This is the web page of the Creative Industries, Art and Design track of the ABCP 2023 Annual Conference, to be held on Saturday 8th July 2023.


Saturday 8th July 2023 (Virtual only: Zoom / Webinar ID = 954 2299 3018 + Passcode = 779156)

1-2pm Session 1, Chaired by Dr Mengyi Xu, Cranfield University, UK
1-1:20pm The Interplay of Creativity, Technology and Entrepreneurship: The Case of UK Digital Gaming Industry
Dr Zimu Xu, Cranfield University, UK
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Dr Zimu Xu

The digital gaming industry has seen rapid growth in recent years, becoming one of the fastest growing mass media industries. The industry is highly influential in the development of innovation and technology, and in social, cultural and creative spaces. As technology advances, so do the ways in which games are created and played and the way digital games development companies do businesses. Sitting in the intersection of creativity, technology and businesses, the digital gaming industry needs to balance various tensions and challenges alongside benefits. For instance, the project-based nature of the industry is often associated with a high degree of volatility. Businesses frequently face the difficulties of managing scope and expectations, controlling budget, ensuring timely delivery, and addressing communication and technological issues effectively. In addition, market saturation is becoming of increasing concern in the industry.

The research aims to critically analyze entrepreneurial activities in small and medium-sized UK digital games development companies, with particular attention paid to the interplay of creativity and technology. The research was conducted through an extensive literature review, in-depth interviews with owner-managers and other stakeholders in the industry, and thematic analysis and case studies of primary data. The study found that the characteristics of the industry have largely shaped the way games development companies do business. For instance, technology advancements have made independent developers’ games possible where it was only accessible to large corporations due to the high costs. This has led to a surge in creativity in the gaming industry, as independent developers have the freedom to experiment with new ideas and genres. In addition to talents, funding, commercialization, infrastructure, political environment, and general business support, aspects such as clustering and networks, and an emphasis on internal growth measures are also key to the survival and growth of these companies.

There is also a long-standing tension between being artists and creative, and making profits. Many digital games developers also associate themselves with being artists and viewing the games as their artistic creation. For many artists, the act of creating art is a deeply personal experience, and they do not necessarily strive for money. Instead, the majority of the interviewees were motivated to set up their own company in order to gain creative freedom. They also wanted to make games they loved and work on interesting projects. These motives were often combined with other factors, such as frustrations in previous jobs and changes in personal circumstances. However, such personal attachments to the game they make may not be the ones speak best in the wider market which challenges the overall viability and sustainability of the entrepreneurial venture.


Zimu Xu is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship. Prior to which, having completed her PhD on ‘Critical analysis of business growth in the UK digital gaming industry’, Dr Xu worked as lecturer in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and later lecturer in Business Analytics at Coventry University. Before that, Zimu studied the MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship degree at the University of Warwick after completing the BSc in Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics.

Dr Xu’s research interests and passion lie within entrepreneurship and technology. She has been working a number projects relating to entrepreneurial ecosystems, business growth, corporate entrepreneurship and NetZero growth. Prior to joining the teaching team at Coventry, she had worked in the research team for a number of years and participated in a range of research projects at the International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship. Selected project topics includes entrepreneurial ecosystems, innovation ecosystems and AI industry in China, digital skills gap in the UK healthcare sector, social enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship in sports sector. As a result, Dr Xu has produced a range of publications including international reputable journals, book chapters, reports and conference papers.

1:20-1:40pm The Application of Metaphor in The Codesign Process
Chenyi Liao, Royal College of Art, UK
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Dogs are the most familiarized non-human species that have formed symbiotic relationships with humans in domestic and working contexts. This research asks in what ways the human-dog interaction model could inform the design of social robots to meet the needs of older adults. This research employs metaphor as an analytical tool, providing a unified lens to understand the applications of the human-dog interaction model grounded in different disciplines. Furthermore, it demonstrates the generative and facilitative role of metaphor in the co-design process.
Researchers in Animal Behaviour Science, Human-Robot Interaction, and Design Research have all used dogs as a source of inspiration; however, their framings of the robot-as-dog metaphor have led to different proposals for developing social, companion, and service robots. In previous research, the source domain, human-dog interaction, has been studied on a higher abstract level of domestication and developmental processes. Consequently, two explorative studies were conducted to identify aspects of human-dog interaction that could inform the design of social robots for older adults. Observing and analysing human interactions with pet, police, and guide dogs, the findings suggest that the pairing and training process provides a framework for building personalised social robots in terms of form, function, interaction, and stakeholders involved. The cooperative interaction between a human and a guide dog offers insights for constructing social robots that assume leading roles in interactions. The robot-as-dog metaphor presents an alternative perspective to rethink the design process of social robots based on the roles played by dog trainers, owners, and dogs in human-dog interactions. In the process of mapping human-dog interaction to human-robot interaction, a space was revealed where design research could contribute, specifically the role of a dog trainer.
The study of the source domain generated the designer-as-trainer metaphor and the personalization-as-training metaphor, which could benefit the development of personalised robots. Following these two metaphors, an additional study was conducted to understand how stakeholders influence the co-design process. This study focused on the facilitative role of metaphor in the co-design process and how stakeholders contribute to a personalization process by deploying probes using the Wizard-of-Oz technique. The findings demonstrate that metaphor is useful in facilitating the knowledge-building and mutual learning processes in co-design, and it can reveal paradigm differences that might favour a technology-centred approach instead of embracing hardware limitations that open up interaction possibilities. In the iterative sketches generated with the participant, the ability to repurpose functional features was proposed. The sketches and post-workshop interviews suggest a user-led training process and a modular robotic system that can shape-shift and fulfil multiple roles over time.
In conclusion, this research shows that the dog-human interaction model is applicable to different levels of abstraction for the co-designing process that involves roboticists and end-users. The outcome demonstrates a reflective practice that engages metaphors to facilitate communication across disciplines in the co-design process.


Chenyi Liao is a design researcher in Communication Design and Interaction Design. She is doing her PhD in Information Experience Design at Royal College of Art, London, UK. Her research focuses on human-centred design and co-design practice in interdisciplinary collaboration and design for ageing population.

1:40-2pm Discussion: Creativity Meets Technology
2-3pm Session 2, Chaired by Dr Zimu Xu, Cranfield University, UK
2-2:20pm Storytelling and User Experience in HMD-based eXtended Reality for Holocaust Museum
Yunshui Jin, Tongji University, China
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Yunshui Jin

In collaboration with National Holocaust Centre and Museum, The Extended Journey project was initiated. The project included an AR HoloLens application, The AR Journey, and a VR application, The Virtual Journey, that can be deployed on AR headsets like HoloLens and VR headsets like HTC Vive, respectively. The Extended Journey is an interactive narrative experience that presents the story of a fictional Jewish boy named Leo using virtual CG characters and environments, allowing the audience to participate in his story from the second-person-view. The audience can not only decide the direction of the storyline by helping Leo make choices, but they could also inspect the environments and objects within them to learn the stories behind them. Experiments were conducted using The Extended Journey, and a mixed approach of quantitative and qualitative methods were used for analysis. The result revealed how different design of user interface could impact user experience in the context of AR museums and how different immersive media modality could influence the user’s narrative experience. Finally, the design guidelines for immersive virtual museums are summarised.


Yunshui Jin is the Deputy Director of Arts and Media Lab at Tongji University, and is specialised in 3D interactive technologies and 3D animation. With his team, he has been advancing the development of VR, AR and serious games for museum and education in creative technologies and various application domains. He has published a dozen peer-reviewed papers in related fields.

2:20-2:40pm Museum Experience Design in a Rapidly Transforming Digital World
Dr Yuanyuan Yin, University of Southampton, UK
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Dr Yuanyuan Yin

Museums are key part of the creative industries, which contributed 6% (£115.9 billion) to the overall UK economy in 2019. It has been emphasised that Museums not only contribute to the creative sector but also to economic prosperity. The COVID-19 pandemic had significant impacts on Museums’ operations and visitors’ experience. From Museum audiences’/ visitors’ perspectives, consumer did not get the actual physical experience of being in the museum, and the only way for them to access museums activities were through virtual interactions. Other researchers highlight the current lack of understanding about the users of digital collections created Museums and pointing out that this ‘limited evidential understanding of user behaviour and information needs is the basis on which pro-convergence funders and policymakers are drawing their conclusions.

Therefore, this project aims to explore two key areas, firstly how technology/digitisation is a facilitator in ensuring the long-term sustainability of museums and secondly how the hybrid approach to audience engagement (both face to face and virtual) will help from an equality, diversity, and inclusion perspective. There are four objectives:

  • A. To explore related theories of creative industries, consumer culture, museums and impact of COVID on creative industry from key literature sources.
  • B. To explore how technology/digitisation have been considered in changes of museums’ business strategy based on the impact of COVID-19 on their business.
  • C. To discover the impact of COVID-19 on audience perceptions, behaviours, and experience with Museums during and after the COVID in the UK and their attitudes/experience with applications of technology/digitisation in Museums.
  • D. To explore and develop museum experience design insights to improve visitors museum experience.


  • Objective A: undertake secondary research has been conducted to identify and explore related theories of creative industries, consumer culture, museums and impact of COVID on the creative industry (including relevant literature and industry published data).
  • Objective B: in-depth interviews have been employed to explore the impact of COVID-19 on museum business and how technology/digitisation has been considered in changes of museums’ business strategy. 7 museum managers were invited to the interviews. Museums involved in the study represents vary museums according to different funding routes and engagement levels with digital technologies. Our research partner Hampshire Cultural Trust supported the team for participant recruitment and primary research data collection.
  • Objective C: museum visitors focus groups have been conducted to understand their perceptions, behaviours, and experience with Museums during and after the COVID and their attitudes/ experience with applications of technology/digitisation in Museums.
  • Objective D: a co-design workshop has been arranged with Hampshire Cultural Trust and museum managers to discuss research findings from Objective B and C, and to explore insights about how technology/digitisation can be better applied to improve visitors’ museum experience post-COVID in the UK.

Key findings of this project will be presented at the conference.


Yuanyuan Yin is an Associate Professor of Design, Head of Research at the Design Department, and co-director of the Global Smart Lab at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. Dr Yin completed her PhD in Design Research and MA in Design Strategy & Innovation from Brunel University, UK. She earlier obtained her B. Eng. degree in Industrial Design in China. She joined the University of Southampton in 2009. Her research has concentrated on inclusive design for older people through ethnographic user studies, co-design collaborations, and improving innovation in product and service design. She has received more than 1.4M in grants income from ESRC, British Council, and Confucius Institute Headquarters. Her recent research focused on design for inclusive ageing, inclusive smart retail service design, pension service design, and smart textile design for healthy ageing.

2:40-3pm Discussion: Digital/Immersive Museums
3-4pm Session 3, Chaired by Professor Jiehong Jiang, Birmingham City University, UK
3:10-3:20pm Designing the Future of UK China RD&I Collaboration in the Museums & galleries sector
Dr Min Hua, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
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Dr Min Hua

The museums and galleries sector, the centre of the UK and China’s creative industries, has experienced considerable growth in recent years, making significant contributions to both countries’ cultures, societies and economies. Notably, the advent of immersive and interactive technologies (IIT) has enabled the growth of the sector by offering various experiences that increase the number of on-site and online visitors, which play an essential part in making culture accessible to mass audiences. Recognising the impact of IIT on the growth of the museum and gallery sector, the UK and China are actively exploring opportunities to use these technologies to create bilateral collaboration in this sector. Furthermore, as China is seen as a key market for UK creative exports, several UK museums and galleries (such as the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London) successfully cooperate or attempt to engage with their Chinese counterparts. However, despite strong interest in and efforts to use IIT for improving the museum and gallery experiences in both countries, there is still no concerted effort to understand the current and emerging trends in audience perception, consumption and behaviour in the sector in the UK and China. In particular, an emphasis on the use of extended reality (XR) technologies and applications, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), and cultural exchange between the UK and China has been missing. Therefore, this research primarily discusses the key findings of user research exploring the awareness, experiences and preferences of the current museum and gallery audiences regarding (i) the immersive and interactive museum and gallery experiences and (ii) cultural exchange between the UK and China. The findings revealed similarities between UK and Chinese audiences in the motivations for and important aspects of visiting museums and galleries, positive attitudes regarding the use of IIT for museum and gallery experiences and for improving cultural exchanges. They also exhibited a shared preference for museum and gallery experiences using IIT that they want to experience in the future. Additionally, the audiences pointed out similar issues in engaging with IIT for museum and gallery experiences and cultural exchange, such as a lack of experience with the technologies and the lack of methods for experiencing the different cultural content proposed by museums and galleries. At the same time, some differences were found depending on sample characteristics (i.e. countries, age groups and gender) regarding the methods employed for collecting information about museums and galleries, preference between interactive digital and traditional experiences, awareness of the IIT used in museums and galleries, obstacles encountered when employing IIT in museums and galleries and the key aspect of the experience that the audiences would like to experience different cultural content in the museums and galleries, among others. The findings of this research could be used to develop museum and gallery experiences with IIT and cultural exchanges as they provide key considerations regarding the preferences of different age and gender groups.


Min Hua is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry (ICCI) and received an award of Shanghai Leading Talent (Overseas) in 2022. Before joining the ICCI, Dr Hua earned his PhD in design engineering from the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London. He received three Master’s level degrees from Tongji University (School of Design & Innovation and UNEP-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development) and Politecnico di Torino, and a Bachelor’s degree from Hunan University.

Dr Hua’s research centres around the research of design creativity & innovation, culture computing and design application, sustainable design, inclusive design and various research topics relating to product design. Dr Hua has authored five books and published a number of papers in top academic journals/conferences, including three Best Paper Award-winning papers (IASR, CEMA and ICGCCI).

3:20-3:40pm Innovation, Collaboration and Resilience – Understanding the Virtual Production Industry in the UK and China
Professor Xiaosong Yang, Bournemouth University, UK
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Professor Xiaosong Yang

The “UK-China Research and Innovation Collaboration in Cloud-based Virtual Film Production (UCCVP)” project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The aim of the project is to explore and investigate the status of virtual film production in both the UK and China, identifying the key challenges of cross-country coordination and developing future strategic plans for UK-China collaboration in the film industry. Starting from February 2022, we successfully organized 13 interviews, 5 theme panels (VP techniques, Producers & Managers, Education and Training, Host of Studios and Hardware Suppliers) and 1 international workshop. Those panels and workshop provided a valuable learning and networking opportunity for industry practitioners from both the UK and China to deepen their understanding of the latest trends and developments in the VP field and to contribute to the long-term collaboration across the border.
The market research analyzed the difference and intersection between the two markets, identified the policy trends and barriers to overcome, and developed a new guidance for new collaborations in the film industry. The findings have been disseminated to the public and relevant stakeholders via Beyond conference, BFX festival, British Computer Society, Odyssey: A Chinese cinema season, social media platforms, online panel discussions, and international workshop. A network of key players in the Virtual Production industry has been established, including experts from different backgrounds, academia, technicians, producers, directors, CEO and CTO etc.
Based on one-year investigation, we completed a market report which will be disseminated as a guideline among the UK and Chinese industrial practitioners, and relevant stakeholders. The report consists of five chapters, covering the topics like different definitions and application scenarios between China and the UK, technology innovation and respective strategies for strengthening resilience, the UK-China collaboration in the past and identified opportunities for future cooperation, the job roles in great demand, and collaboration opportunities on talent training.


Xiaosong Yang is a Professor at the National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University. He has over 30 years’ experience of research, education and professional practice in computer animation, machine learning, data mining, digital health, and virtual reality. He has produced 90+ peer reviewed publications including many in prestigious journals and conferences. His work has been well reported by some of the most prestigious international news outlets, including NewScientist and MIT Technology Review. As PI and Co-I, he has secured over 35 research grants from European Commission, Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy, Leverhulme, British Council, Newton Fund, Innovate UK, Higher Education Innovation Fund. Prof Yang has supervised over 30 PhD students, postdocs, research assistant and international visiting scholars. Prof Yang has rich experience to manage teams with both artist and technician together, and collaborate closely with companies, like Disney Research, Double Negative, MPC. He is a member of the Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) UK, funding reviewer for AHRC, EPSRC, MRC, German Research Foundation and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Prof Yang is a member of the Program Committee for several international conferences (SIGGRAPH Asia, CGI, CASA etc), conference program chairs (CGI2012, CASA2020/2022, ICVR2023), reviewer for many top journals (TVCG, ACM ToG, C&G, Signal Processing, Pattern Recognition, Neurocomputing, IEEE Access) and conferences (SIGGRAPH, Eurographics, ISMAR, PG, CGI etc). He has given several invited talks and keynote presentations internationally.

3:40-4pm Discussion: UK-China Collaboration
4-5pm Session 4, Chaired by Professor Hua Dong, Brunel Uniersity London, UK
4-4:20pm An Introduction to ChatGPT and Midjourney
Professor Perry Xiao, London South Bank University, UK
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Professor Perry Xiao

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a hot research topic in recent years. Last year November, ChatGPT has taken the world by storm, since its release, with 5 days, it gathered over 1 million users, and within two months, it gathered over 1 billion users. Other AI technologies, such as DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney, are also attracted attention around the world. The performances of these AI technologies are amazing and also terrifying. AI is no doubt the disruptive technology, that is going to fundamentally change the way we work and the way we live. Have you ever wondered how to use AI to your advantages, to improve your productivity, to increase your creativity and to enhance your career? In this talk, we will first present a brief history of AI, ChatGPT, and Midjourney. Then we will introduce various of ChatGPT plugins and APIs, and how to use them to develop your own AI Apps. Finally, we will use examples to illustrate how to use AI tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney to enhance your study, to learn new skills, to improve your teaching and research, and to ultimately improve your work efficiency.


Perry Xiao is a Professor and Course Director in the School of Engineering at London South Bank University. He got his BEng degree in Opto-Electronics, MSc degree in Solid State Physics, and PhD degree in Photophysics. He is also a fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET) and a senior fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).
His main research interest is to develop novel infrared and electronic sensing technologies for skin measurements and industrial Non-Destructive Testing (NDT). To date, he has successfully supervised 13 PhD students, got 2 UK patent applications, and got over £1M research generated incomes. He has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. He also authored four books and three are with the renowned published Wiley:

  • Designing Embedded Systems and the Internet of Things (IoT) with the ARM mbed
  • Practical Java Programming for IoT, AI, and Blockchain
  • Artificial Intelligence Programming with Python: From Zero to Hero

He is also a Director and Co-founder of Biox Systems Ltd, a university spin-out company, which designs and manufactures a patented, novel, condenser-chamber TEWL measurement technique – AquaFlux©, and capacitive image instrument – Epsilon. AquaFlux and Epsilon have been used in over 200 organizations worldwide, including universities, hospitals and leading international cosmetic companies such as Unilever, P&G, and L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, Boots, Colgate-Palmolive and Pfizer, etc.

4:20-4:40pm How Product Designers Use AI and Avoid Its Bias?
Zhiyi Zhou, Brunel University, UK
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Zhiyi Zhou

AI-designers are emerging: they are participating in design works, including illustration design, product design, engineering design and architecture design. However, data-related inclusiveness issues of AI-designers, such as discrimination and privacy protection have been underestimated. AI-designers lack interaction and empathy with audiences or users, and they often cannot evolve designs based on user feedback. AI-designers are prone to bias in data processing, which often leads to multi-facade discrimination, involving race, ethnicity, gender and (dis)ability. These inclusiveness issues prevent AI-designers from being widely accepted, and raise ethical concerns.

Taking product design as a focal area, where inclusiveness is highly emphasized, this research aims to identify and address the data-related inclusiveness issues of AI-designers. The connotation and methodology of inclusive design will be applied. Comparative analysis and case studies will be conducted. Specifically, multi-disciplinary scenarios of human-AI interaction will be analyzed with regard to their principles and solutions in addressing data-related inclusiveness issues. Transferrable principles and solutions will be discovered and applied to developing good practice of AI-empowered product design. The data-related inclusiveness issues will be systematically discussed and addressed.

This research will facilitate the interaction between AI-designers and users, and reduce data bias when developing AI. It will lay a foundation for future product design participated by a hybrid of human designers, AI-designers, and users.


Zhiyi Zhou is a PhD candidate at Brunel University London, studying design research. She finished her undergraduate study (Industrial Design) in China and Master study at Royal College of Art (Design Products). She had participated in world-class design competitions (e.g., Red Dot, K-design) and industrial intern practice (e.g., BMW, Xiaomi, Didichuxing). Her PhD research focuses on the application of AI in design and the issues of inclusiveness.

4:40-5pm Discussion: AI in Design

Organising Committee

  • Professor Hua Dong (董华教授), Brunel Uniersity London, UK & Co-Chair of ABCP AIG on Creative Industries (Chair)
  • Professor Jiehong Jiang (姜节泓教授), Birmingham City University, UK & Co-Chair of ABCP AIG on Creative Industries (Co-Chair)
  • Dr Mengyi Xu (徐梦艺博士), Cranfield University, UK
  • Dr Zimu Xu (徐子木博士), Cranfield University, UK