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Dr Carol MacGillivray


  • Carol MacGillivray
  • Area

    School of Communication


    Visiting Lecturer and Personal Tutor

  • Carol MacGillivray is a Visiting Lecturer in Visual Communication and Personal Tutor to students in Digital Design. She teaches across disciplines and runs the WYSINWYG (What you see is not what you get) elective. Her primary research interests are in Gestalt cognitive perception and immersive storytelling.

    Her practice includes working as an independent artist and sculptor (under the name Coral Woods) and as an immersive mixed-reality installation artist (in the partnership TROPE). She has a PhD in Arts and Computational Technology (2014) from Goldsmiths.

  • Biography

  • Carol comes from an industry background of animation and film editing, working across documentary, drama, music videos, and commercials. She won an AHRC award to study on the cutting-edge MA Digital Moving Image course at London Guildhall, where she became a pioneer in computer 3D visualisation and animation and went on to publish‘3D for the Web – Interactive 3D Animation using 3DS Max, Flash and Director’ (Elsevier). In 2005 Carol took the position of Senior Lecturer in Digital Arts and Animation at the University of West London (UWL), where she was awarded both a Teaching Fellowship and an Enterprise Fellowship going on to become Associate Dean of Research and Enterprise in the Faculty of the Arts.

    An increased interest in combining theoretical research with practice led Carol to undertake a practice-based PhD in Arts and Computing at Goldsmiths University, where she combined exhibiting with academic publishing. Her thesis Choreographing Time: Developing a System of Screen-less Animation explored the invention of a new mixed-reality audio-visual technique which drew on her work as a sculptor and animator to create immersive and interactive audio-visual experiences in an architectural space, under the partnership known as TROPE.

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  • Practice

  • Carol exhibits as an artist under the name Coral Woods, where she weaves stories into sculptures made from diverse materials. The sculptures are often conceptual and interactive, involving the viewer as participant.

  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes


    MacGillivray, C., ‘The D-Scope: Mining the Gap’ in MeCCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Assoc) Networking Knowledge Standard July 2016 Issue Vol 9 No 5

    MacGillivray, C., Pinning a Tale: The Screen, The Donkey and the MacGuffin. A discussion of the ontology of the screen. In book entitled ‘Embodied Encounters: New Approaches to Psychoanalysis and Film’ (edited by Agnieszka Piotrowska), published by Routledge. (2014:183-193)

    MacGillivray, C., Mathez, B., Fol Leymarie‚ F. & Roesch, E. R. The Diasynchronoscope: Bringing a new dimension to animation. Published proceedings, Confia, (2nd International Conference on Illustration and Animation), 29-30th Nov 2013, (p 367-379) ISBN: 978-989-97567-6-2         

    MacGillivray, C. & Mathez, B., Screams of an Acorn - The Diasynchronoscope and new ideas in the morphology of audiovision. Proceedings of Seeing Sound Symposium, Bath, UK: Nov 2013

    MacGillivray, C. & Mathez, B. Developing a system of screen-less animation for experiments in perception of movement. Leonardo Electronic Almanac – LEA Volume 18 No. 3, Touch and Go Volume. Editors: Lanfranco Aceti, Janis Jefferies and Irini Papadimitriou.

    MacGillivray, C., Mathez, B. & Fol Leymarie‚ F. (2012) Developing a system of screen-less animation for experiments in perception of movement. Annecy, France: CAe International Symposium on Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization, and Imaging. June 2012. D. Cunningham & D.H. House (eds.), Eurographics, 71-80.

    MacGillivray, C., Co-authored Narrative Experience: Affective, Embodied Interaction through combining the Diachronic with the Synchronistic. Wellington, NZ: Desform, 2012, 62 – 69.

    MacGillivray, C. Slices of Time - Appraising the use of Dynamics in Design. IEEE IV09: DAViz - Design and Aesthetics in Visualisation. Barcelona: IEEE Computer Society, 2009. 598-604.

    MacGillivray, C, & Head, A., ‘3D for the Web - Interactive 3D Animation using 3DS Max, Flash and Director’ (Publisher: Elsevier books, 2005 ISBN: 0 240 519108) 3D for the Web has now being translated into Russian and Spanish

    Selected Talks and Workshops 

    • 2019 Conference talk at VSAP, Belgium. Art & Science: Motion, Space & Time
    • 2017 Nov Talk for Institut fuer Kuenstlerische Forschung (IKF) Potsdam-Babelsberg, Berlin 

    • 2017 July, Workshops on zoetropes and animation at Maker Faire, Singapore, and two talks on ‘The Challenges of Making for Educators’ and ‘Introducing Engineers to the Art of Making’
    • 2016 October, Talk ‘Change made Manifest’ to the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society (NCAS) 

    • 2016 February, Talk on TROPE’s work at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Kingston University, UK (part of the Talking Heads Lecture series). 

    • 2015 October, Talk: ‘Pinning a Tale: The Screen, The Donkey and the MacGuffin’ for book launch at the Freud Museum, London
    • 2015 October, Illustrated Talk for the Kinetica Art Fair programme, London 

    • 2015 July, Talk: ‘Merz in Flux: How the artist-inventor transforms every conceivable material together for artistic purposes’. Talk at the Symposium for Material Witness Programme at the Artworkers Guild, London.
    • 2014 September, Talk, ‘Running backwards: What the retrotropic reveals about perception’. Senses Conference, Goldsmiths, University of London


    Artist in Group exhibition, ArtMaze at the OXO Bargehouse (2019)

    Dulwich Open House Exhibition (with Paul Hudson, 2018)

    Salvage' Exhibited at MADE2018, Morley Gallery (2018)

    SketchUp Residency (2018)

    Not Here, Not Now, at Science Centre, Singapore (as TROPE, 2017)

    Sudden Shower woodblock print exhibited at ‘Inspired by…’ Exhibition at Morley Gallery (2016)

    Chain Reaction’ Exhibition in Kirkaldy Testing Museum for Merge Festival, London Bankside with RA Engineers (as TROPE, 2015)

    Falling Sideways, An installation at Citadelle de Villefranche-sur-Mer, France (as TROPE, 2015)

    Libretto, An immersive installation at SAS 2015 – Beyondthe Frame, Animation conference at the School of Media, Art and Design Canterbury Christ Church University (as TROPE, 2015)

    Dandelion, an interactive installation for Galerie Carré Doré, Monaco also Kinetica Art Fair (as TROPE, 2015)

    Codex, An audio-visual, immersive and interactive sculpture. Commissioned by Arts Council, England, arts NK, Lincolnshire County Council, Diocese of Lincoln and Altered. (as TROPE, 2014)

    Gaffer exhibited at the TENDERPIXEL gallery in Central London. (as TROPE, 2013)

    Conversio, A site-specific artwork commissioned by the Frequency festival for Posterngate in Lincoln. (as TROPE, 2013)

    One, Two, Three…’Installation exhibited at Kinetica Artfair, London, UK (as TROPE, 2013)

    Gestalt Circle exhibited at Kinetica Art Fair. London, UK (as TROPE, 2012)

    Bolt. Perspex, metal and wood. Kinetic Sculpture and prints at the James Hockey Gallery in Farnham (2012)

    Kinetic sculpture, Bolt selected for ‘best of CCI’ Tour. The exhibition toured five venues across the SE in the months of lead up to summer 2012. Venues on tour included the Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury, and University Centre, Folkestone (2011)

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  • Awards and Grants

    • Shortlisted for Jerwood Makers Open Prize (2019)
    • Poco a poco (a mechanical pangolin exhibited at V&A Inspired by...2018 Exhibition) wins first prize in the Museum of Childhood category (2018)
    • SketchUp residency (2018)
    • Ingenious Award (as project director for TROPE) from RA Engineering for ‘Chain Reaction Project’ at Kirkaldy Museum (2015)
    • Awarded place on AHRC ‘Creative Minds: Entrepreneurial Skills’ training programme (2013)
    • Knowledge Connect Award with Fluent Creative Consultancy (2009)
    • Award for LEAP Bus project, touring schools in SE for part of Creative Campus Initiative (2009)
    • Award of £85,000 for faculty as part of £1m Cultural Olympiad bid for 13 HEIs in SE (including Kent) (2009)
    • Award from RiTE (Research in Teaching and Education) scheme to research feasibility of creating an interdisciplinary research-based New Curriculum Designed MA/MSc in Creative Technologies. (2008)
    • Award to Host ‘Developing Digital Diversity’ Conference’ at the ICA, London, in partnership with West Focus. (2006)

Selected work


Research interests

Published on Gestalt, Animation, 3D visualisation. Interested in cross-modal cognitive shortcuts that create perceptual illusions.