories from multiple voices, across various times. The research explores the development of a visitor-driven system that can be employed across multiple sites, without homogenising the experience, offering immersive and site/story specific visits.

Jack Rutherford

Exploring ‘forced displacement’ through co-creation of an extended reality experience. A practice-based research project contributing to Storytelling and Workflow in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.   

Jack’s research area is focussed on Storytelling, Workflow and Language in the 4th Industrial Revolution. He is exploring unique storytelling opportunities for empathetic audience experiences by prototyping immersive filmmaking, on the themes of forced displacement, embedded within interactive virtual reality environments.

Linda Burdick (Lautrec)

A Case Study of a Co-Created Digital Storytelling project on Hidden Teacher Bias Against Higher Education Students from the MENA Region

Linda’s practice led research is interdisciplinary seeking to analyse a co-created digital storytelling project that addresses higher education teacher bias against students from the MENA Region. The research connects DST research with the social psychology of prejudice and multicultural education. She will be creating a film to document the experience.

Undergraduate Researchers

Ugne Jurgaityte (Film and Television Production)
Yegor Chmilewsky (Film and Television Production)
Liam Conway (Digital Media Production)
Agata Kazmierczak (Film and Television Production)
Marcin Maciolek (Digital Media Production)

Honorary Research Fellows

Shreepali Patel

Shreepali Patel is Professor of Film and Screen at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. She is former BBC producer/director, filmmaker, story consultant and writer, and is co-founder of BAFTA and Emmy award-winning Eyeline Films with 25 years of worldwide industry experience, over 50 broadcast documentaries and dramas and 12 BBC Radio 4 documentaries.  Her practice-led research focuses on investigating and creating deeply connecting immersive storytelling experiences within complex environments and to surface diverse voices.

Brian Woods

Brian is a BAFTA award-winning British documentary filmmaker, who founded True Vision, an independent production company, which concentrates mainly on human rights-related subjects. Through the company he has been awarded or nominated for several international awards, including six US Emmies, a BAFTA, two US Peabodies, The Amnesty International Documentary Award, two One World Awards, and three Monte Carlo TV Festival Awards. The company’s films have been commissioned by the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery and HBO, and have been shown around the world.

Alex Rühl

Alex Rühl (The Drum’s 50 under 30 women in digital, Women of the Future Awards, Pioneers of Immersive Realities Award) is a virtual reality creator, international speaker and founder of immersive storytelling studio CATS are not PEAS.

Chris Cox

Representations of Slavery, Family History and Intergenerational Accountability (Practice-led PhD Project)

My background is in photography and film. After nearly 30 years as freelance documentary cinematographer, I chose to change direction and focus my creative energies on research and the written word, resulting in an MA in Creative Writing (scriptwriting) and a practice PhD.

Visiting Scholars

Aya Musmar (2022)

Aya is an Assistant Professor in Architecture and Feminism, University of Petra, Amman. Her transdisciplinary research investigates humanitarian response in refugee camps analysing them as spatial phenomena that embody unjust politics. She is interested in exploring how architectural research and pedagogies can bear testimony to social injustice.

Advisory Board

Gamal Abdelmonem, Chair in Architecture at the School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University
Amy Mitchell, Partnership Development Manager, at Research and Innovation Development Office, ARU
Fiona Chesterton, Writer and Consultant
Alan Blackwell, Professor of Interdisciplinary Design, University of Cambridge
Felicity Colman, Associate Dean: Research, University of the Arts, London
Colin Burrows, Special Treats Productions