Quality collaborative research into cultural and creative industries

Following the centre's guiding principles of discovering impactful outcomes for creative ecosystems, researchers from UniSA's Creative People, Products and Places (CP3) team offer a diverse range of expertise for contemporary issues. Collaborating with industry leaders across the globe, our team probe the nuances of creativity and its artists and audiences, the industries they influence and the inherent outcomes. 

CP3's research has informed government programs, international policy and provided a framework for future industry innovation, including virtual reality journalism education and the prisoner radio project. 

Contact our team to learn more about our current projects or to discuss partnership opportunities.         

Current research

  • Reset: Art and Culture minus-thick plus-thick

    A big red button

    [To turn a piece of computer equipment off and then on again when it does not work correctly, to make it start working correctly again. Cambridge Online Dictionary]

    Reset: is an eight-month programme of events involving art and culture practitioners, policymakers and academics from all three universities in South Australia. The deepening crisis in arts and culture was only made worse by the pandemic, and its current failure to secure its value as an essential part of our democratic society has long roots. We seek new ideas and practices to help us rethink the value of art and culture and re-establish their place in public policy and in our everyday citizenship.

    Events Reset/ CP3 2021

    • Reset # 1 Round Table Flinders Vic: 16th April
    • Reset # 2 What to do about Cultural Work after the Pandemic 7th May City Library
      Watch the video
    • Reset # 3 Heterodox Economics and the Cultural Sector 17th June Bradley Forum
    • Reading/ writing group: 1st July City West
    • "Industry group": 2nd July Flinders Vic Square
    • Reset # 4 Scott Ludlam: Full Circle and the Art of Panarchy, 15th July Bradley Forum
    • 5th August CP3/ Hawke EU centre Guest Lecture: Dan Hill: The new Euro-Bauhaus and its implications for Australia.
      Watch the video
    • Reset # 5 After the Creative City, 10th September, Port Adelaide, Waterside Workers Hall. With Dan Hill. Sponsored CP3/ EU Hawke Centre
    • Launch Keeping Creative 30th September, MOD - Cornelia Dümcke, Berlin
    • Reset # 7 Public Policy and Cultural Citizenship. Thursday 14th October
    • Reset # 8 Two-Day Conference, co-hosted Arts Industry Council South Australia. Thursday/ Friday 11-12th November Adelaide Town Hall.
  • Keeping Creative: Assessing the impact of the C-19 emergency on the art and cultural sector, and responses to it by governments, cultural agencies and the sector minus-thick plus-thick

    Lead Researchers: Dr Jessica Pacella, Prof. Justin O’Connor, Prof. Susan Luckman

    Creative People, Products and Places (CP3) has been funded by the University of South Australia to engage Dr Jess Pacella to work with Professors Justin O’Connor and Susan Luckman on the 7 month postdoctoral project, ‘Keeping Creative: Assessing the impact of the C-19 emergency on the art and cultural sector, and responses to it by governments, cultural agencies and the sector’. The project is further supported by in-kind support from our research partners: Cornelia Dümcke, CEO of Culture Concepts, Germany; Emma Fey, CEO of Guildhouse on behalf of the Australian Craft and Design Centres Network, Australia; and Esther Anatolitis, Executive Director of National Association for the Visual Arts, Australia.

    The Project will assess the impact of the C-19 emergency on the art and cultural sector, and responses to it by governments, cultural (or other relevant) agencies and from the sector itself. The primary focus will be Australia, but there will also be comparison with New Zealand; the UK and Europe (including EU); and the Asia Pacific.

    Working closely with partners the project will involve online published research, available databases and telephone interviews to ascertain:

    • How has the virus already impacted on the arts and cultural sector, politically, economically and socially?
    • How effective is any emergency funding offered to mitigate the social and economic impacts of Covid19 effecting the arts and cultural sector in these discrete territories?
    • Who qualifies for support and who doesn’t – with what consequences?
    • Does funding address the explicit needs of the sector in its specific context?
    • What kind of arguments are being used to defend – or deny - the support offered?
    • Are some areas of artistic and cultural activity being privileged over others?
    • What are the future prospects for the sector – beyond support, and immediate crisis?
    • What ideas, projects, concepts and vision for development and survival have emerged from the arts and cultural sector itself?

    Download the working paper (PDF)

    For more information please contact Dr Jess Pacella.

  • The Value of Craft Skills to the Future of Making in Australia minus-thick plus-thick

    A 2019-2021 Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP190100349)

    Lead researcher: Prof Susan Luckman

    In the digital future, craft skills embedded and working in collaboration with industry are essential to innovation as Australia looks to develop high-end advanced manufacturing. However, our capacity to grow pioneering manufacturing is profoundly threatened by the generational loss of the often highly-embodied nature of crafts and hands-on making expertise. A recent study in the UK found that the non-creative industries employing the most people in craft occupations are generally manufacturing-based (Crafts Council/Tuck 2014, p. 16), but the link between craft and manufacturing is an old but vulnerable one, with the risks today profoundly exacerbated by the loss of traditional manufacturing industries in countries such as Australia. This loss of practical making skills and knowledge of materials and their capacities is further compounded by the closure of many key TAFE courses focussed on craft and manual skills, and the winding back of expensive studio training by schools and universities. This deficit affects not only current industries, but also threatens future innovation and the growth of high-end manufacturing at a time of profound global change enabled by advances in digital technology.

    Therefore, the primary aim of the project is to identify ways in which the essential embedded making skills required to sustain and grow future manufacturing can be maintained and extended, supporting not only the survival and updating of current production but, significantly, enabling the kind of fertile ground out of which the innovation necessary for developing advanced manufacturing can grow.

    The research questions driving this investigation are:

    1. Having established a statistical analysis framework to enable an Australian mapping, where are workers with craft skills embedded within making ecosystems, and what are these craft skills?
    2. What is lost if these skills are not embedded within making ecosystems? What skills and knowledges are themselves currently at risk of being lost; which are crucially needed but not present?
    3. What difference do context, location, age, gender, race and ethnicity, educational attainment and perceived class location make to craftspeople’s ability to work across different making skillsets, infrastructures and needs?
    4. To what degree have skills been gained through informal rather than formal training networks, that is through immersion in a making habitus (‘tacit skills’), and how is this best replicated moving forward?

    Focussing on three key groups of craftspeople: those employed in craft industries, in craft occupations in ‘other’ creative industries, and craft occupations in non-creative industries (Crafts Council/Tuck 2014), this project will identify where craft skills are utilised within Australian making ecologies, are under threat, need re-imagining or are needed to realise the potential of advanced manufacturing in Australia.

    Contact Prof Susan Luckman for more information. 


  • Transnational Selves: French Narratives of Migration to Australia minus-thick plus-thick

    An Australian Research Council project (DP190102863)

    Lead researchers: Dr Christopher Hogarth and AsPr Natalie Edwards (University of Adelaide)

    This project aims to examine texts authored by French-speaking migrants to Australia in order to explore how migrating subjects write their identity, how migrants represent the self between nations and between languages, and how Australia is viewed through the prism of another language. Expected outcomes to this project include enhanced knowledge of Australian literature, of practices of migrant writing, and of the construction of Australian identity. This will provide significant benefits, such as a wider understanding of the diversity of Australian literature, an increased awareness of literature in Languages Other Than English in Australia, and a more nuanced appreciation of Australian identity.

    Visit the project website for more information

    For more information on this research, please contact Dr Christopher Hogarth.

  • Urban Cultural Policy and the Changing Dynamics of Cultural Production minus-thick plus-thick

    An Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP180102074)

    This project aims to identify new directions for urban cultural policy by conducting international comparative research around the emerging nexus between the cultural industries and manufacturing. Policies that govern Australia’s cultural economy focus predominately on cultural consumption. This approach does not account for the changing dynamics of the cultural economy, particularly the emergent relationships with a complex urban manufacturing sector. As a result, many innovation, employment and urban development opportunities around cultural production are unrealised. The results of the project are expected to yield insights into urban industry dynamics and change how Australians conceptualise urban cultural policy.

    Visit the project website for more information. 

  • Researching the Longitudinal Impact of Mentoring Programs on Creative Careers minus-thick plus-thick

    In collaboration with Guildhouse, funded by the Ian Potter Foundation

    Lead researchers: Prof Susan Luckman and Dr Jane Andrew

    Extending the work of the ARC project ‘Promoting the making self in the creative micro-economy’, Professor Susan Luckman and Dr Jane Andrew (MatchStudio) have been asked to provide a research-informed evaluation of Guildhouse’s new three year ‘Catapult’ mentorship program which will be examining the impact of mentorships on artistic careers over time. Supported by funding from the Ian Potter Foundation (Total UniSA income over the project: $21,000 - $4,000 in 2018; $7,000 in 2019; $6,000 in 2020; $4,000 in 2021), we will develop a suite of iterative qualitative and quantitative survey feedback tools for rolling out through the project’s life. We will contact past and present participants (both mentees and mentors) to assess the impact of the program on them, their practice, and their economic/business skills development. Additionally, further survey tools will be developed to identify the outcomes for all key stakeholder groups across the wider sectoral community (such as galleries and design retail outlets). In keeping with the national focus of the Crafting Self project and drawing upon our international track record as leaders in rural, regional and remote as well as urban creative industries research, this evaluation of the impacts of the program will also importantly explore how the participants in ‘Catapult’ impact upon their local communities and contribute to regional development.

    Mentor=Mentee: A Creative Relationship 

    This interim report, funded by the University of South Australia’s Researcher Connection Innovation Fund,  offers some initial findings from a three-year project undertaking a research-informed evaluation of Guildhouse’s new three-year ‘Catapult’ mentorship program as well as its various mentorship programs of the last decade. The project’s aim is to examine the impact of mentorships on artistic careers over time. This research fills an important gap in existing knowledge for, despite the centrality of mentorship – formal and informal – to the development of creative careers globally and across time, not to mention the significant financial and human resources invested in formal mentorship programs globally, surprisingly little research has been undertaken into their conduct and efficacy.

    Mentor Mentee report cover
    Download the report, PDF 17MB

    For more information on this research project, contact Prof Susan Luckman or Dr Jane Andrew.

  • UNESCO and the Making of Global Cultural Policy: Culture, Economy, Development minus-thick plus-thick

    An Australian Research Council project

    This project aims to influence global cultural policy and governance and the way 'actors' like UNESCO shape local policy and practice. Focusing on the global South, it will reveal complex connections between levels of governance, documenting and providing guidance on innovative policy approaches for dealing with major social, economic and development challenges. Outcomes will be compelling insights for cultural policy development and implementation, and a critical reshaping of global-local cultural dynamics to support sustainable and equitable development in the global South.

  • Critically Creative Reading and Writing Collective (CCRWC) minus-thick plus-thick

    The CCRWC is an academic reading group with a difference. Like most groups, we meet monthly to discuss a selected academic article, chapter, or scholarly text relating to creative arts research (writing, visual art, performance, etc.). Our difference is that each workshop includes a creative activity: participants respond to a prompt or activity via their chosen art practices (e.g. creative writing, visual art, music, etc.). This way of working reflects our approach to being both “creatively critical” and “critically creative”: in the spirit of Raymond Williams, “critical” for us indicates a crossroads or turning point, while “creativity” is about innovation and new ways of knowing, especially but not only through arts practices.

    Key themes and questions we have explored and continue exploring together include:

    • Reciprocities between the critical and creative
    • The role the arts may play in responding to crises of our times
    • Ecological writing, the Anthropocene, and literature of the environment
    • Queer writing, which for us importantly includes acts of queering and queer(y)ing (questioning) conventions of language, signification and arts practices themselves
    • Issues of privilege/oppression at the intersections of race, invasion/colonization, gender, sex, sexuality, social class, culture, ability, neurology, age, nationality, spirituality, language, and more
    • Ideologies inherent through common cultural metaphors of writing and the arts
    • Processes of collaboration and furthering knowledge through the arts

    Each month, a different member of the collective selects a reading and designs a prompt or activity for the creative responses. When feasible, we co-produce research conference presentations and co-author journal article / scholarly book chapter submissions based on this collaborative work. The group is always open to new members. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Dr Amelia Walker: amelia.walker@unisa.edu.au

  • Immerse: Virtual Reality Journalism minus-thick plus-thick

    Dr Ben Stubbs won a $10,000 research grant from Ignite SA in 2019 which is exploring next-generation technologies that require high-speed, advanced networks and are transforming how we live, work and play. Dr Stubbs will be using the grant to enhance the capabilities of the VR Storytelling app 'Immerse' for desktop functionality, live streaming and Oculus and Vice use.

    Journalism is changing and it is important that journalism education evolves as well. As the host of the only dedicated journalism program in the state, it is crucial that UniSA's graduates are engaging with an environment which makes them relevant, technologically-capable and employable. This project has the potential to be an important contributor to this renewal process.

    > Learn more about the development of the program.

    For more information on Immerse, contact Dr Ben Stubbs.​

  • Linked Semantic Platforms for Social and Physical Infrastructure and Wellbeing minus-thick plus-thick

    ARC LIEF Project 2018-19 (LE180100094) 

    Lead researchers: Prof Susan Luckman, Prof Maureen Dollard, Prof Ian Olver (UniSA Cancer Research Institute)

    UniSA is a major partner of the Analysis & Policy Observatory, and a key part of this partnership is UniSA’s integral role in the Australian Research Council LIEF (Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities) Project (LE180100094): ‘Linked semantic platforms for social and physical infrastructure and wellbeing’. UniSA will host the end of this project that includes three local Chief Investigators (Prof Susan Luckman, Prof Maureen Dollard and Prof Ian Olver).

    The ‘Linked semantic platforms’ (LSP) project is significant because it aims to revolutionise the way researchers are able to access and analyse policy documents and data. The main objective of the two-year LSP Project is to develop the next generation of decision-support tools for interdisciplinary research on critical public policy issues. By applying linked open data, knowledge graphs and collaborations across existing research infrastructure projects, the project aims to improve interoperability across major social science databases. The ultimate outcome of this project will be the creation of new analytical tools that will transform the research capabilities for evidence-based policy making. As part of this, UniSA will further develop the content of three of the APO collections: Cultural Policy and Creative Industries, Work in the Digital Economy and Digital Health Systems, and develop innovative data visualisation and interface tools to enhance the collection offerings and accessibility to users.

  • Socially Inclusive Employment Practices and Australia’s Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) minus-thick plus-thick

    Project leader: Prof Susan Luckman

    Team members: Prof Ruth Rentschler AOM, Dr Heather Anderson, Dr Ruchi Sinha

    No large scale investigation has been undertaken into the hiring practices of Australia’s cultural and creative industries. This project explores the diversity (or otherwise) of Australia’s creative workforce and how it might become more inclusive. The issue of the lack of social diversity within Australia’s cultural and creative industries (CCIs) has been subject to high profile public debate. Most recently this was catalysed around the nomination then subsequent award of the popularly voted ‘Best Personality on Australian Television’ award to Waleed Aly. Previously, gender had been the focus around recruitment practices in the advertising industry. For example, in late 2015, television personality and non–executive Chairman of leading communication company Leo Burnett Australia, Todd Sampson, received criticism for the company’s appointment of an all-male, all-white, all similarly-aged creative team. Such exclusionary practices are especially strong in media industries, including and notably film, digital content production and television (Conor, Gill and Taylor 2015; Hesmondhalgh and Baker 2011). This has clear implications for a lack of diversity of stories and voices even within strong state-supported broadcasting. Socially inclusive creative industries are thus central in democratic life to the development of a community’s sense of identity, intercultural understanding and fostering a sense of belonging. This project will lead to the submission of an ARC Linkage or Discovery (TBC following partner discussions) application to undertake a detailed national study.

    See Prof Luckman discuss the project.

Past projects

  • Crafting Self: Promoting the Making Self in the Creative Micro-economy minus-thick plus-thick

    An Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP150100485)

    Lead researchers: Prof Susan Luckman and Dr Jane Andrew

    Funded by an Australian Research Council’s Discovery Project grant (DP150100485), ‘Promoting the making self in the creative micro-economy’ was a four-year study of Australian designer-makers and craftspeople investigating how online distribution is changing the environment for operating a creative micro-enterprise, and with it, the larger relationship between the public and private spheres. We recognise that not all handmade micro-entrepreneurs are at the same stage of their career or have the same origin story. Therefore, this qualitative, mixed methods national research project consisted of three parallel data collection activities: semi-structured interviews with established makers; a three-year annual interview monitoring of arts, design and craft graduates as they seek to establish their making careers; and a historical overview of the support mechanisms available to Australian handmade producers. The project employed this phenomenological approach to offer a rich and yet also broad ‘insider’ perspective on creative micro-enterprise.

    2018 was the fourth and final year of the project. Across this time, the project interviewed 20 peak and/or industry organisations, 81 Established Makers, and over 78 interviews with Emerging Makers (Year 1/’1-Up’ = 32; Year 2/’2-Up’ = 27; Year 3/’3-Up’ = 19). Multiple book chapters and journal articles had already arisen from this research and a book has been published as a result of this research. The project received media coverage including in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald and on the ABC.

    Read the completed report. 


  • Creative Industries and the Digital Economy as Drivers of EU Integration and Innovation (CIDEII) minus-thick plus-thick

    Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Project 2017-2019

    UniSA lead investigators: Prof Susan Luckman and Dr Jane Andrew

    CIDEII arose out of cross-fertilisation collaborations seeded by the Hawke EU Centre, in particular with colleagues at the Copenhagen Business School. The Project co-developed cutting edge EU-relevant content for cultural and creative industries (CCI) teaching. It consisted of two interlinked teaching and research programs: Action 1, an academic workshop which brings together leading scholars of European creative work and digital economy to focus upon developing research-informed dialogue with EU policy and practice around CCIs and the digital economy. A key focus of this was developing a set of guidelines for how EU-relevant business skills and personal competencies could be better embedded into university creative industries courses and programs within the EU, Australia and Russia. This was informed by the evaluation of Action 2, Stage 1 – the Match Tournament in Adelaide, Australia where teams of undergraduate students, guided by academic and industry advisors, apply EDP and design thinking to address ‘real world’ governmental challenges, including those around enhanced cultural and economic integration. Action 1’s recommendations will themselves subsequently be incorporated into Action 2, in Adelaide, Australia and Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Read the final report (PDF).

  • The art of the public: What is the role of public art? minus-thick plus-thick

    Do we want the art to be uniquely of our place? If so, what does this mean: is it the maker, the materials, the story, the artwork’s form – or all of these? Are we also open to the best the world offers – art for art’s sake? Professor Susan Luckman was invited to briefly explore this question in an opening essay, ‘The Art of the Public’, in the City of Adelaide’s Public Art Discussion Paper, released February 2019.

  • Mobilong Prison Radio project minus-thick plus-thick

    Supported by the Department of Correctional Services

    Project leader: Dr Heather Anderson

    Through a series of workshops, prisoners produced a short series of radio features to support the induction package for new arrivals to Mobilong Prison. Two media education professionals facilitated three workshops per week (ie. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) for four weeks. The project aimed to involve up to 16 prisoners in the workshops which took place in the Offender Development Building at Mobilong Prison. Over four weeks, participants learned planning and interview skills, and audio recording and editing techniques, in order to produce radio features. The stories focused on specific aspects of the induction process in order to inform new arrivals and support successful settlement into the prison. Topics included advice on mental health and wellbeing, education and recreation options, or support services and visits. The project was based on similar international prison radio services and was designed as a pilot to test the potential impact of radio and content for Australian prisoners. The completed series was launched through a presentation event at the prison, where participants were able to talk about the content and process of producing radio and encourage further involvement.

  • Audio induction materials for women prisoners minus-thick plus-thick

    Supported by the Department of Correctional Services

    Project leader: Dr Heather Anderson

    This project built on the success of the Mobilong Prison Radio pilot program. Through a series of hands-on workshops, prisoners produced a short series of podcasts to support the induction process at the Adelaide Women’s Prison (AWP). Workshops at AWP were facilitated with a total of 24 hours contact time, for a group of 10-16 prisoners in the Living Skills Unit (LSU). The stories focused on specific aspects of the induction process in order to inform new arrivals and support successful settlement into the prison. Topics included advice on mental health and wellbeing, education and recreation options, or support services and visits.

Images of CP3 research

Symposium: The art of the audiovisual essay 

- Dr Dan Golding

UniSA Video

'Creative Industries': What's in a name?

- Prof Kate Oakley

UniSA Video

- Prof Mark Banks

UniSA Video