Prof. Gregory Sporton MA PhD

Gregory Sporton MA PhD SFHEA

©Eileen Perrier _MG_4208 copy

Professor and Director of Research & Knowledge Exchange, DCDI

(since March 2022), Professor and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, College of Digital, Creative and Design Industries (DCDI), University of Westminster. Responsible for DCDI’s research and knowledge exchange programmes, strategic planning issues and building university links to industry and abroad.

Previously: Head of School Westminster School of Arts

I joined the University of Westminster in November 2018 as Head of a new School, Westminster School of Arts , a multi-arts and creative practice school of 2500 students, including 400 post grads and 100+ PhD students, together with a thriving research culture . The emphasis on creativity as a practical experience runs all the way through from Foundation to practice-based research and across a rich portfolio of creative subjects.

g.sporton at

Harrow Campus
Watford Road
Northwick Park
Middlesex HA1 3TP

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Professor of Digital Creativity, University of Greenwich: (Jan, 2013-Sept 2018

I joined the University of Greenwich in 2013 to work on issues around the relationship between creativity and digital technology. This included founding a new department for the University, Creative Professions and Digital Arts based in the new Stockwell Street building, that opened in September 2014.

Professor since February 2011 when I was appointed at Birmingham City University’s School of Art.

With my research collaborator Jonathan Green, we developed a motion capture/HCI device, MotivePro that has been used extensively in postural training, with grants successfully raised to acquire the patent and to exploit the opportunities in the arts, health and technology sectors for its application. There is an account of its development in my book Digital Creativity (2015).

My research publications are based around my previous work with the VRU, but also include articles about dance, a subject to which I invariably find myself returning given my background. I still occasionally perform, though usually now in relation to research. I am also Reviews Editor for Scene

Previous Employment

2005-2012: Director, Visualisation Research Unit, School of Art, Birmingham City University

My work as Director of the VRU involved the support and application of new technologies in the visual and performing arts.

During my period as founding Director, I was responsible for the development of research facilities, research staff, securing funding and linking the work of the VRU to the University’s research strategy, as well as pursuing my own research interests. Included in this was the development of the MA Digital Arts in Performance, a programme that attracted UK and international students, as well as the MA Arts & Project Management, developed to enable a new generation of arts professionals.

In 2008, as part of a collaboration with the Arts Council, I became Chair of STATE. STATE operates the acclaimed Eastside Projects gallery space and the VRUdio, an HD video, animation and sound facility designed to provide research infrastructure for local arts companies as well as commercial hire, on behalf of BCU. It is one only a handful of HEI/Arts Council England jointly funded projects and was made a National Portfolio Organisation in 2012.

Recruited to University of Central England (now BCU) in 2002 as Head of School, Performance & Moving Image, Department of Visual Communications, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. This School included Theatre Design, Moving Image & Multimedia Design, as well as MA Scenography. During four years in the Visual Communications Department my role was regularly extended to include areas like research, quality assurance, new course development and overseas course development.

1999–2001 Head of Research & Graduate Studies, Laban Centre London, now part of Trinity Laban. I oversaw the reform and redevelopment of the Graduate School, to focus on new institutional priorities determined by the new building programme. This meant a thorough review and reorientation of the provision with a practical focus, where I successfully validated M level programmes in Choreography, Performance and Dance Science, the latter two the first of their type in the UK, that have proven very successful strategic move over a long period. During this period I also rationalised and revalidated its Research Degrees programme, creating the platform for many students to go on to practice-led research degrees. I have fairly extensive experience of PhD supervision, including contributions to health science-based doctorates.

with Suzanne Adair at Human Veins Dance Theatre

1996-1999 Dance Studies Subject Leader University of Wolverhampton. Founded the Dance Studies department and developed to a full honours programme, attracting 90 students per year. Seconded onto the Steering Group for the development of a new faculty for the University, now the very successful School of Sports, Performing Arts and Leisure (SPAL), and acted as its Associate Dean during the period of selecting and appointing an inaugural Dean. This included negotiating demerger of subject areas, staff and students from existing structures, the establishment of a management team, chairing Quality Assurance Committee, and developing new programmes for the new School.

1992-1995 Lecturer in Dance, Coventry Centre for the Performing Arts, Coventry, U.K., entry level position teaching dance technique, choreography, community dance and anatomy.

1985-1994 Professional dance career performing with companies and in independent projects across a large variety of forms and contexts. Work included spells with English National Opera, Nexus Dance Company, Human Veins Dance Theatre, Het Muziektheater, Opera Restor’d, Small Axe Dance Company and more.

Institutional Roles and External Responsibilities

PhD Supervision of students in diverse areas of digital technology practice in the Arts, contributions and completions to doctoral study across music, film, dance and health, with more than 15 completions. Membership of Institutional Research bodies at all levels.

2019- Present, External Member, Staffordshire University Professorial Appointments committee.
2009-2012, External Examiner, MA Digital Culture and Technology, Kings College London.
2009-Present, External Examiner, BA (Hons) Multimedia Design, Nottingham Trent University.
2006-2012, Member of the Management Team, Department of Art, BIAD
2004-2007, Consultant, Animazoo Motion Capture, on development of new products, corporate spokesman and accessing new markets.
2003- 2007, Board Member, VIVID, Birmingham, representing commercial development opportunities in the Arts sector.
1993-2000 Birmingham Royal Ballet, Education Advisory Committee.

Training & Education

PhD University of Sheffield 1999
MA Arts Education & Cultural Studies, University of Warwick 1996
Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy 2018
Dip A (Dance), Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia 1985
Medici Fellow, Creating Enterprise in Universities 2004-05
Diploma in Russian Language, Moscow State University 2006
Prince 2 Project Management Foundation Level 2008
Arts & Business Creative Training & Development Programme 2006

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