This scheme enabled a doctoral student or early career academic researcher to do a short-term work placement with a company from within London’s Creative Economy. Below are examples of placements that Creativeworks London has funded. More information about the scheme can be found here.

PHD-In-Residence Scheme

Hide & Seek and Phil Hellary from Queen Mary University of London

SME Partner

Dan Borthwick, Hide&Seek

PhD Student

Phil Hellary, Queen Mary, University of London


Prof. Richard Nelson, Queen Mary, University of London

Project Name


Project Description

Prior to this partnership Hide&Seek had developed a computer moderated game for public spaces called Searchlight. Pioneering a combination of motion detection software, floor projections and real objects the game was launched at a Hide&Seek Weekender event at the Southbank Centre. The goal of this researcher in residence project was to further develop Hide&Seek’s existing technology and to create new games that either an evolution of Searchlight or adapted its software.

The results of the partnership were showcased in the first week of Hack the Barbican, a four week festival of digital culture that brought together theatre performers, computer scientists, sculptures, hardware hackers, teachers and musicians. Hide&Seek’s event, a playtest arcade, feature two prototype games that featured motion controller technology. ROCK required two players to utilise a Leap Motion controller, and ROLL was a frantic hopscotch game involving Microsoft Kinect hardware.

Phil Hellary commented that the partnership allowed him to improve his “visualisation skills” and “opened up a new world of creative opportunities and mindsets”. He noted that the opportunity of thinking differently for a few months was an invaluable experience. Unfortunately since the collaboration concluded Hide&Seek has ceased trading.


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.