2017 Round-up


A Year of Light and Shade

Naomi Curston


As a whole, 2017 has illuminated a lot of problems, although perhaps this is not an altogether bad thing. Most recently, a cross-industry epidemic of abuse has been brought to light, and neither tech nor the creative industries have escaped unscathed, something which is important to acknowledge, even as we celebrate achievements in the very same sectors.

In the UK, regardless of political affiliation, floundering Brexit negotiations have rendered the future increasingly uncertain. And, although there was a lot to celebrate with regards to science and technology in the autumn budget (money to improve maths teaching, broadband and mobile networks, and a promised increase in computer science teachers), thing are less positive for the creative industries, with Arts Council funding and funding for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport both being cut.

Within this often upsetting and destabilising context, the Create Hub Industry Experts have steered us through 2017 with personal insights into the areas that they know and love best. These articles have been instructional, illuminating and, at times, touching. They have explored events and innovations big and small – from the international to the local.

If you haven’t had a chance to follow their stories over the year, I would urge you to do so.


Samuel Fry

Creating a Minimal Viable Product

An investigation of the concept of an MVP, and how it can be useful in the world of business.

How to Work with Distributed Teams

Practical advice on working with colleagues who are geographically distant, particularly regarding effective communication and teambuilding.

Artists, Communities and talking about Arts Practice

An analysis of talking about process and the importance of connecting the right artists and audiences with the right events.


Dave Jarman

How do you put Values at the Heart of a Business?

An introduction into really incorporating values into a viable business model, and the benefits this can bring.

Technology + Creativity = Invention

A journey into the history of invention in order to demystify something that is an almost commonplace phenomenon.


Richard Adams

The Complexities of Digital Architecture

The function of digital architects in modern businesses; a demystifying of this curious job title.

Artists’ Tools: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

A view of the revolution in AI and the rise of machine learning as an opportunity, not a threat to jobs.

Blockchain is a Hot Topic

An introduction to Blockchain for the uninitiated, via online art dealing, monetizing digital art and creating virtual artworks.



Martin Franklin

The Digital Dark Age is Coming

A look at how we may be losing the ability to photographically document history via an examination of archiving practice, digitization, the Google Cultural Institute and the challenges facing cultural organisations.


Adam Clarke and Victoria Bennett

Just Keep Playing…

A cautionary tale of the now-uncertain future of Minecraft’s content creators and users, and what innovation and creativity might be lost.

All the World’s a Stage

A reflection on what it takes to create a truly innovative piece of art – mixing different media as no one has ever done before, namely, the creation of Playcraft Live.

Losing and Finding

An exploration of Minecraft as a brilliant tool through which complex emotion and concepts can be expressed, no matter one’s age, via a deeply personal experience about family, grief and Minecraft.



Bec Evans

Getting Emotional to Improve User Experience

An explanation of why emotion is truly key in business, not just cold analysis and calculation.

Create Empathy and Understanding for your Audience with Personas

An instructional article on ways to understand your audience and create the best possible product using ‘personas’.

Using Empathy Maps to Explore Barriers to Writing

A view of empathy maps outside of user research, pertaining to writing, blogging and the feeling of isolation often so familiar to creatives.


Rebecca Bartlett

Where do you Find your Inspiration?

On the importance of collaboration and communication, and how a team might go about creating a digital product that users really want.

Digital Choice

Featuring Matthew Jelfs, this article asks whether digital platforms give us too much choice (or, perhaps, not enough) and how this affects our cultural lives.


Marcus Lilley

Theatre & Virtual Reality

An exploration how theatre and virtual reality are beginning to mix, through examples of productions staged in 2017.

Podcast Fiction

10 recommendations of the very best of fiction-based podcasts for you to explore.


A reflection on the highlights of 2017’s #LoveTheatreDay, a social media event celebrating all things theatre.


Rupert Bathurst

Full Steampunk Ahead

An introduction to the wonderful world of steampunk, where art and technology truly collide and where these ideas drive aesthetic, music and craftsmanship.

An Interview with a Storycrafter

An interview with Michael J. Rigg, on the myriad ways he tells stories: through novel-writing, podcast-hosting, Twitter and YouTube.

Y-Robots: Writing about Robots

A documentation of the themes of some of the new writing presented at Tea-Powered Theatre‘s latest (robot-themed) event, exploring through this why we are continuously drawn to fiction about robots.


Whether you’re just discovering our wonderful Industry Experts for the first time or if you’ve been following them all year, if you think that you could add to the conversation, we would love to hear from you. We will be continuing in 2018 and want to continue to embrace an ever-more-diverse range of views from the arts, tech or from those with experience in both.

Please contact naomi.curston@gmail.com or samueljfry@hotmail.com for more information or to tell us your ideas!

Author: Naomi Curston

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