Kirk’s role includes strategic development of cross faculty research and innovation linking creative disciplines into areas of research within the greater university, and with partners in video games, screen media, and technology industries.
Dr Kirk Woolford is a pioneer in the field of Immersive Media, having created his first interactive works in the early 1990s, as a method of exploring cultures and technologies. Kirk has a hybrid background with nearly 40 years of industry and academic experience, co-founding video games and interactive media companies in New York, London, and Amsterdam, and working with clients including Adobe, BBC2, Channel Four, Economist Magazine, and the Economist Intelligence Unit, and Sky Television. He has raised over £5M in research and investor funding. His creative work has featured at international festivals and venues such as the Venice Biennale, ARCO Madrid, Art Cologne, P.S.1. (MoMA), Shanghai eArts, Ars Electronica, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, and broadcast in the UK (BBC & C4), Germany, Netherlands, Austria, USA, et al.
Most recently, Kirk has co-developed immersive performances with the Emmy-winning film composer Michael Price, music videos with Imogen Heap, created games and interactive elements for BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, and developed games for stroke rehabilitation.
Kirk joins ARU after 6 years as Reader in Digital Media Arts at the University of Surrey. Prior to this, he held cross-disciplinary lectureships at the Universities of Lancaster & Sussex, and research posts in Germany and the Netherlands.
Kirk has published widely in movement and computing, digital humanities, creative technologies, performance technologies, serious games, and practice research.
Kirk’s research focuses on the role of the individual creative practitioner within the creative industries and in transdisciplinary research: particularly in areas of health and wellbeing, intangible cultural heritage (aka performance), and application of creative technologies for understanding the values of natural environments.
Recently Completed practice-based PhDs:
Co-supervision and examinations:
Research Council Funding:
Claire Nee, Martin White, Kirk Woolford, Tudor Pascu, Leon Barker & Lucy Wainwright (2014): New methods for examining expertise in burglars in natural and simulated environments: preliminary findings, Psychology, Crime & Law, DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2014.989849
Woolford, K., Dunn, S, (2013) “Experimental Archaeology and Serious Games: Challenges of Inhabiting Virtual Heritage”, ACM Journal of Computing and Cultural Heritage, 6, pp 16:1–16:15. doi:10.1145/2532630.2532632
Woolford, K. (2013) “New Photography: A Perverse Confusion Between the Real and the Live”, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol. 19, No. 3, Leonardo Electronic Almanac. Leonardo/ISAST, pp. 88–107. ISBN 978-1-906897-22-2
Woolford, K, Blackwell, A, Norman, S, Chevalier, C. (2010) “Crafting a Critical Technical Practice”, Leonardo, MIT Press, vol 43, pp. 202-203. (ISSN:0024-094X, doi:10.1162/leon.2010.43.2.202)
Norman, S, Blackwell, A, Woolford, K, (2010) “Gesture and Embodied Interaction: Capturing Motion/Data/Value”, Leonardo, MIT Press, vol 43, pp. 198-199. (ISSN:0024-094X, doi:10.1162/leon.2010.43.2.202)
Woolford. K. (2006) “Will.0.w1sp (‘willo-wisp’), Performance Research, 11(4), pp.30–38. DOI: 10.1080/13528160701363309
Woolford K, Dunn S., (2014) "Micro-Mobilities and Affordances of Past Places", Past Mobilities: Archaeological Approaches to Movement and Mobility, Leary, J., ed. Ashgate Publishing: Farnham, pp. 113-128. ISBN: 978-1-4094-6445-7
Dunn, S, Woolford, K., (2013) “Reconfiguring experimental archaeology using 3D reconstruction”, Electronic Visualisation in Arts and Culture, Springer Verlag 2013 pp 277-291, DOI:10.1007/978-1-4471-5406-8_19 Woolford, K., (2008) “Recognising Ourselves: Will.0.w1sp, Mirror Neurons, and Biological Motion”, TeDance: Perspectives on Technologically Expanded Dance, ed. Daniel Tércio, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, pp. 121-129. (ISBN: 987-972-735-160-2)
Atzori, P and Woolford, K. (1997) “Extended-Body: Interview with Stelarc”, Digital Delirium, eds. Arthur Kroker, Marilouise Kroker, St. Martin's Press, 1997, pp 194-199.
Beaumont, N. (ed), Woolford, K., et al (2020), “Demystifying Interdisciplinary Working (in Valuing Nature)”, Valuing Nature Paper VNP25.
Woolford, K., (2017) " Breakdown Harmonica: Extending Laban Notation with Video Game Development Tools", Proceedings of the 2017 International Workshop on Movement and Computing (MOCO '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, DOI=10.1145/3077981.3078051.
Woolford, K., (2015) "Defining accuracy in the use of Kinect v2 for exercise monitoring", Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Movement and Computing (MOCO '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 112-119. DOI=10.1145/2790994.2791002
Woolford, K. (2014) "Capturing Human Movement in the Wild", in Proceedings of the 2014 International Workshop on Movement and Computing (MOCO '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Pages 19-25 DOI=10.1145/2617995.2617999
England, D., Spence, C. Latulip, C., Edmonds, E., Candy, L., Bryan-Kinns, N., Schiphorst, T., Woolford, K. (2014) "Curating the Digital: Spaces for Art and Interaction", CHI '14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 21-24. DOI=10.1145/2559206.2559222
David England, Jocelyn C. Spence, Celine E. Latulipe, Ernest A. Edmonds, Linda Candy, Thecla Schiphorst, Nick Bryan-Kinns, and Kirk Woolford. (2014). "Art and interaction SIG: cataloging the digital arts", Proceedings of the extended abstracts of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI EA '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1115-1118. DOI=10.1145/2559206.2559210
Dunn, S, Woolford, K, “Reconfiguring experimental archaeology using 3D reconstruction”, EVA London 2012 Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, Computer Arts Society, British Computer Society, 2012, pp. 172-178. ISBN 978-1-780171-59-3
Dunn, S, Woolford, K, et al, “Motion in Place: a Case Study of Archaeological Reconstruction Using Motion Capture”, Revive the Past: Proceedings of the 39th Conference in Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Amsterdam University Press, 2012, 98-106.
Woolford, K., Guedes, C, “Echo Locations”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, ACM SIGGRAPH 2008 Talks, 2008, article 17. (ISBN: 978-1-60558-343-3, doi:10.1145/1401032.1401055)
Woolford, K., Guedes, C, “Particulate Matters: Generating Particle Flows from Human Movement”, Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Multimedia, ACM MM,07, 2007, pp 691-696.
Peer Reviewed/Juried Practice Outputs
Woolford, K., (2019), “Immersed in Nature: an immersive review of Virtual/Augmented Reality apps”, Valuing Nature, Royal Society, London
Woolford, K., Myatt, T., Price, M., (2018), “virtually (Re)Sounding Place (vRSP)”, AHRC Next Generation Immersive Experiences Showcase, York
Woolford, K., Myatt, T., Price, M., (2018), “virtually (Re)Sounding Place (vRSP)”, CVSSP/EPSRC/UK Acoustics Network (UKAN) Audio Day, Guildford, UK
Guedes, C., Woolford, K, (Oct 2018), “Jinn”, Festival Internacional de Marionetas do Porto 2018 (International Puppetry Festival), Rivoli National Theatre, Portugal, Oporto, Portugal, Live Music/Dance performances
Guedes, C., Woolford, K, et al (Oct 2018), “Jinn”, The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi, New York University Abu Dhabi Live Music/Dance performances
Woolford, K, (Jul 2017), “Jinn-Ginnaye”, 2017 International Workshop on Movement and Computing (MOCO '17). Goldsmith’s College, University of London, motion capture site-specific VR/AR Installation, University of Surrey
Woolford, K. (Oct 2014), “Moments in Place: Abu Dhabi”, ISEA 2014, augmented reality animations
Woolford, K (2013) “Moments in Place”, Brighton Digital Festival, Brighton UK, September 1-30, 2013
Woolford, K (2013) “Kusho: written in the air”, co-commission from Brighton Digital Festival and Brighton Japan Festival, Brighton UK, September 13-17, 2013
Woolford, K, Guedes, C., Burfen, J.M., et al. (2012) “Concerto X: Guimarães” (Created real-time graphic and photographic visuals for Live performance with 17 piece orchestra before an audience of 800), Guimarães European Capital of Culture, PT, 1 October, 2012
Woolford, K, (2011) “But Still, They Move: Kineasthic Response to Photographs” (Photography exhibition, 12 images and conference participation), Kinesthetic Empathy: Concepts and Contexts, University of Manchester, UK, March 8-10, 2010
Woolford, K, Guedes, (2009) “Echo Locations” (Interactive Installation, 2,500 viewers), Commissioned by Frog Design and University of Texas Austin for South by Southwest Interactive (SxSWi), Austin, TX, USA, 14 March, 2009
Woolford, K, Guedes, (2008) “Echo Locations” (Interactive Installation, Juried show, 35,000+ viewers), Slow Art - Evolve, ACM SIGGRAPH 08, Los Angeles, US, August 11-15, 2008
Woolford, K, Guedes, (2008) “Grass Traces” (interactive CGI installation) ton de video 08, Festival Internacional de Video Acert, Tondela, PT, 30 Apr- 3 May 2008