VISIONINGLab was set up by Dr Jessica Symons, academic anthropologist in collaboration with Suzie Goodfellow, co-ordinator of games and role play workshops
In developing the idea for VISIONINGLab, Suzie and Jessica produced Future Salford, supported by the School for the Built Environment (SOBE) UPRISE Research Centre’s Excellence Fund.
We run group visioning sessions for clients and have experimented with broadcasting via our YouTube channel. These short visioning clips provide a freshener to open creative minds.
If you would like to find out more about VISIONINGLab, please get in touch.
VISIONINGLab activities are informed by research and experience in creative processes, idea development and imaginative engagement.
Firstly, we are very familiar with the tangible realisation of ideas into products and services. Between us, we have over 40 years of commercial experience as a corporate lawyer and law lecturer (Suzie Goodfellow) and digital media consultant (Jessica Symons). We understand very well the workings of large and small companies and the challenges of bringing creative and fresh thinking into different organisational contexts.
This particular venture builds on Jessica’s PhD research into creative processes and Suzie’s experience as home educator where she learned about the benefits of open play.
Jessica’s academic research has focused on ‘how organisational structures affect people’s ability to realise their ideas. In 2011, she followed the development of Manchester Day Parade over an 18 month period using ethnographic methods. She spent time with the parade organisers Walk the Plank and with the city council, artists and community groups as they collaborated in the production of the parade. Her PhD thesis argues for creativity as an adaptive process in working towards a productive outcome. She has presented these findings at conferences including CRESC, Connected Communities, the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) and the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA) . She has also published this research exploring the fluidity in production and the freezing of creative work and what people want when they engage artists in a project (by comparing the parade with Manchester International Festival).
In 2014-6, Jessica worked on a large AHRC Connected Communities project, Cultural Intermediation, leading on the community engagement aspect in Salford. Through ethnography, she identified a strong desire within the community to develop their own ideas for cultural activities and so established a local creative brand called Ideas4Ordsall. She collaborated with local intermediaries in the area to support the development of over 20 creative ideas ranging from a social history play to establishing an art collective. She is now working at the University of Manchester supporting the development of research ideas.
Meanwhile, Suzie has developed a series of games and engagement activities through her home education networks. She is a demonstrator at Coderdojo Manchester which brings the principles of computer coding together with physical games to better visualise the programming process. She is particularly keen on the fantastical inventions such as those by Rowland Emett and runs workshops there creating similar elaborate mechanisms.
As well as running the Future Salford project, we are also exploring ideas for an outdoor physical game board with Amber Sanchez, a freelance artists working in Salford. We are interested in how to combine the virtual and physical gaming using existing techniques – much like the Pokémon Go phenomenon.
We want to work with organisations and individuals who are similarly intrigued by creative development and who are prepared to experiment with different techniques and processes for stimulating and drawing out ideas.