The Creative Voucher scheme enabled small and medium sized businesses to partner with an arts & humanities-based researcher from one of Creativeworks London’s partner institutions. This section shows all of the projects that we have supported. More information about the scheme can be found here.

Creative Voucher Scheme

Codasign and Queen Mary University of London

SME Partner

Emilie Giles, Codasign

Academic Partner

Tessa Whitehouse, Queen Mary University of London

Project Title

Making Friends

Project Description

Making Friends was a joint project between Codasign and Queen Mary University of London, which explores friendship between young people in past and present forms through creative technologies. Codasign led on delivering hands on making workshops with the young people and Dr Tessa Whitehouse led on the research, asking:

  • How do ideas about friendship emerge among young people?
  • How are those ideas shaped by personal circumstances and material culture?
  • Do they change over time?
  • What does it mean to have a friend, or to be a friend to someone?

Working with students across years 7, 8 and 9 at Stoke Newington School, the project explored objects and experiences that are important to them. The team led hands on making workshops with the pupils in which they worked collaboratively using eTextiles, physical computing and storytelling to make interactive objects together.

During the first workshop the young people were encouraged to interact with each other, by playing games, sharing photographs and objects as well as interviewing each other about these. The idea behind this was to encourage them to explore what friendship means and to get to know each other a bit before the other two workshops which would use technology.

The second and third workshops were held at Sutton House in Hackney, a new venue which was consistent with Codasign’s typical workplaces.  The young people made use of the house in their tasks, finding interesting patterns that they could incorporate in an eTextile design that also contained an image personal to them.

During the third workship the pupils had to choose sounds to upload to a Bare Conductive Touch Board which triggered a collaboratively written story when touched. The physical triggers for the sounds were photos that the pupils had taken as homework for the workshop as well as the small eTextile pieces they had made.

The project also led two forums which focused on developing participatory practice with young people. Attendees came from the V&A, the Design Museum, Phoenix, the Discover Children’s Story Centre amongst others, and the sessions were led by Katy Beale and Linda Cockburn from Caper. The forums brought together professionals working in the museums and third sector organisations to discuss their own work and case studies as well as hearing about the project. It has helped strengthen Codasign’s relationships with existing partners as well as encouraging new collaborations.


Queen Mary - University of London
Arts & Humanities Research Council
European Union
London Fusion

Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.