ICP undertakes critical, collaborative, and applied research in arts, culture, heritage and creative industries that has tangible impacts on cultural policy and practice, locally, nationally and internationally.

The Institute for Cultural Practices specialises in interdisciplinary research, creative collaboration and professional development in the arts, culture, heritage and creative industries.

Our staff and affiliate researchers are committed to social justice and global change through the sustainable development of critical reflective practice and the co-production of knowledge with diverse communities. These communities of practice comprise civic institutions, community organisations and the professional body of practitioners, managers and policymakers who work with them, and we share their social missions and aspirations for justice and equality, and for transformational creative and cultural education for the good of society.

Our research values reflect a common, critical interest in the empirical, material, historical and contemporaneous practices of cultural institutions, and the eco-systems that surround them. This research contributes to academic knowledge, innovation and policy impact, across all areas of archives, museums, heritage, and the arts. We study the practices and processes involved in consuming, producing, managing and regulating culture across broad social, political and geographical contexts and the interests and experiences of individual artists, managers, intermediaries, creative freelancers, and business.

Research Identity

ICP's research identity is composed of applied methodologies, place-based research & global challenges, impact-driven research, ethics of care, equity & social justice and cultural practice research.

ICP’s Research identity comprises of five main approaches to research:

Applied, embedded, and activist methodologies

In our research, we develop and follow creative, critical, activist and participatory methodologies that allow us to be embedded in the organisational practice and policy-making we examine, and undertake applied and impactful research.

Place-based and collaborative solutions to global challenges

Our research aims to address global challenges in the arts, heritage, and museum sectors, by developing placed-based solutions and collaborating with academic and cultural partners nationally and internationally. This ensures that our research can have relevance and impact at local, national and international level.

Impact-driven research

Most of our research has cultural and societal impact embedded in its design from the outset. This ensures that our research is grounded in professional practice, addresses real challenges for specific beneficiaries, and has the potential to make an identifiable difference in the policy and practice of the cultural and creative industries we engage with.

Cultural Practice Research

We approach arts, culture, heritage and creative industries as areas of critical enquiry. This informs the scope, aims, and methodologies of our research, which we undertake with (rather than on) relevant organisations and individuals. Our projects and approaches reach across the spectrum of historical and contemporary 'practice research', including collaboration, co-production and co-design, critical reflective practice, practice-led research, practice-based research, practice-as-research, and archival research on professional and cultural practices.

Ethics of Care, Equity and Social Justice

We embed principles of ethics of care, equity, and social justice towards our research partners, participants and beneficiaries in the conceptualisation, design, and publication/dissemination of our research. This involves building and nurturing trust, long-term relationships, and shared understanding with the people and organisations we work with.

Research Themes

ICP’s Research Themes fall largely under the research foci of socially engaged and collaborative heritage practice and the intersections of art, science, and digital heritage, and more specifically on Cultural Audiences and Policy; Decolonisation and Ethics of Care; Heritage Activism; Digital Memory; and Arts, Culture and Wellbeing. 

Areas of our research include:

  • Arts, science and the politics of performance
  • Contemporary collecting practices in the museum
  • Critical approaches to cultural dissonance and conflict resolutions
  • Cultural participation and place-making
  • Cultural management, participation and cultural value
  • Decolonisation of cultural institutions and practices
  • Digital heritage
  • Feminism, activism, and creative practice
  • Health and community wellbeing through the stewardship and care of parks and green spaces
  • Knowledge production in the Himalayas
  • Local cultural policy and place-based strategies
  • Pedagogy of cultural and creative practice
  • Performance and activism
  • Policy, measurement and evidence in the arts, culture and creative industries
  • Public space, ecology, environment, natural heritage
  • Therapeutic impact of material and digital cultural heritage of trauma

ICP staff are also interested in undertaking commissioned research that draws on our research expertise and meets our objectives for user engagement.

If you would like to discuss how we can work with your organisation, please contact Dr Kostas Arvanitis, ICP Director (