Universities Week 2014

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MERL and the University of Reading Special Collections present special events as part of Universities Week 2014, highlighting University research and its impact on our everyday lives. 


Sensory objects wellieResearch in Action: Sensory Objects

The 'Sensory Objects' project, a collaboration between the Department of Art and the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading and the University of East London, has been working with students from Reading College LLD/D (Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities) department to create interactive sensory objects in response to their experiences at the Museum of English Rural Life.


Buckets, Baskets & Boots: Sensory Objects Showcase

Reading Colleage Learners with Learning Difficulties, researchers from the University of Reading and the Rix Centre at the University of East London present their research into interactive sensory objects: creating alternative forms of museum interpretation.

Explore MERL though your senses using Interactive Sensory Objects:

  • Hear and activate the sounds of sensory buckets, listen for a 'hole in one'
  • Touch the interactive pig's nose, then stroke a mooing boot
  • Smell herbs and flowers growing in baskets and boots
  • Taste some sepcially made smoothies
  • See an LED light up as you try accessible litteBits electronic kits


Sensory objects us and MERL'Sensory Objects in Progress' Seminar

This seminar will explore this three year (2012-15) Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project in greater detail, with presentations from guest speakers and from the Sensory Objects research team.

Guest Speakers include:

Kate Arnold-Forster, Director of MERL; members of the Liverpool Mecap Access to Heritage Group; and Dr Nicola Grove, leading specialist in narrative intervention with children and adults with learning disabilities, a skilled storyteller and leading specialist in narrative interpretation.

There will be hands-on demonstrations of interactive sensory objects created by the research team, and opportunities to experience first-hand some of the project’s workshop activities.

Who should attend?
The seminar is aimed at SEN educators, museum curators, artists, academics, and members of the public with interests in accessibility, learning disability, and heritage.

Attendees will learn about the challenges of developing tools to empower people with learning disabilities to develop a creative sensory experience of heritage sites and museums, and some approaches to addressing these challenges.

10.15 Arrive
10.30 Start Welcome and Intro, Kate Allen
10.45 Co-Researchers from Reading College LLD/DD, Demo of Sensory Objects
11.45 Kate Arnold Forster, MERL's response to Sensory Objects
12.00 Ticky Lowe reports on test Cookbook at Sudley Hall Liverpool
12.15 Lunch
1.00 Researcher Presentation - Andy Minnion and Gosia Kwiatkowska from Rix centre discuss Multi Media Advocacy. Nic Hollinworth shows tools for great Co-Researcher independence.
1.30 Nic Hollinworth presents littleBits go LARGE with Activity to create a creature in a cup with littleBits
2.00 Micro Break
2.15 Guest Speaker, Dr Nicola Grove 
2.30 Discussion
3.00 END


Research showcaseResearch Showcase: the creative industries

  • Wednesday 11th June
  • Museum of English Rural Life
  • 12.30 to 7pm
  • Suitable for the general public, sixth form students and their teachers
  • Free
  • Email merlevents@reading.ac.uk for further details & to book

This event will showcase how the University of Reading's world-leading research feeds into the UK's creative economy, with emphasis on theatre and film. A small exhibition of key items from the University's collections that support creative industries research - including the iconic manuscript for Samuel Beckett's first novel, Murphy; and a film showing of a creative response to the University's Evacuee Archive.

Other events throughout the day (for the public and schools) will highlight research by PhD students working in the Film, Theatre and Television Department fits with creative industries.

-  Murphy manuscript, Godot set model and other items on display (intro area)
12.30, 2.30, 4.30, & 6.30pm  - Film showings (Studio, 1 hour)
1:30, 3.30, & 5.30pm - Bookable sessions – students speak about their research and its relationship with the creative industries (Studio, 1 hour)


Ure Move event posterUre Move: Young Curators at the Ure Museum

This event is the launch of our new exhibition displaying the results of the Ure Move project, the Ure Museum’s educational program involving university students engaging with local secondary school pupils in the curation of the museum.

This event will be the culmination of the Ure Move project, an educational program involving university students engaging with local secondary school pupils in the curation of the museum, realised in partnership with AACT, a local charity.

Come and learn about the project from the young people involved and enjoy a preview of the new exhibition, which will display the work of the young curators throughout the summer in various locations outside the Museum. The event will be a unique occasion to visit the University of Reading and the Ure Museum in a convivial atmosphere, accompanied by the curator and the other members of the Ure Move team.

Artworks created by the school pupils will be displayed in the Department of Classics and the iPad application developed for the project, with the original stop motion animations realised by the young curators, will be revealed to the public for the first time.

Look around the collection, play with the interactive iPad application or have a go yourself at making your own short stop motion animation: there is something for any one and any age.


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