Staff profile

Dr Rhiannon Jones

Associate Professor (Civic)

Rhiannon wearing a silver blazer, looking upwards.


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


School of Arts




Markeaton Street, Derby Campus



I am a Nottingham-based artist research and Associate Professor (Civic) for University of Derby where I lead the Civic Lab Research Group. I am chair of Cumulus: International Contemporary Working Art Group, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for New Art Exchange and Chair of their Programming and Projects Committee. I am a DerbyCAN steering group member, Stakeholder for Bolton Arts CIC. I am a UK lead partner for Design for Emergancy project with DESIS. 

In 2012, I co-founded InDialogue, a collaborative interntional research project that interrogates how artists and researchers use dialogue in their practice. InDialogue has curated four International Conferences, hosted three International residencies and supported over 600 artists since 2012 – 2020 from over 15 countries. 

I am the founding director and CEO / Creative Director of Designing Dialogue (S.H.E.D) a Community Interest Company that currently runs S.H.E.DA mobile flat-pack, popup arts venue and public space dedicated to artistic research through public engagement. To date, it has delivered a wide range of projects in different cities in the UK engaging over 4000 people and was recently shortlisted for Shed of the year 2020 and was a finalist in the UK Green Gown Awards for ‘benefiting community’. It is also the first-ever Spinout company for the University of Derby. Most recently, installed at V&A Dundee for Design for Planet, Design Council Summit for COP26.

I have a long-standing international collaborative practice with Dr Traci Kelly (Ger/UK). Together, their research engages with digital, sculptural and performative documentation to provide a forensic exploration into writing as an ecology. 

I have contributed articles to the Performance Research Journal and International Journal of Creative Practice. Most recently, my work has been published in Applied Pedagogies in HE: Real-World Learning and Innovationas a case study by Palgrave Macmillan and a chapter for the Intellect Play-text Series Acts of Dramaturgy: The Shakespeare Trilogy chapter entitled 'Endings are not always completed with a full stop'. I have publications in Journal Research for All and Un/writing the landscape, re/figuring the body supported by PABlish – Bergen Performing Arts and the National Library for Norway. I have presented research papers and workshops internationally, such as, What is Design after Design? University Rome, 2021 and an exhibiting artist in Format21.

I have an MA in Performance & Live Art from Nottingham Trent University and received a Ph.D. from Nottingham Trent University in 2016: ‘The Artistry of Conversation’. I am a member of the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement and DESIS, UK researcher for Design for Emergency (2020). I am a member of Co-Creating Change Midlands Network: Arts & Culture. Guest Speaker for Design for Planet (2021) PolicyConnect an All Party Parliamentary Group (2021-22), and a delivery partner of CHEAD for their Annual Conference (2021). 

Find out more about my work

Teaching responsibilities

  • BA Interior Design
  • MA Fine Art
  • MA Public History 
  • BA Cinematography
  • BA Dissertation supervision (Fine Art)
  • MRES Research Methodologies 
  • MA Writing for Performance
  • BA Fine Art
  • Foundation Fine Art
  • PGR Seminars

Professional interests

  • Designing with Society
  • Practice as Research
  • Dialogic and Participatory Practices 
  • Social Activism and Engagement
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Research models for creative arts practice
  • Politics and the Everyday
  • Civic Practice

Research interests

I have a PhD by practice from Nottingham Trent University (2016). In which the thesis The Artistry of Conversation looked at the performative and tactile nature of Conversation. 

My research continues to focus on the artistic design of dialogue.

To do this, it explores the use of artistic practice as a methodology to create opportunities for discourse with the public on urgent social, political and economic matters.

I employ innovative research processes, in order to create civic dialogues through creative place-making. This in turn supports the development of new models for increasing social mobility, through widening access to arts, culture and education. To this end, the research acts as an instigator for positive change, addressing the impact of socially/ civic engaged discourse.

To do this, I work closely with the cultural, sporting, creative sectors and the public. I have international partnerships, with Cumulus and DESIS and work with colleagues from across H.E Sector. By doing this, it generates spaces for conversation between H.E and Creative Cultural Organisations. The research process is always collaborative and typically the work makes manifest in the form of exhibitions, published texts, and symposia operating both nationally and internationally.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Lead, CivicLAB Reserach Group, University. of Derby (2020 - ).
  • Chair, Cumulus International Contermporary Art Working Group (2019 - ).
  • Chair, Programing and projects New Art Exchange (2021 - )
  • Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, New Art Exchange (2021 - ).
  • CoCreator of Change Maker, Creative Academies, UK 
  • The Midlands Higher Education and Culture Forum on Collaborative Research, Nottingham Contemporary (2018 - )
  • Resident Artist at Primary, Nottingham.(2012 - ).
  • Trustee, New Art Exchange (2019 - ).
  • Derby Theatre Research Group Member (2018 - ).
  • Steering Group member for DerbyCAN producing hub (2019- ).

Until Recently

  • U21C invited working group member, Nottingham Trent University (2014 – 2016).
  • Steering group member S-CEP (2017 - 18)
  • Synapse Arts steering group (2012-2014)
  • Sheffield Culture Education Partnership Steering Group


  • BA Hons Theatre (First Class Honors) – De Montfort University, Leicester
  • MA Live Art and Performance (Distinction) – Nottingham Trent University
  • PhD Nottingham Trent University

Recent conferences

Recent exhibitions and shows


  • S.H.E.D Derby City of Culture Consultation Installation, January 2022
  • Kelly+Jones Exchange2 R&D Project, Selected Artists, Feburary - December 2022 
  • Kelly+Jones Film Exhibition Bodycheck, Gallerie Gedok, Stuttgart Germany, January 2022 
  • S.H.E.D Installation National Justice Museum, February 2022
  • S.H.E.D Kenya International codesign project, Cape Peninsula Technological University, African Adventures and Derby County Community Trust. Jan 2022 – May 2023
  • S.H.E.D Derby Opportunity Area Conference, Installation and host of stakeholder Civic roundtable, Pride Park, 5th May 2022
  • S.H.E.D Timber Festival (tbc) July 2022
  • S.H.E.D A Seventh Man bespoke design for Theatreszene Europa, Studiobuhnekoln, Cologne, September 2022


  • FormatFestival2021, Exhibiting Artist March - April 2021
  • CHEAD Annual Conference Partner, panelist for post-Keynote Discussion,  March, 2021
  • CHEAD Annual Conference Partner, host UN-AGM, March, 2021
  • CHEAD Research Paper with DESIS Design for Emergency, 17 March, 2021
  • Derby Youth Voice Shedding it Installation! Derby City Centre, July, 2021
  • Protest S.H.E.D National Justice Museum, August (2 week residency)2021
  • Protest S.H.E.D National Jutice Museum, October (2 week residency) 2021
  • Civic Lab Conference, Co-Curator, July 2021
  • Cumulus Contemporary Art Workshop Chair and session lead, Univeristy of Roma, June 2021
  • Cumulus Contemporary Art Exhibtion Curator, June 2021
  • S.H.E.D and Leeds HighRiseProject, Installation, Summer 2021
  • V&A Dundee, Design for Planet Summit for Design Conucil COP26, Dundee, November 2021


  • Glass Tank, Oxford Brookes University, as Kelly+Jones, Jan - Feb 2020
  • S.H.E.D Youth Participation Project, Derby Theatre – touring works throughout 2020
  • S.H.E.D ArtCore –commissioning project, Celebrating Togetherness, summer 2020
  • Practice without Walls, Exhibition Curator, City of Rome, June 2020
  • S.H.E.D Presents – Derby County Community Trust Project
  • S.H.E.D National Justice Museum, August 2020
  • S.H.E.D – various events, workshops and festivals 2020-21


  • S.H.E.D Youth Participation Project, Derby Theatre – touring works throughout sept - Dec
  • Expanded Studio Project, Selected Artist,  Belfast City, Exhibiting Artist PSsquared, August 4th - September 2nd 2019
  • New Voices Conference, Derby Theatre, InDialogue Paper, Speaker, January 2019
  • Chair of International Contemporary Art, Speaker,  resilience and intelligence, University of Lapland, Finland, May 2019
  • Format Festival - Exhibitor, University of Derby Staff Artist and Format Conference Chair, March 2019
  • Arts in Society International Conference, This is Derby Paper, Lisbon university, Porto, 19 -21 June, 2019
  • Departure Lounge Festival, Artist, commission of S.H.E.D and producing artists for S.H.E.D, 18 -21 July 2019
  • This Is Derby, Celebration Day, Commissioned Artist, 13th July, 2019.
  • InDialogue symposium, lead creative and curator, 19 - 21 November 2019. (3 cities in 3 days symposium, (in partnership with Derby City Council, Deda, Derby Theatre, Nottingham Contemporary, Mansions of the Future, Derby City Council, University of Lincoln, University of Derby).
  • InDialogue International Artist Residency, Curator, in partnership with Dance4 and In Good Company. October - November, 2019


  • Horizon, Curator, Surface Gallery, Nottingham, UK
  • Inherited Cities, General Manager Third Angel, The Crucible, Sheffield Theatres, UK
  • Design without walls,Cumulus, Guest Speaker, Ecole Boulle, Paris
  • Parenthesis (working title) (2014 – Present) Collaboration with artist Traci Kelly under the name of Kelly&Jones


  • I predict a riot Invited author for exhibition publication for Jimmy Cauty’s ADP Riot Tour, New Art Exchange
  • Extract from The Beginning (2012) by Michael Pinchbeck. Devised and performed with Nicki Hobday and Ollie Smith. Delivered at You, The Audience (2017), Royal Exchange, Manchester by Michael Pinchbeck and Rhiannon Jones.


  • Dance4 season launch,  guest facilitator in conversation with dancer and choreographer Roberta Jean, Dance4, hosted by Dance4 and Backlit, Nottingham
  • InDialogue, founder and Co-curator, Nottingham Contemporary, Dance4, New Art Exchange, Nottingham City Council, Birmingham City University, Nottingham Trent University, UK 
  • InDialogue, Rhiannon Jones In Conversation with Grant Kester, Nottingham Contemporary.
  • InDialogue, Dr Elena Cologni and Rhiannon Jones (paper presentation), Nottingham Contemporary.
  • On the Horizon, curator of artist residency for Chloé Déchery (Fr) and Jane McKernan (AUS) in collaboration with Dance4 and InDialogue
  • The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment Exhibition, assistant curator, The Collection Lincoln,  supported by hÅb Arts (Manchester) and Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. Developed at First Bite, Forest Fringe and Hatch. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. 


  • Parenthesis (working title) explorations and collaboration with artist Traci Kelly, Chalk Pit, Cambridge
  • The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment, assistant Director, supported by hÅb Arts (Manchester) and Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. Developed at First Bite, Forest Fringe and Hatch. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
  • Wonderland Story Poles Permanent Public Art Commission, Queens Walk, Nottingham


  • InDialogue, founder and Co-curator, Nottingham Contemporary, Dance4, Primary, Backlit, Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University, UK
  • InDialogue, Rhiannon Jones In Conversation with Grant Kester, Nottingham Contemporary.
  • InDialogue, Panel facilitator  Professor John Newling (Uk), WockhenKlausur (Austria), The Harrisons (USA) (paper), Nottingham Contemporary.
  • InDialogue Residency, curator of artist residency for Rajni Shah and Karen Christopher, in collaboration with Backlit and InDialogue
  • Wonderland,creative director Various BEVOCAL events, in partnership with New Art Exchange supported by Nottingham City Council.
  • Wonderland Meadows Older Persons Exhibition, creative, Bromley House, Nottingham, supported by Nottingham City Council.
  • The Drawing Board, artist residency (2014) Kelly & Jones, Primary, Nottingham.
  • The Drawing Board, exhibition, Kelly & Jones, Primary, Nottingham. 
  • The Drawing Board in conversation with Kelly & Jones facilitated by Dr Michael Pinchbeck, Primary, Nottingham. 


  • Light Night, commissioned artist, supported by Nottingham City Council, Nottingham
  • Freedom in Air, resident artist commissioned by The Cutting Room & Nottingham Playhouse to deliver a community engagement project for national touring production of The Kite Runner.
  • Research and the Researcher postgraduate research conference, curatorial team, Nottingham Trent University
  • Mediated Riots, artist,commissioned by Synapse Arts & New Art Exchange.
  • The Art of Conversation, artist, touring solo exhibition Backlit, UK & Georgia, Athens USA


  • Wonderland 1, creative director, project in partnership with New Art Exchange supported by Nottingham City Council.
  • InDialogue, founder and Co-curator, Nottingham Contemporary, Primary, Vessel, Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University, UK
  • Dialogical Self,International Conference, paper presentation, Georgia USA
  • The Art of Conversation: Uncovering Artistic InspirationIn: Defining Contributions: Inspiration Driving Original Research, Paper and publicationNottingham Trent University


  • AHRC funded Research Project, New Research Trajectories, Loughbourgh University, Nottingham Trent University
  • Radical Aesthetics, paper presentation, Loughborough University
  • Archipelago,artist Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University.
  • Causality and Performativity of Scars , paper and publication, Nottingham Trent University.
  • Discourse / Conversation / Communication, International conference,  Paper presentation, Loughborough University, UK

Experience in industry

I am the founder and CEO of Designing Dialogues CIC, which runs S.H.E.D, the first spin out company from University of Derby.

I am the co-founder and director of InDialogue, established in 2012.

I have been Marketing Director for Backlit Gallery, Nottingham.An Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation.  

I was the General Manger of Third Angel Theatre Company, International touring Company and Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation.  

I have produced, curated and toured works Nationally and Internationally, most recently in Gent, Belgium, Athens, Georgia, Sweden, Denmark, France, Italy and USA. I have regular conversations with arts industry and professionals and is active within the arts industry. I produce International residencies for artists as part of InDialogue in partnership with Dance4 in 2014 and 2016 and InGoodCompany for 2019. I am co-founder of InDialogue Symposiums, for industry and artists and researcher to come together biannually to discuss dialogic modes of artistic practice and research.

I have made work that has exhibited at venues such as Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange, Sheffield Theatres, Backlit Gallery, Bromley House, Nottingham City Council, Derby Theatre, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, National Justice Museum, New Perspectives, Little Theatre Leicester, Surface Gallery. I have successfully fundraised for major arts projects from ACE and Trusts and Foundations.

International experience

I am the research lead for DESIS Design for Emergency Research Project with 11 other global partners.

I am Chair of the Contemporary working Art Group for Cumulus Association, the international network for Art and Design Education. 

I continue to partner with organisations such as University of Ohio, Chicago Institute Performing Arts, Bergen Academy, National Library of Norway, ELIA, European Cultural Academy. 

In the media

Various regional and national print, radio and television interviews, examples including:

  • BBC Radio Nottingham
  • National Press with S.H.E.D 
  • BBC Radio Derby
  • East Midlands Today BBC News
  • NottsTV (various)
  • Kemet FM
  • Nottingham Post
  • West Bridgford Wire
  • The Times
  • Left Lion
  • Art Industry
  • Primary Programme Notes

Recent publications

  • The Trilogy: Acts of Dramaturgy, Endings are not always completed with a full stop, Book Chapter, Intellect Playtext Series
  • Journal Performance Research - On Wreckage Taylor and Francis
  • Journal of Creative Practice - For we are made of lines, Unlikely University of Melbourne
  • Research for All - Towards an act of repair and reconfiguration
  • Un/writing the landscape, re/figuring the body - Book with PABlish, Bergen and National Library Norway
  • Applied Pedagogies in HE: Real-World Learning and Innovation, published as a case study by Palgrave Macmillan
  • I predict a riot (2017) Invited author for RIOT publication for Jimmy Cauty’s ADP Riot Tour, New Art Exchange
  • JONES, R.E., 2016. The artistry of conversation. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.
  • Artistic Research and Professional Practice in the City (2015) Cumulus, Milan, Italy
  • Engaging Arts through Empowering Acts (2014) workshop facilitator at University Averio, Portugal
  • Acting Locally Thinking Globally (2013). Co-authored with Carol Jones, Cumulus, Kalmar, Sweden.
  • The Dialogical Self (2012). The Art of Conversation, University Georgia, USA.
  • Causality and Performativity of Scars (2011) Nottingham Trent University.
  • The Art of Conversation: Uncovering Artistic Inspiration. In: Defining Contributions: Inspiration Driving Original Research, (2012)Nottingham Trent University, pp. 59-65.
  •  InDialogue: An International Symposium for Artists and Researchers. Co-founder and curator and editor of archive. Supported by Nottingham Contemporary & New Art Exchange, Nottingham Trent University, Loughborough University, Birmingham City University and in partnership with Dance4 and Nottingham City Council (2012-2016)
  • Loughborough University, Social Sciences International Conference Discourse, Communication, Conversation, Paper Publication and Conference Speaker (2012)
  • Nottingham Trent Conference Defining Contributions, paper publication and speaker (2012).
  • JONES, R., 2012. The Art of Conversation In: Defining Contributions: Inspiration Driving Original Research, 18 May 2012. Nottingham Trent University, pp. 25-30
  • SLADE, R., 2012. The Art of Conversation: Uncovering Artistic Inspiration. In: Defining Contributions: Inspiration Driving Original Research, 18 May 2012. Nottingham Trent University, pp. 59-65.
group of adults at the SHED sat in a circle talking

Dr Rhiannon Jones, Researcher at the University of Derby, will speak at the Design for Planet event, which will champion design as a powerful agent of change. Here, she explains more.