Christopher is a doctoral researcher in the IOMS Research Group at UWE Bristol under the supervision of Professor Glenn Parry. His proposed research is focused on the role of business and innovation centres in the development of young, innovative firms. His background is in international management, innovation management and entrepreneurship. He completed his MSc at the University of South Wales and the IPAG Business School, Nice.
Ellen is a doctoral researcher in the IOMS Research Group at UWE Bristol under the supervision of Professor Glenn Parry. Her proposed research: What attracts designers to Bristol and why do they stay? Designers’ experiences of migration to the city, 1974 – 2015.
Bristol has been identified as an important UK city for design, home to a large number of designers working across a wide range of sectors from illustration, film and TV, to architecture and engineering. Ellen’s PhD research examines the motivating factors in designers’ migration to Bristol in the context of the individual’s life story. Traditional migration theory suggests that individuals migrate for economic and lifecycle reasons. Richard Florida’s Creative Class theory claims creative workers are highly mobile and are attracted to places that facilitate their lifestyle preferences. Empirical evidence finds little support for Florida’s theory, suggesting instead that traditional factors are as important for creative workers as they are for their non-creative counterparts. Other factors have also been highlighted: social networks, and an individual’s personal trajectory. Through an analysis of 65 in-depth life story interviews with designers working across the sectors in Bristol, this research will offer a nuanced understanding of migration experiences, demonstrate how social and professional networks operate to validate migration and occupation choices, and identify the role of familial associations with place in location decisions over the course of life.
Ellen previously worked as an oral historian for the British Library on the Crafts Lives project, documenting the lives of the UK’s craftspeople. She has an MA in the History of Design (V&A/RCA) and a BA in Ceramics.