Finding Comfort Within Discomfort: Creative Ecosystems for Learning in the Pandemic

Matthews, Miranda. 2023. Finding Comfort Within Discomfort: Creative Ecosystems for Learning in the Pandemic. In: Kelly Murdoch-Kitt and Denielle Emans, eds. Make+Shift: Creative Resilience for Everyday People. [Book Section] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description


Creative practice helps to develop resilience as it forms mind/body/environment ecosystems that comfort and challenge self and others.


Miranda Matthews is Head of the Centre for Arts and Learning (CAL) at Goldsmiths, University of London. In this role, Miranda develops programs of research around themes that draw together international practitioner researchers. This case study presents a new contribution to research on creative processes of learning for resilience, with analysis of a practice research project Miranda developed in the first UK lockdown in 2020. At the start of the pandemic in 2020, CAL was working with the theme of Discomfort Zones. Miranda wanted to pursue boundary-work that could encourage expansion of learning capacity, and welcome critical debates of connection and difference. Of course Miranda had not anticipated the unprecedented experiences of the pandemic; however the research theme enabled a timely response.

CAL outreach project Finding Comfort Within Discomfort was initiated to engage the public, and staff and students at Goldsmiths. This project planned to explore how creative self-expression that is supportive of wellbeing, could be extended in new usages of local and online space. The central research question was, “How have resilient creative learning practices, that enhance wellbeing and human capacity, developed since the onset of lockdown and social distancing?”

Item Type:

Book Section


Creative ecosystems, comfort, discomfort zones, mind/body, wellbeing

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


9 January 2023Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Feb 2024 11:23

Last Modified:

09 Feb 2024 15:33


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