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Storycircle  focuses on the social and digital conditions for narrative exchange and knowledge production, led by Goldsmiths, University of London, with input from Lancaster University and the University of Salford. 

Storycircle’s aim is to facilitate processes of narrative production and exchange, to generate a narrative ecology in collaboration with local actors and stakeholders, that enhances understanding of the digital platforms, user interfaces and social processes through which creativity and knowledge exchange can be stimulated. Our point of departure is the diverse narrative activity already taking place in the region around MediaCityUK and our aim is to design projects collaboratively that meet the needs of our partners.

The background to our project aims and design are the following principles. Existing narrative research tells us that narrative is empowering, and that opportunities for narrative exchange are important ways of recognising people as citizens and as human beings; it also tells us that narratives connect people, and the exchange of narratives can connect people who would not otherwise be linked and so generate new insights and knowledge, to the benefit of those involved.

Storycircle builds on three specific themes and foci for narrative exchange that had emerged through Goldsmiths’ pilot phase fieldwork in 2010 - ‘stories of place’; ‘citizen/local knowledge’ and ‘enthusiasms.’  

Partners & Collaborators




  • Salford Storycircle Blog
    This was an initial experimental blog created by SCC students early on in the Storycircle project. Media students following a brief titled ‘Journeys into MediaCity’ which explored the implications of the move of creative industries to Salford. The activity helped develop students’ reflective practice and encouraged them to reflect on their future career aspirations, using digital platforms to engage with the wider community and to reflect on the impact of changes in their local environment on these aspirations.
  • Interactive Camping Histories and Timeline
    Storycircle and members of the Salford Lad's Club LC worked with local programmer Steven Flowers on producing interactive webpages for the club’s Camping content. Involved uploading metadata and content, writing copy and embedding a range of third-party plugins and social media tools (YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Google Maps, Storify, JS Timeline) into the SLC’s Wordpress site. Individual collections of content are available on: Youtube; Facebook; and Storify.

  • Oasis Historypin Channel
    This was a school-owned channel within the online mapping tool Historypin. The channel was developed by a group of Year 10 students at Oasis and contained an archive of photos of and from the school in its previous incarnation as Hope High School together with a series of photos contributed by participants at a public-facing event held at Salford Quays in Feb 2012 with the support of the Goldsmiths research team and the Egg Space at Salford University. Public photos were collated by students at an open workshop held on the same day as a wider showcase event at Salford Quays. Students interviewed contributors, talked about their work with Historypin. The aim of using this tool was to support and encourage intergenerational dialogue and to provide a platform for sharing stories about the changing local landscape.

  • Main Storycircle website
    Website set up by the Storycircle team at Goldsmiths for archiving and disseminating collaborations, events, methodology and findings of the Storycircle research project.

  • Oasis War Mermorial Map
    This customised Google map was adapted to reflect the theme of a ‘war memorial’ by replacing the usual push pins with a poppy to signify remembrance. Students worked together with a Goldsmiths researcher over a series of workshops to research and ‘pin’ a memorial poppy for each individual on the war memorial. Bringing the data together in this visual way helped staff and students and other viewers see the strong impact of WW1 casualties in their local area and prompted discussion about changing street names, changing social patterns as well as continuities, e.g. where some students lived in the same street as a soldier who had died.

  • Oasis War Memorial Blog 
    This blog was developed by the Goldsmiths research team in collaboration with a group of Year 8/9 students at Oasis Academy. Data about military war dead on a war memorial located in the school was provided by a local community group, SWARM (Salford War Memorials), who had campaigned to save the war memorial previously housed in Salford Central Mission, on whose site the new school was subsequently built. Students worked with a Goldsmiths researcher to convert the stories of the war dead into text and audio narratives. The latter were stored on Soundcloud and subsequently embedded on the blog. A key aim of the blog was to enable SWARM’s data set to be more widely available and to enhance the data by incorporating a local flavour and dialect.

  • Community Reporter Website: March 2013 Upgrade
    A core element of Storycircle’s research with People’s Voice Media involved advanced application of social networking media intended to enhance public engagement with content on a planned upgrade to the site. Storycircle led a design process with staff, where we have discussed the development of metadata systems to shape how content appears on the site, and the inclusion of interactive Web 2.0 functionality (using Drupal modules e.g. Community Tagging, Flags and Views, and plugins e.g. Disqus and Storify). Alongside this the Storycircle team supported PVM staff to develop their editorial skills in ‘curating content’ to tell a story, and to stimulate public interactions through such technologies and techniques. Storycircle also conducted beta testing of the user experience for this site with a group of volunteers before re-launching it in March 2013.


  • 14 short films from the ‘Tales from Camp’ film series were broadcast on the BBC ‘big screens’ in the Manchester Arndale Centre and the MediaCityUK site on Salford Quays, and on screens inside the Salford Quays shuttle buses.


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