About Us

‘SMARTlab … eighteen years and going strong’

The aim of the SMARTlab is to work across sectors and disciplines to instigate and support positive cultural change. SMARTlab insists upon an ethical and socially responsible community collaboration model, which informs and enriches the academic domain by encouraging teams of artists and cultural sector creatives to work closely across disciplinary boundaries to invent new models and tools for learning. This model has made real impact, over eighteen years, helping to change the academy from within and enabling many more women, artists, open source advocates, ‘non-standard’ learners and people with disabilities to gain the highest level of ‘credit’ for their practical work and scholarship, so that, once they have gained their own PhDs, they can help to shape new models of inclusive, applied practice-based research so that it can transform the university sector from within.

The SMARTlab Practice-based PhD Programme has graduated several dozen PhDs, who have gone on to lead major institutions and labs worldwide.

The programme currently supports a cohort of 35 international PhD candidates in the fields of New Media and Performance, Digital Media, ICT4d, Assistive Technologies for People with Disabilities and the Elderly, Technology Futures, Wearables and SMART Textiles, Performance Technologies, Assistive Tech and Innovations, Technology-enhanced Learning for Health and Well Being, Digital Inclusion, Haptic and HCI integrated studies, and ‘Meaningful Games’ or Mobile Games for Learning.

The SMARTlab mission is to bring together teams of artists, scholars, technologists and policy makers to share a commitment to creative technology innovation for real social change.

In our Dublin base at UCD, and at sister sites worldwide, we provide a world-class research and incubation space for academic staff, practice-based PhD students and interdisciplinary teams of artists and technologists, scholars and education experts, community workers and industry representatives, working together to create and test the efficacy of new media and informatics tools designed for a ‘universal design’ ethos.

Together, we make new media tools, games, software applications, and live and telematic performances that demonstrate our model of social inclusion through the sharing of intellectual, creative and innovative capital.

The SMARTlab brings media artists, performers, technologists, scholars, business and e-commerce specialists, engineers, medical experts, and policy makers to sites around the world where their combined skills can make a real difference for communities, both locally and globally.

The SMARTlab was founded in 1993, and has operated – with a number of partners, from a number of bases internationally – since 1991. It has gained recognition as running one of the world’s leading practice-based PhD programmes, and is viewed as an incubator for the next generation of talent and high-level scholarship in the ‘ArtSci’ domain.

The SMARTlab has run major national and international seminars, events and knowledge cafés, as well as a range of interactive think-tanks, club nights and blue-sky labs. Regular formal lecture programmes and community outreach projects are in process. Local and international organisations are invited to contact us to collaborate and participate.

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