Falmouth University seeks to challenge views of creativity

As Falmouth celebrates 120 years, the institution is showing how far it’s come – from art school, to working at the forefront of creativity and technology. We explore how it is reframing creativity as a mindset, and using it to solve global challenges.

7 March 2023


This month, Falmouth University unveils a campaign challenging the way we think about creativity. Not just reserved for artists, the university is showing how creativity drives the work of everyone, whether they’re working in the creative industries or beyond; in computing, business or the built environment. The concept of the campaign, ‘Creativity in Everything’, repositions creativity as a state of mind anyone can harness.

The university is on a mission to show how creativity provides new ways of seeing, thinking and making. Creativity is about communication, content and design. But it’s also about being ahead of the curve, it’s the momentum that can shift culture and paradigms for the better. This is reflected in the university’s approach to its work, which is defined by its belief that from climate change to an ageing society, health and wellbeing, new ideas and creative thinking is required to help address the grand challenges of our time.

When you think about the impact universities have, you might start by thinking about their staff, students and alumni. And Falmouth has plenty who are making an impact. Falmouth University prides itself on its close connections to the industry, so that students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed beyond university. In particular, courses are primed to offer skills that, according to the Word Economic Forum, will only become more in-demand in the industry in the future, like creative problem solving, innovation and ideation.


Sophie Bott: Sustainable Product Design (Copyright © Jessop)

Mark Jenkin, distinguished professor of film practice at Falmouth University, won a BAFTA for his 2019 film Bait. He made the film with the support of the University’s Sound/Image Cinema Lab and it was crewed by staff and students. Students got real-life experience of working on a film set (not to mention an IMDb credit) and Mark had access to resources that he otherwise wouldn’t have got.

Elsewhere, on the MA Indie Game Development (Online), Falmouth student Elliott Dodsworth has made exciting steps in accessibility and game design, producing an AR action-adventure ​​game made with visually impaired accessibility in mind: Fortune is Blind. Then there’s Turner Prize nominee and Fine Art Graduate Tacita Dean and photographer Alumna Kate Peters, who recently secured the cover of Time with her portrait of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

However, beyond learning and teaching, Falmouth is leading the field in the nascent area of creative research. In recent years, Falmouth has contributed significantly to the emerging field of Serious Games – a field which uses games for purposes beyond entertainment, like wellbeing, health or education.


Alice Harper and Ilaina Lowe: Big Feet (Copyright © Alice Harper and Ilaina Lowe)

The Attune project is a good example. Academics from the University’s Games Academy, in partnership with academics from the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry, are exploring how creativity can help young people who have experienced trauma in childhood.

Other influential projects include a blending of creative design and robotics to aid attempts by local flower and food producers to plug the labour shortage gap, and research projects promoting biodiversity or health and wellbeing.

The work at Falmouth shows what can happen when people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines use creativity to make a change. Moreover, in an industry when creativity is often viewed as something held by only a select few, Falmouth University asks us to widen the definition be more inclusive. As vice chancellor and CEO professor Emma Hunt puts it: “Not only is creativity the key that unlocks new innovations and enables us to find solutions to global challenges, but it’s what engages people to think, act and feel differently.”


Copyright © Lucie Jones


Work by Nathan Stevenson (Copyright © Jessop)


Enys Men: Bosena (Copyright © Steve Tanner, 2021)


Atrium Falmouth University Campus (Copyright © Laura Bailey)

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Falmouth University

Based in Cornwall, UK, Falmouth University is a specialist institution delivering future-focused courses that span the creative industries, and beyond.

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Falmouth University: Creativity in Everything (Copyright © Falmouth University, 2023)

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