Prof. Marian Ursu

University of York.

Marian Ursu has a first degree in Computer Science, a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, and has worked over the past twenty years in the development of new forms of mediated expression and interaction, in the space of convergence of digital technology with creative practice. He worked at Goldsmiths, University of London, pioneering “creative computing”, a term denoting a fundamental link between digital technologies, the arts and media.

At York, he led the development of the Interactive Media subject area in the department of Theatre Film Television and Interactive Media, inherently interdisciplinary, building on Computer Science, User Experience Design, Media Practice and Cultural Studies.

He is a co-founder and the Director of the Digital Creativity (DC) Labs (https://digitalcreativity.ac.uk), a centre of excellence in impact-driven research in creativity for games, narrative media and the rich space of media convergence that lies in between, and Co-Director of XR Stories (https://xrstories.co.uk), a creative industries partnership working across film, TV, games, media arts, heritage, advertising and technology to champion a new future in storytelling, in which he leads on Research and Development.

His personal research is situated in the area of narrative experiences in scree media – shared screens (film, TV), personal screens (games, social media), stories in VR, XR narrative experiences – drawing from and building on established narrative art-forms and media including film and TV, radio, theatre, and opera. One of his key research objective is to explore the creative process that emerges in dialogue between humans and machines (AI). On one hand, this is necessary for the authoring of more complex narrative experiences that truly exploit the affordances of interactive and immersive digital media technologies. On the other hand, this is a yet poorly untapped space of opportunities, potentially conducive to significant findings.

He is particularly interested in supervising students interested in exploring creativity in dialogue with AI and/or the development of novel narrative experiences, in topics including:

  • Conceptualising the space of interactive storytelling

  • Developing authoring tools and techniques for interactive storytelling

  • Creating new forms of narrative engagement

  • Analysing the concept of creativity in interactive media which emerges in conversation with AI

Research themes:

  • Narrative Games; Narrative Experiences

  • Storytelling with Convergent Media

  • Object-Based Media

  • Computational Creativity

  • Live mediated experiences (performance, sports, esports)

  • Entertainment media and mental health

  • Games and Theatre