Impact, Engagement & Outreach

Impact, Engagement & Outreach

Award Winning Community Engagement

We believe that community involvement can help to make compelling art. We often use local volunteers as voice performers on our soundscapes. We have worked with musicians, artists and designers in the same way. For example, we mentored the students of NewTech School in Napa, California. We led them through the process of creating images for architecture and the resulting artworks became an installation at the festival. The project beat over 200 other schools last year to win the Best In Network Award.


In Blackpool we worked with three schools in producing our artwork Chasing Stars. We played messages from Astronaut Tim Peake and the music of Oscar winning composer Vangelis. The children listed to the music as inspiration for their designs and we recorded their thoughts of their future in space. The resulting artworks and their voices became part of the projection which is projected onto Blackpool Tower as part of the Blackpool Illuminations each year. 

stars projection
“We have had just the most amazing night...thousands of people flowing through to see the projection and activities. It has been a wonderful experience working with the Projection Studio... a wonderful collaboration”
Professor Sally Shuttleworth
Principal Investigator Diseases of Modern Life St. Anne’s College Oxford

Academic Collaborations

Award Winning Academic Collaborations

We have a long track record of using the work of academics, institutions and archives as the inspiration for our work. Many of our works celebrate the history of buildings and the people and the cities which surround them.

We take academic subjects that can be difficult to understand and present them to the general public in an exciting way. We hope that the impact of our work will leave them curious to know more, and this belief is upheld by the impact studies done by our academic partners. 

As part of our work with academics we have over the years built up an advisory panel who help us with our research and are an invaluable resource for inspiring the direction of our artistic vision. This now includes academics from Durham, Oxford and York Universities and the European Space Agency.


"I have found the Projection Studio both a joy to work with, and an enormously productive partner for public education. The capacity to work with world-class sound and light shows, is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of UK academic work."
Professor Giles Gasper
Professor of High Medieval History Durham University

The Brains Trust

Supporting Research and development of heritage projects

We are in the unique position of having a group of academics who work with us at the development stage of our events. This resource is invaluable guiding the basics of the research and development of our heritage projects.

Giles Gasper

Doctor Giles Gasper is Reader in High Medieval History at Durham University. He specializes in the intellectual history of the high Middle Ages (11th-13th centuries), particularly in the development of theology. He also has interests in Patristic and early medieval thought, and in the history of science. He is principal investigator on the inter-disciplinary Ordered Universe project to edit, translate and contextualise the scientific works of Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253), working with an international team of scientists, educationalists and medievalists.


Mark McCaughrean

Professor Mark McCaughrean is the Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration at the European Space Agency. He is also responsible for communicating results from ESA’s astronomy, heliophysics, planetary, exploration, and fundamental physics missions to the scientific community and wider general public. Following a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, he worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, followed by astronomical institutes in Tucson, Heidelberg, Bonn, and Potsdam, and taught as a professor of astrophysics at the University of Exeter before joining ESA in 2009. His personal scientific research involves observational studies of the formation of stars and their planetary systems, and he is also an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.


Hannah Smithson

Professor Hannah Smithson is a Fellow and Tutor in Psychology & Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology  Her research focuses on the neural mechanisms that underlie perception. She uses psychophysical experiments to objectively measure human visual performance under different conditions. Her aim is to test different models of the retinal and cortical processing on which vision is based. In addition to fundamental research on normal adult human perception, she seeks to explore potential applications of her findings – for example, in developing new display technologies and in understanding the limitations of vision in disease.


Eleanor Rosamund-Barraclough

Eleanor is a historian, broadcaster and writer based at Bath Spa University. She presents programmes on BBC radio and is author of Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas. Her new book, Embers of the Hands: Hidden Histories of the Viking Age, is out in 2024. Eleanor is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Thanks to some of the stranger things she has done for her BBC documentaries, she’s also a member of the Norwegian Ice-Bathing Club and the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society. 


Matthew Townend 

Professor Matthew Townend is Senior Lecturer in English and Related Literature at the University of York.  His research interests are in Old Norse language and literature (especially poetry); the history and culture of Viking Age England; and medievalism and philology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  He is the author of English Place-Names in Skaldic Verse (1998), Language and History in Viking Age England (2002), The Vikings and Victorian Lakeland: the Norse medievalism of W.G. Collingwood and his contemporaries (2009), and Viking Age Yorkshire (2014), and he is currently writing a book about the Victorians and the study of dialect.


Dr Sigbjørn Sønnesyn

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (High Medieval History)

University of Durham

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