Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research
Click here to read about the history of BPSISR.
Join us as a resident (and researcher).
ACRE (Academic and Creative Research) residents are community members who come to live at Braziers as lodgers, usually on a short-term basis (from one month to one year) and contribute to the community (in part) through a wide range of research and creative projects.
We invite applications from artists and researchers who are interested in coming to live at Braziers and want to spend some of their time here, starting or expanding existing enquiries in the context of Braziers’ community life and land. The Braziers resident community, and the wider community (our management committee, membership and network of volunteers and visitors) also offer a built-in peer network and enthusiastic audience for the development and presentation of new ideas and new work.
Braziers Park School was founded with the goal of offering a living laboratory for the exploration of relationships, both interpersonal and ecological. Many researchers who come to visit the community are interested in what can be learned from (usually participant) observing community life to see how it offers alternatives to more familiar ways of living. However ACRE is intended to invite researchers to consider how they might understand and create knowledge through an integrative lens and respond to the needs, opportunities and challenges offered by the specific context of Braziers Park as a community. Topics explored so far include post-consumerism, inter-community collaboration, sharing, and change in intentional community.
ACRE residents’ activities include research update sessions (offering peer support), workshops and talks as part of our wider community weekends, special topic sessions that report on projects or develop particular themes of mutual interest to the group, our Summer and Winter Schools, and events such as our UK Communities Conference.
Why come and live as an ACRE lodger?
- Experience communal living
- Explore the resonance of your ideas within the context of a communal setting
- Access our library, garden, woodlands, performance spaces, and estate
- Contribute to the development of Braziers’ education programme and develop your own offering
- Gain informal and peer support from a network of academics and independent researchers and thinkers
- Braziers offers a space for imagination and exploration
- Join the network of people who care for Braziers Park and ensure its continued development
Dr Hannah Drayson
Hannah Drayson BA, MSc, PhD is Research Convenor at Braziers Park where she works to run the ACRE research program and other research collaborations such as the UK Communities Conference. She also holds a lecturing post at the University of Plymouth and co-convenes the Transtechnology Research group, with a group of over 20 scholars, to deliver doctoral training. Her doctorate, completed in 2011, explored media, medicine and the philosophy of science through an exploration of scientific instrumentation in interactive art. Her more recent work has explored themes of materiality, interpersonal atmosphere, and the senses, through writing on taste and emotion. She is currently writing about community life and how sharing and relationship are communicated through everyday practices- focussing specifically on mugs. She is managing editor of Leonardo Reviews for Leonardo Journal of the Arts, Sciences and Technology and chair of the Schumacher Society.
Hermione is currently doing practice-based PhD research with a focus on rural pest control in North Yorkshire, asking how hunters communicate with animals and exploring the relevance of a hunting attitude to environmental art practice. She hosts the collaborative project the Anthropology of Other Animals (“AoOA”), which explores the hidden links between ‘craft’ and ‘being crafty’. Current projects include learning to echolocate with an eight-person choir, an ongoing inquiry into the nature of attention with community of practice ESTAR(SER), a public art commission for Kings Hedges Cambridge and a nomadic series of animal tracking workshops with collaborator Tamara Colchester.
Currently based between London and Yorkshire, from 2010-2014 Hermione lived in California whilst studying for an MFA in Visual Art at UC San Diego. Spriggs has recently worked with Sheffield Docfest, CCA Glasgow, Arts Catalyst and greengrassi (London). Her edited volume Five Heads: Art, Anthropology and Mongol-Futurism is published by Sternberg Press. Hermione co-convenes COLLEEX, a European network for Ethnographic Experimentation. She is a member of the Arts Catalyst advisory group, a returning artist-in-residence and fellow of Mildred’s Lane, and a member of the Social Morphologies Research Research Unit and the UCL Multimedia Anthropology Lab.
Kyle works with documentary theater, writing, oral histories, performance, and occasionally puppets to activate questions of collectivity across the US and Latin America. He has produced research and performance work about Latin American-Irish solidarity movements as a Mitchell Scholar in Ireland; abusive sheriffs targeting immigrants as a researcher for the American Civil Liberties Union; Amazonian eco-poetics on a Fulbright arts grant in Brazil; and family histories in post-dictatorship Argentina as the inaugural Novogratz Arts Fellowship recipient. Most recently, he performed on a tour across the USA with the long-running radical political theater troupe Bread and Puppet.
At Braziers, in addition to leveraging the space and sounding boards to further his writing projects, he hopes to explore and learn from the dynamics of the community, potentially culminating in a live documentary theater performance related to human residents’ feelings about moles resident on the grounds.
Dr Stephanie Moran
Stephanie completed a cross-disciplinary AHRC-funded PhD with the University of Plymouth’s Transtechnology Research in 2023 and is Associate Partner at Wales-based digital Research and Design consultancy Etic Lab. Stephanie’s time at Braziers was spent working on her thesis is about human visual bias in narrative, spanning the fields of zoology, literary theory, aesthetics and ecological psychology. At Etic Lab, she has led and contributed to commercial, government-funded and artistic research projects including a national survey of Wales’ digital economy and a project exploring the possibilities for interspecies communication between humans and cephalopods, as well as founding Etic Lab’s culture and technology division, MUSEL. She was previously an information professional in public, university and specialist libraries for over ten years, and has more than a decade’s experience of research, cultural programming and arts curation in libraries, museums and galleries.
Dr Ian Hare
During his 2022 ACRE residency Ian organised the UK Intentional Communities Conference at Braziers Park which has now become an annual event. The conference aims to increase the visibility of communal and intentional living and foster collaboration between communities. It is also a celebration, with opportunities for dancing! The conference welcomes established community members, researchers, and anyone else interested in intentional community.
Prior to his ACRE residency, Ian completed a PhD in philosophy of mental health, with a focus on autism research.
Paul’s residency in summer 2022 offered him time to collate, edit and develop some of his unpublished writings and notes on the work of John Macmurray, a philosopher who was involved in the early days of Brazier’s Park. This piece which he wrote in 2006 gives a background to Macmurray’s thinking.
The notion of community is at the core of Macmurray’s philosophical approach, and it is a key idea of his that our thinking should be congruent with the practical intentions which inform the way we live. For Macmurray, philosophy is not an ivory tower activity, but something to be practiced and explored in the real world as well as conceptually. The residency offered Paul the chance to work on Macmurray’s philosophy in a setting where there is a shared focus on the delights, gifts and challenges of living in a community setting.
Shuo is a 3rd-year PhD student in Critical Marketing. Her research interest lies at the intersection of critical luxury studies and critical consumer culture studies. In 2021 she spent 6 months at Braziers Park conducting ethnographic research for her doctoral thesis. Her doctoral research aims to understand the transformation of luxury in a post-consumerist environment, exploring alternative interpretations of luxury in a social setting in which consumption is no longer the focus of people’s life. Shuo is currently writing up her project.