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Professor Tracy Harwood

Job: Professor of Digital Culture

Faculty: Computing, Engineering and Media

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT)

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8028




Personal profile

Twitter @tgharwood | @ioct_dmu | @ArtAIfestival
Skype Tracy.Harwood

Research group affiliations

Institute of Creative Technologies

Institute of Artificial Intelligence

Institute for Applied Economics & Social Value: Marketing Sub-Group

Research interests/expertise

Professor Harwood's research is transdisciplinary, working across computer science, arts, design, health and marketing disciplines. Current projects relate to the application of emerging technologies to business and consumer contexts, including artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), virtual/augmented/mixed reality (VR/AR/MR). She has a management background in practice, with a PhD in negotiation behaviour.  She is manager of the university’s Usability Lab (see and is also founder and director of the award-winning Art AI Festival (see

Harwood is a specialist in mixed methods research design and has taught on post-graduate and research development programmes on this approach, latterly focussing on practice-based research. She has published in leading marketing and digital creativity journals, including Journal of Services Management, Journal of Service Marketing, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Leonardo, Digital Creativity and Journal of Visual Culture. She is Area Editor for the European Innovation Alliance's Endorsed Transactions on Creative Technologies and a Programme Committee Member of the IEEE International Conference on Creative Lifestyle Computing.

Areas of teaching

Creative Technologies

Digital Culture

Creative Industries 

Marketing and consumer behaviour

Research methods

Courses taught

MA Digital Arts

MA/MSc Creative Technologies

MSc Creative Industries Management 

Practice-Based Research Doctoral Training Programme

Honours and awards

De Montfort University Teacher Fellow, 2003 

HEA National Teacher Fellow, 2004

Membership of professional associations and societies

Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Higher Education Academy National Teacher Fellow (NTF)

Fellow, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (FRSA)

Fellow, National Conference of University Professors (FNCUP)

Forthcoming events

Co-Chair: International Colloquium on Relationship Management, postponed til Sept 2021 (see

Consultancy work

Usability and User Experience (UX) - see

Creative Industries

Digital Economy

Creative Technologies and Smart Cities

Current research students

Boomer, J., Community‐building through culture: How two‐way acculturation is used in building sustainable online gaming communities, awarded a DMU scholarship (First) Jan 2021

Frize, J., New solutions to wicked problems: design processes for technology within music (Second)

Khairul, K., Cybernetic Actions: harnessing digital reality technologies towards developing actor training approaches, awarded a DMU scholarship (Second) Oct 2020

Palfreyman, L., Exploring how AR is changing the sense of space and place in the city (First) Oct 2020

Uwins, Michael, Immersive soundscapes for retail performance management (Second).

Wang, R., (Second) Oct 2020

Weller, R., Exploration of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals as a foundation for creating ethical guidelines in the context of Social Networking Sites (Second) Jan 2021

Completed –

Almakky, Abeer (2017), Safety-critical medical devices, changing patterns of interaction with insulin pump: an analytical framework (Second).

Kokil, Uttam, Comparative study of two user experience models and their application in computer gaming (First).

Lataifah, Mohammad (2015), Using design thinking to facilitate information technology service (First). 

Chang, Jimmy Man Tsun (2007), The impact of strategic partnering on performance in garment manufacturer-supplier relationships in the Hong Kong garment manufacturing industry (Second).

Externally funded research grants information

2020 Arts Council England, £60,250 (ACPG-00196790) Art AI Festival

2019 Arts Council England, £14,999 (ACPG-00164056) Art AI Festival

2018 InnovateUK Audiences of the Future (PI: Sophy Smith), £205,528 (total project £6.58M): Immersive performances of the future (partners: Royal Shakespeare Company, The Philharmonia Orchestra, Punchdrunk International, Manchester International Festival (MIF), Jingo Juice Ltd t/a Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), Magic Leap, Intel, Epic Games, NESTA, i2 media, Goldsmiths University, Uni Portsmouth, Arts Council England, The Space, Phi Centre Montreal)

2017 InnovateUK Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme (KTP010965): Serendipity Artists Movement Limited, business development, £109,948

2017 University of Otago (PI Dr Tony Garry) Cyborg and relationship marketing research project development, NZ$20,000

2015 InternetNZ (PI Dr Tony Garry) Compromising Privacy for Convenience and Wellbeing on the Internet of Things, NZ$30,224

2014 University of Otago (PI Dr Tony Garry) Compromising Privacy for Convenience and Wellbeing on the Internet of Things, NZ$5,000

2014 AHRC Cultural Values Project (AH/L014203/1): Machinima: an investigation into the contribution of participatory user-generated machine-cinema to cultural values, £47,563.

2009 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Scheme: Phoenix Square digital arts centre (KTP007720), international audience development for digital arts, £125,445.

2009 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Scheme: Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People (KTP007325), social media development strategy, £93,319. 

2008 Arts and Humanities Research Council Catalyst Scheme: Creative Skills Workshops, £16,706.

Internally funded research project information

2020/1 De Montfort University £15,000, Art AI Festival

2019 De Montfort University £10,000, Art AI Festival

2018 De Montfort University, Art-AI Festival (May), Leicester, £4,000 (plus in kind support from partners Hammerson, Phoenix and Elliott)

2016 Confucius Institute and #DMULocal: Creative Technologies in the Public Realm, conference (with Dr Sophy Smith)

2011 HEIF5: Usability Lab 

2010 HIEF4: Creative Industries Supply Chains

Professional esteem indicators

Area Editor, European Alliance for Innovation’s Transactions on Creative Technologies

Programme Committee member: IEEE International Conference on Creative Lifestyle Computing

Current editorial review board memberships –

Journal of Creativity & Human Development (; Netdreamer Publications

Reviewer for –

Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Journal of Consumer Research, Management Decision, Journal of Marketing Communications, Direct Marketing, Convergence, Creativity & Human Development International, Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Packaging Technology and Science; and conferences: Academy of Marketing, European Marketing Academy, Australia & New Zealand Marketing Academy, CIGCHI Creativity & Cognition, Eye-Tracking South Africa annual conference, Higher Education Academy Annual Conference, Digital Arts and Culture Annual Conference, ISEA, International Conference on Computer Science & Application Engineering (CSAE 2018)

Usability Lab

Art AI Festival