New Design Museum, second floor. John Pawson Ltd. Image by Alex Morris Visualisation.

Participant project development summary

A summary of Transformers' projects
Nazia Ali, curator, science and industry, Birmingham Museums Trust

ActiveCurating is a socially responsible approach to museum curating. The development and implementation of the ActiveCurating model is a response to the challenges that are being faced in Birmingham today. This includes rapid political and socio-economic challenges, as well as fundamental changes in Birmingham museum funding and governance.

Helen Barker, assistant director, engagement and participation, Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Remaking Beamish; Nominate Your 1950s House. Involving communities in the region in the planning, development and delivery of Beamish’s capital project.

Ruth Battersby Tooke, senior curator, costume and textiles in Norfolk Museums Service


Virtuous Circle, upskilling curators in the service to work with designer makers and use the collections for creative commercialism.

Brendan Carr, community engagement curator, Reading Museums


Reading Engage and Hidden Histories. Brendan has worked with LGBT communities in Reading to co-curate the untold stories of the city’s LGBT history.

Helen Charman, director of learning and research, Design Museum


Integrating a new design and wellbeing curriculum at the core of the museum’s work as they move towards their new home at the Commonwealth building.

Robin Chester, director, Almond Valley Heritage Trust


Working with the board and staff, creating a strategy to layer "invisible learning" into all activities and visitor experiences at Almond Valley.

Caroline Cutmore, ticketing and sales manager, Royal Collection Trust

Development of Creative Transactions, a bespoke training package to support colleagues across the sector to develop ethical commercialism across their organisations.

Janet Dugdale, director of Museum of Liverpool

Developing new ways of working with local businesses with a stake in Liverpool’s cultural and economic heritage.

Jose Forrest Tennant, community engagement officer, Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Geo-8 contemporary – re-profiling Wolverhampton’s Black Art Collection through community engagement underpinned by new digital practice.

Katie Hobbs, curator, Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton

Developing collaborative working across the organisation to prepare for Museum Lab, a new space in which staff will work cross-departmentally and in collaboration with visitors, trying out new ways of accomplishing museum work, such as documentation, digitisation, care and interpretation, which is normally done behind closed doors and has been historically been limited in its participatory nature.

Rachel MacFarlane, senior collections and learning curator, Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service

Opening up the collections to FE students and developing partnerships with local education providers.

Zara Matthews project manager, Market Harborough Library and Harborough Museum Development, Leicestershire County Council


Developing tourism in Market Harborough via the museum service.

Ross Mcgregor, heritage officer, East Ayrshire Leisure.

A creative residency with poet William Letford at the Burns House Museum to better connect the museum to communities in Mauchline.

Rachael Rogers, curator, Abergavenny Museum.

Castle Time Banking. A scheme that allows the museum to exchange skills and resources with individuals, businesses and community groups in a new currency framework which increases the sustainability of the museum.

Jessica Suess, Oxford ASPIRE officer

Mobile Bouleversement. An evaluation of the new mobile offer at Oxford University Museums, generating a user experience led approach for the first time.

Louise Sutherland, head of collections and engagement, People’s History Museum


Developing new ideas for repeat and improved visitor engagement across the organisation.

Ellie Swinbank, keeper, National Mining Museum Scotland

Re-imagining industrial spaces – the first steps in a project to transform the historic boiler house into an exciting space where local people can connect with their industrial heritage.

Jonathan Wallis, head of museum and art gallery, Derby Museums

Staff and organisational development using the ‘What If Machine’ for human centred design.

Carl Warner, research and information manager, Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Building partnerships with smaller volunteer-run museums.