Dr Padmini Ray Murray is one of five UK researchers selected to fly out to India to work on projects to encourage sustainable innovation for Indian businesses, society and culture.
Dr Ray Murray, a lecturer in Publishing Studies at Stirling, and the four other successful Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Unbox Fellows, will travel to India later this month. They will work with teams of creative practitioners on theme-based research challenges in host organisations for three to four weeks.
Their goal will be to develop innovative solutions in the spirit of the UnBox Festival, a special four-day festival and the only one of its kind in India to celebrate interdisciplinary processes and innovation.
The AHRC projects are designed to inspire and inform participants about the power of interdisciplinary thought and action and provide a window into the complex landscape of India.
Fellowships will take place at one of five different hosts and each team has a different focus. Dr Ray Murray has been selected as the AHRC UnBox Fellow for unPLAY: Gaming for Social Innovation.
Her project will involve working with Quicksand - a multi-disciplinary design consultancy with studios in Delhi, Gurgaon and Bangalore.
A key strand of Quicksand’s work includes developing educational games using Kinect technologies to break age, class, language and literacy barriers. Dr Ray Murray’s role will be to use her expertise in historical research of technology and its artefacts, as well as her experience of creating intuitive gaming environments, to help develop new games.
Dr Ray Murray said: “I was thrilled to be awarded this fellowship to facilitate working with an initiative that has accomplished so much since its inception in 2011. I particularly appreciate the hands-on experience offered for working with creative practitioners and to learn more about how the knowledge economy is developing in India.
“India’s progress as a developing country has been hugely enabled by its engagement with digital technology and there are widespread efforts to harness these developments so that they might inform education, literacy and social progress.
“My research will hopefully create a template for how we can think about using gaming – one of Scotland’s key creative industries – for social good and as an interactive activity that can be used to educate both adults and children about various issues affecting their everyday lives, for which literacy is not necessary.
“The guiding philosophy of UnBox is ‘Hands-on, Minds-on, Hearts-on’ and I hope my research will demonstrate how the imaginative use of technology, research and development can improve the world we live in, with simple solutions that needn’t be expensive.”
At the end of their stay in India, Dr Ray Murray and the four other successful fellows will share their experiences at the UnBox 2013 festival in New Delhi in February.