Previous work

Visioning Lab as a site for communicating research activity

During 2018, Visioning Lab became the website through which Jessica Symons shared details of her research project with University of Manchester and Cheshire East Council. Funded by the AHRC Research Council, Jessica explored the opportunities and barriers for working in the creative sector in rural Cheshire. The project considered how local authority and related agencies supported creative industries, the skills that local organisations and entrepreneurs required to engage in creative economy-related work and how to find creative talent in rural communities. Jessica used a HTC Vive (virtual reality) kit as an engagement method visiting community events and festivals over a 6 month period (Jan-Jun 2018). More info

Regular ‘future visioning’ sessions run through Visioning Lab


‘Visioning’ sessions are a creative device for connecting people to their imaginative selves. Visioning Lab has run around 10 sessions for over 300 people as well as reaching 500 people more through the Visioning Lab YouTube channel.

These visioning sessions take different forms as follows:

  1. Manchester Futurists is a Meetup group run by BBC Futures duo, Rosie Campbell and Ahmed Razek. Visioning Lab ran a future visioning session with 40 members to generate visions of a ‘future city’

2) #IfIwereaStag What would you be? is an art-anthropology collaboration exploring what it is to be non-human. stagsense

The first iteration of this collaboration was an art installation and performance at Brighton Rural Day, part of the Brunswick Festival. A team of artists, anthropologists and a curator created a two day installation as a leafcovered frame with water dripping through clay pots onto pools in a bed of sand and two lifesize stag dummies. In the evening event, we projected images of the changing planet onto the pools and onto the foliage in a nearby pond area. We ran ‘visioning sessions’ over the Sunday helping people imagine themselves as alternative creatures. A sound artist providing an aural backdrop. The installation provoked a strong and thoughtful response from visitors.

small_logo_SF3) Future Salford aimed to stimulate discussion about how the city is changing and how people imagine its future. The project encouraged greater awareness of how people see the future differently – from elected politicians and staff in council and commercial organisations to staff and students at the University of Salford, to children and families in local communities. A Future Salford Sketchbook captures over 60 drawings and ideas expressed in six workshops.

4) Dane Bank Green Space is a contested area of land in Denton. Local residents asked us to run a Future Visioning workshop for the organising committee and also on their family fun day. The visions of the committee ranged from ‘The Road to Hell’ where the land was completely built over to a ‘open, wonderful, usable green space’.


Visioning Lab’s geneology

Ideas4Ordsall was part of a large AHRC funded university project. It supported local cultural intermediaries in Salford to work with over 20 local people to develop their ideas for cultural activities. The project outcomes ranged from a social history play to an art collective. The focus on supporting local people to develop their ideas was led by Jessica Symons and informed the development of Visioning Lab.