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Welcome to Playable and Inclusive Theatrical Prop Making Research Project!

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Tinkerprop project partner – Extant Theatre – the UK’s leading professional performing arts company of visually impaired artists and theatre practitioners. Extant pioneered theatre practice with the express inclusion of visually impaired  performers and audiences.

About me

My name is Maggie and I’m a graduate MSc Human-Computer Interaction student at University College London (UCL) researching how accessible games can help blind and visually impaired people design theatre props. I have background in Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Game Design and my interest in inclusion, employment, theatre, tinkering and “making” stems from my previous experience of working with blind and partially sighted (BPS) artists, designers and coders whose work and/or artistic aspirations have often gone unsupported and unnoticed. Thus, this research project aims to provide a platform for raising awareness on the specific issues that blind and visually impaired creatives face in relation to artistic and design-focused education and employment and to enable aspiring designers with visual impairments to work creatively with the theatre sector on improving access and inclusion.

Research information

University College London and Extant Theatre seek Research Participants for Study on Prop Design.

University College London and Extant Theatre seek twelve blind and/or partially sighted adults based in the UK to engage in a theatrical prop design activity; please find further information included below. All related queries should be directed to the main researcher Maggie at: ucjulow@ucl.ac.uk, phone: +44 7415659892.  

WHAT IS THE STUDY ABOUT?

The motivation for this study is to enable more blind and partially sighted people to enter the workplace in the discipline of prop design within the Theatre, TV and Film industry. We wish to explore what digital tools (i.e. accessible games) for prop creation can help both sighted and non-sighted people develop proposals for work in the area of prop design. It is important that we understand people’s experience and preference for the different styles of prop design learning and support tools. The outcome of this study will help us develop tools and guidance that we can share with the theatre industry.

The current project is a collaboration between the University College London (UCL), Global Disability Innovation Hub, and Extant Theatre as a part of an MSc research thesis. This study is composed as a prop design work-based simulation where participants taking part in the design phase of this study go through a prop-design process experimenting with ideas whilst working in line with a professional design brief.

WHAT WILL I NEED TO DO? 

Your participation would involve:

  • Filling in a background survey.
  • Meeting remotely with the researcher to discuss study ideas via online call using a free conversation application called Microsoft Teams.
  • Working remotely on your prop design project using basic craft materials provided by the researcher via post. Prop design work won’t require digital design. You will be asked to make a basic prop model using plasticine and wax sticks and/or pencil sketching on paper, and to prepare a prop design proposal document. You can get accessibility support if needed i.e. a human or digital tool helping you with some elements of your work. You will be asked to report on the type of help you get. Your idea and general understanding of how to go about designing your prop idea are the most important and we will not assess any mainstream standard level aesthetical and or grammatical elements of your work.
  • Sharing with us your prop design related experience. You need to be a novice or beginner designer or artist with little or no prior experience in prop making, art and/or design, and making.
  • Reporting on your prop design process through a digital form shared through an email when working remotely (at your home for example) and flexibly during your scheduled week.

STUDY APPLICATION DEADLINE

You can schedule your one week prop design activity until 15th November 2020 and send us your finished prop design concept until end of November 2020.

REWARD

As a token of appreciation, you will be offered a £20 gift voucher by email for taking part in this study. Also, you will be able to include this work experience in the work history on your cv.

WHERE AND WHEN IS THE STUDY?

The study can be completed remotely and will take place between October and November 2020. We encourage you to register your interest by completing the background survey. We will contact you with more details about the study via email or phone, whichever preferred by you.

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Please email Maggie at: ucjulow@ucl.ac.uk or call/text +44 7415659892 to register your interest.

A short set of questions is designed to quickly establish if you are the right candidate. It should take you around 10 minutes. You will be able to select a Prefer not to say option. Your responses will be kept confidential. Please click here to access the questions: Prop Design Pre Study Survey.

If you are unable to participate, but know of someone who may be interested, please do not hesitate to share this website or my email and phone number.

Thank you for your consideration.