Creative Practices in Knowledge Mobilisation

The Knowledge Utilisation Colloquium was hosted by Dalarna University in Sweden, June 2014. The programme of this event incorporated an Open Space opportunity that enabled the topic of Creative Practices for Knowledge Mobilisation to be tabled. 12-15 people coalesced around this and initiated a free flowing dialogue summarised in these flip chart sheets.

To summarise some of the main points, creative participatory practice creates a forum for knowledge sharing and knowledge development within the circle of participants. The creative processes level hierarchies, enabling contribution, sharing and application of explicit or ‘academic knowledge’. The physical, practical element of creative practices can also act as a ‘trigger’ for ‘unlocking’ and sharing of experiential or tacit knowledge. Both forms of knowledge become embodied in the creative outputs which augments a descriptive explanation. These outputs become a vehicle for moving all this knowledge forward, giving others outside of the circle of participants something tangible to ‘hook on to’ and acting as a catalyst for debate, discussion, and critic as the output (and its embodied knowledge) evolves.

At KU14, it was agreed that the conversation should be continued, after consideration, in a more structured way. Hence, a 2 day workshop was conducted to take this conversation further…hosted by Lab4Living in Sheffield at the Chimney House, the event included eight participants. The schedule for the two days consisted of:

  1. Day 1 (AM) – Lego Serious Play methodology to establish individual then shared understanding of Knowledge Mobilisation
  2. Day 1 (PM) – a series of 5 case studies that have utilised creative practices for Knowledge Mobilisation (workshop participants contributed comments via a google form whilst each case study was presented)
  3. Day 1 (PM) – initial synthesis; pulling together comments from the shared google form to identify common issues, observations and attributes of the case studies
  4. Day 1 (PM) – what was supposed to be a co-constructed evening meal in the training kitchen/restaurant evolved into dinner provided by trainee chefs and restaurant staff in the training (probably for the best!)
  5. Day 2 (AM) – ‘Science’ and ‘Theory’ pieces including Critical Creativity, a discussion about what ‘Knowledge’ means, temporal issues about when different KM strategies can be introduced in the research pathway (again, workshop participants making notes and comments via google forms)
  6. Day 2 (PM) – secondary synthesis; pulling together comments from the shared google form
  7. Day 2 (PM) – second Lego Serious Play; how have our individual and shared perspectives of Knowledge Mobilisation changed as a result of the content and discussion of the 2 days?

Just to provide some definitions (taken from

“Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking and producing. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not creative..”

Creative practices is a very broad umbrella that covers a wide range of activities that generally involve making something original. This can include creative writing/poetry/song, drawing/cartoons/illustration/graffiti/painting, music, photography, film, animation, pottery/ceramics/carving/glass making, moulding/shaping/forming, sewing/knitting/lace making, hairdressing, gardening, flower arranging, design, architecture…

Via the links below, you will be able to find out more specific information about:

  • the participants
  • Lego Serious Play Methodology, the models we generated and reflections on the methodology
  • the case studies presented and the synthesis based on these
Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
Furnival Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
Phone 0114 225 6753 | Fax 0114 225 6931