This event took place on Wednesday 30 October 2019.

We are proud to present the Inaugural Professorial Lecture of Professor Chris Bennewith.

How can the experience of developing open interactive frameworks for digital immersive artworks be applied to the design of Plymouth’s creative economy?

Professor Chris Bennewith, Head of the School of Art, Design, and Architecture, will trace some of his work as part of international art and design collective Squidsoup, connecting the knowledge gained from these experiences to more recent projects relating to the development of a new Creative Economy for the city and region of Plymouth. 

Drawing from his extensive research, he has been applying the idea of creating open and creative artworks in which interactions can take place to the design the city’s creative ecology, in partnership with key stakeholders from the creative and cultural sector and beyond.

His particular research interest is in the development of a visual vocabulary that connects digital and material worlds. As the lead visual designer with Squidsoup, Chris has been involved in the creation of innovative installations and artefacts that combine sound, physical space and virtual worlds to produce interactive digital artworks that allow the viewer to take active control of what they experience.

You are welcome to join us for University of Plymouth's Inaugural Professorial Lecture series, which provide a milestone event in a professorial career. Through these we can promote and celebrate the academic reputation and achievements within their research.

This event is open to the public and free to attend. We recommend reserving your place using the above link to guarantee a seat.

"Chris’ move from New Zealand to Plymouth allows the University to lay claim to a designer and thinker of rare talent and energies, whether that be expressed as part of an international artistic collective responsible for work and installations around the globe or, closer to home, through galvanising partnerships that are central to Plymouth’s emergence as a creative and cultural centre. 

His vision and thought leadership are also transforming the School of Art, Design and Architecture that he leads, and contributing to new and interdisciplinary ways of working across the Faculty and University."

Professor Dafydd Moore
Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business

Professor Dafydd Moore

From left, Dr Anthony Rowe, Gareth Bushell and Professor Chris Bennewith with their work, Submergence. Credit: Paul Blakemore<br></p>

From left, Dr Anthony Rowe, Gareth Bushell and Professor Chris Bennewith with their work, Submergence. Credit: Paul Blakemore

About Squidsoup

Squidsoup is an international group of artists, researchers and designers (UK/NO/NZ) working with digital and interactive media experiences. Our work combines sound, physical space and virtual worlds to produce immersive and emotive headspaces where participants can take an active role in their experience. We explore the modes and effects of interactivity, looking to make digitally mediated experiences where meaningful and creative interaction can occur.

Find out more about the collective's work at

<p>The Bridge - video camera hero</p>

The Bridge I Open innovation and Knowledge Exchange

The Bridge is a new initiative designed to increase the growth, productivity and resilience of the Creative Economy in the South West, by bringing together industry and academia through open innovation and knowledge exchange. We:

  • support collaborative research, development and innovation,
  • develop opportunities for knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange,
  • foster new connections, partnerships and collaborations, and
  • provide access to funding opportunities.

Find out more about The Bridge

Illuminate Light Festival

Illuminate is a spectacular light-based festival that connects all of the Mayflower 400 destinations across the UK and internationally. In 2017 Plymouth’s Illuminate celebrations saw parts of Royal William Yard turned into a spectacular display of light-based art installations and projections. In 2018 Illuminate grew; showcasing projections and light art installations from local, national and international artists to provide a vibrant, fun and inspiring experience for Plymouth’s citizens and visitors alike.

Illuminate will continue to grow year on year becoming a signature event in the Mayflower 400 programme, and an annual large-scale light festival that will be a highlight in Plymouth’s event calendar. Discover more about the festival

<p>Illuminate 2017 by Dom Moore<br></p>

Public Research Programme

The year-long programme of public events showcases our research across a spectrum of topics. It presents our annual Research Festival, the Inaugural Professorial Lecture series, the Public Research Lecture series, the new Christmas Research Lecture, and selected lectures featuring keynote speakers throughout the year.

All are welcome to join us as our academics open the door to the intriguing world of research, inviting you to learn more about the fascinating work taking place across the University.

Have a look at our upcoming events

Roland Levinsky Building at night