X||dinary Stories
research || design, prototyping & development || talks ||
short courses & workshops||

X|| Story Research

We provide research for UKRI and international research projects, as well as, for commercial companies, community groups and NGOs. We are successful bid writers, and great at forming research consortium for project work.
At the heart of our research is an interest in how storyworld methodologies and practical hands-on art and design methods can be used to collect and analyse data. We find that marginalised groups, children and communities enjoy the chance to use the same technologies and techniques that we use in our own design and practice.

Future Media Broadcasting

September 2022 - March 2023
Funded by AHRC via XR Stories, York University

This project explored what children aged 7-11 think is the future of broadcasting. This was achieved through a series of public engagement activities for groups of children at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. Here, we offered children the opportunity to explore their ideas on the future of broadcast media in relation to a series of new technologies such photogrammetry, virtual and augmented reality and proto-metaverse platforms.

The intention of the workshops was to seek an understanding of children's ideas for how they would like to consume future TV content. It built on the decline of children watching linear TV and the planned closing of CBBC in 2025/6. In relation to this, we introduced  children to a range of new technologies and sought their ideas for other ways in which they want to engage with TV content. There was a two-prong focus on engagement via immersion (i.e. VR) and via interaction (e.g. proto-metaverse like mass online gaming platforms)

• To undertake public engagement activities on the topic of future media broadcast
• To explore how children aged 7-11 years-old would like to consume TV content through interactive media and, or new technologies

Research Questions:
1. What are the elements most important to 7-11-year-olds when changing TV media to interactive media?
2. What are the elements most important to 7-11-year-olds when changing TV media to immersive media?
3. In relations to questions 1 & 2: What are the similarities or differences when the content is fact or fiction?
4. What aspects of consuming broadcast media through immersive media is engaging/ disengaging for children?
5. What aspects of consuming broadcast media through interactive media is engaging/ disengaging for children?

There are four workshops in total. Workshops 1 and 2 focused on changing Beano characters, into future broadcasting prototypes using photogrammetry and 360-degree virtual content. Workshops 3 and 4 did the same but with regards to worldbuilding.

The children's creations were scanned using photogrammetry and then turned into future media prototypes which they were in turn given a chance to feedback on. This provided insight into new workflows for the design and development of kids media using AI and Machine Learning, which in turn raised ethical issues that need to be considered by the industry.

Children who consented to take part in the research were informally interviewed about what they have created and why, to collect dialogue on their decision-making processes. They were asked for their thoughts on seeing their creation in VR/AR and Roblox.  The final project report can be downloaded here:

Image: Final Report Front Cover

Children’s Media Conference, 2023

Press: BBC Rewind. Read here

Crafting Futures

October 2019 - March 2022
Funded by The British Council

Crafting Futures, sponsored by The British Council, in association with the Royal College of Art and colleagues in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Eleanor Dare was Co-I on a team which worked with craftspeople to develop stories about crafts practices, as well as the cultural and historical significance of craft and its sustainable, environmentally entangled presence in everyday and extraordinary life and lives.

Image: storytelling and video making workshops on the shores of Lake Issy Kul Kyrgyzstan

Image: virtual workshop in Mozilla Hubs during lockdown