Prof. Paul Coulton

Coulton
Chair of Speculative and Game Design
Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Game Design, Design as Rhetoric, Research through Design, Design Futures, Play, Toys
p [dot] coulton [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk

My research can more generally considered as Speculative Design. Speculative Design combines real and/or hypothetical extrapolations of the development of emerging technologies with a consideration of the cultural landscape into which they may be deployed. This activity is embodied as ‘research through design’ and, in particular, to the design of speculative physical/digital interactive games, playful experiences, and artefacts. Having previously been a member of Lancaster’s School of Computing elements of my research has been conducted using an, 'situated' evaluation methodology in that I have utilised 'app stores' and social networks as an experimental platforms. This element of my work has led to international recognition by industry as well as academia in that I was selected as one of 50 most talented mobile developers worldwide from a community of over 2 million to be a founding Nokia Champion and the first academic invited to speak at the Game Developers Conference. Increasingly, my work encompasses the non-entertainment use a particular practice of Speculative Design which is Design Fiction as a way of exploring futures for areas such as the Internet of Things and Machine Learning. Design Fictions are collections of artefacts, that, when viewed together build a fictional world. The artificially built world is a prototyping platform for the very designs that define it, meanwhile those designs reciprocate in kind and prototype the world.

“Play is the highest form of research.” - Albert Einstein

Updates and Outcomes

Living Room of the Future at V&A

Living Room of the Future at V&A

We will be presenting a new version of the AHRC funded research project Objects of Immersion in the form of the Living Room of the Future with BBC R&D as part of the Digital Design Weekend 22-23 Sept 2018.

The AHRC funded Objects of Immersion created the Living Room of the Future (LROTF) to...Read full update

Imagination at Design Research Society Conference 2018

Imagination at Design Research Society Conference 2018

Imagination delegation discuss key challenges facing contemporary design theory and praxis

The Design Research Society Conference 2018 (DRS) was held at the University of Limerick, Ireland from 25th-28th June. At the conference, Director of ImaginationLancaster and DRS President,...Read full update

Living Room of the Future

Articleby Paul Coulton, Adrian Gradinar
Living Room of the Future

As part of our Objects of Immersion project we have created an experiential future in the form of a Living Room. This experience highlights the potential of Object Based Media (OBM) in conjunction with data objects and physical objects in forming new immersive experiences. Further, it highlights the increasing importance of understanding and managing the increasing amounts of data generated about ourselves during our everday lives. ...Read full article

Little Book of Design Fiction for the Internet of Things

Articleby Paul Coulton, Joe Lindley, Rachel Cooper
Little Book of Design Fiction for the Internet of Things

As output of our work relating to Adoption and Acceptability and the House Training the Internet of Things for the PETRAS Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things Research Hub we have created a guide for designers and developers of IoT products and services who may wish to use Design Fiction as part of their design processs. In this little book we explain: ...Read full article

Design Fiction and the Internet of Things

Our research using Design Fiction to consider futures for the Internet of Things is featured by IOTUK

The Internet of Things is beginning to make changes in all sectors, in all parts of the UK and across the world. From applications on the factory floor, in shops, in the doctor’s surgery and...Read full update

Imagination went to play in CeMoRe Away Day- 18 July 2017

Imagination went to play in CeMoRe Away Day- 18 July 2017

The convergences of Cemore's interest on playful methods with the design ethos of Imagination were too many to let pass an opportunity for meaningful conversation. We went for a ‘play date’ that mix sociology and design research through methods like design fictions, board and body games, and playful...Read full update

Living Room of the Future at V&A

Living Room of the Future at V&A

We will be presenting a new version of the AHRC funded research project Objects of Immersion in the form of the Living Room of the Future with BBC R&D as part of the Digital Design Weekend 22-23 Sept 2018.

The AHRC funded Objects of Immersion created the Living Room of the Future (LROTF) to...Read full update

Imagination at Design Research Society Conference 2018

Imagination at Design Research Society Conference 2018

Imagination delegation discuss key challenges facing contemporary design theory and praxis

The Design Research Society Conference 2018 (DRS) was held at the University of Limerick, Ireland from 25th-28th June. At the conference, Director of ImaginationLancaster and DRS President,...Read full update

Design Fiction and the Internet of Things

Our research using Design Fiction to consider futures for the Internet of Things is featured by IOTUK

The Internet of Things is beginning to make changes in all sectors, in all parts of the UK and across the world. From applications on the factory floor, in shops, in the doctor’s surgery and...Read full update

Imagination went to play in CeMoRe Away Day- 18 July 2017

Imagination went to play in CeMoRe Away Day- 18 July 2017

The convergences of Cemore's interest on playful methods with the design ethos of Imagination were too many to let pass an opportunity for meaningful conversation. We went for a ‘play date’ that mix sociology and design research through methods like design fictions, board and body games, and playful...Read full update

One Voice to Rule them All

One Voice to Rule them All

As part of our project on House Training the Internet of Things which contributes to the acceptability and adoption stream of PETRAS we have been considering the use of voice interfaces as the medium through which users’ accesses Internet of Things devices.

As part of our project on House...Read full update

Someone Else’s Problem Field

Someone Else’s Problem Field

Imagination research conducted as part of the PETRAS project Adoption and Acceptability theme was recently presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

The paper, titled Implications for Adoption, discusses how technology researchers...Read full update

Living Room of the Future

Articleby Paul Coulton, Adrian Gradinar
Living Room of the Future

As part of our Objects of Immersion project we have created an experiential future in the form of a Living Room. This experience highlights the potential of Object Based Media (OBM) in conjunction with data objects and physical objects in forming new immersive experiences. Further, it highlights the increasing importance of understanding and managing the increasing amounts of data generated about ourselves during our everday lives. ...Read full article

Little Book of Design Fiction for the Internet of Things

Articleby Paul Coulton, Joe Lindley, Rachel Cooper
Little Book of Design Fiction for the Internet of Things

As output of our work relating to Adoption and Acceptability and the House Training the Internet of Things for the PETRAS Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things Research Hub we have created a guide for designers and developers of IoT products and services who may wish to use Design Fiction as part of their design processs. In this little book we explain: ...Read full article

Research through Design Article in Design Issues

Articleby Paul Coulton
Research through Design Article in Design Issues

Published in Design Issues is our (Liz Edwards, myself, Andy Darby, Mike Chiasson) atest paper presenting various digital-nature artifacts that were designed to support visitor engagement with nature in a public garden environment. These artifacts are hybridsas they combinedigital and physical characteristics within them. ...Read full article

PhD Studentships related to Design for the Internet of Things

Articleby Paul Coulton
PhD Studentships related to Design for the Internet of Things

We are pleased to offer two funded PhD studentships to work in conjunction within Imagination academics in two areas related to Design in the Internet of Things. These two posts provide not only the opportunity to work with leading design academics but in conjunction with the recently established UK Cyber Security Research Hub for the internet of things which includes nine of the country’s leading universities (PETRAS). PhD Design Fiction for The...Read full article

Digital Installations in Hawkshead Church

Articleby Paul Coulton

As part of our Creating and exploring Digital Empathy project we have recently installed a system at St Michael’s and All Angels in Hawkshead, which allows people to type in prayers that are then projected onto the church’s interior wall. These prayers are then shared in a similar way with St Peter De Beauvoir Town Church in Hackney. The Diocese of Carlisle have created their own fil shown below to highlight the...Read full article

NEW Lecturer post in Data Prototyping and Visualisation

Articleby Paul Coulton, Martyn Evans

As part of Lancaster University’s 50th Anniversary Lectureships Scheme to appointment of 50 early career academics we are seeking candidates for a new lectureship in Data Prototyping and Visualisation. ...Read full article

You can find a list of Paul Coulton's publications on the Lancaster University research pages.

Key Projects

Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy How do we unlock the digital communication of empathy
FictionWareFictionWare FictionWare For all your future Design Fiction needs!
Creative ExchangeCreative Exchange Creative Exchange Creating New Contexts for Growth in the Experience Economy