CREAM/Dartington Node

We are pleased to announce a unique doctoral partnership between CREAM and the Dartington Trust, building on shared visions, methods and rigour in practice-based research excellence. Based in the doctoral research environment at the Dartington Trust, doctoral researchers will have access to the expertise and facilities of both centres. PhD supervisory teams are drawn from across the two research cultures at CREAM and Dartington. 


Dartington Trust is a centre for arts, ecology and social justice, based on a 1,200 acre estate near Totnes, Devon in southern England. The Dartington Hall estate has a long history stretching back to the 11th century Domesday Book and beyond. In the early 20th century, the estate was bought by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst who were significant patrons for many important modernist artists and progressive thinkers and educators. Visitors and residents included Rabindranath Tagore, Bertrand Russell, Michael Young, William Lescaze, Mary Wigman, Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, Yanagi Soetsu, Mark Tobey, Beatrix Ferrand, Elizabeth Peacock, Kurt Jooss, Michael Chekhov, Marianne de Trey, Merce Cunningham, Victoria Ocampo, Nirmala Patwardhan, John Cage, Igor Stravinsky and many more. Dartington was in dialogue with the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College and with other progressive education experiments.

The Dartington archive houses significant material on the modernist era at Dartington and is expanding to cover the experimental arts and education projects on the site from the 1960s through to the present with the work for example, of Mary Fulkerson, David Harding, David Williams, Bob Gilmore, Ric Allsopp, Emilyn Claid, Martin Shaw, Caroline Bergvall, and John Hall. 

Schumacher College was established in 1990 and its researchers and visitors have included Satish Kumar, James Lovelock, Brian Goodwin, Fritjof Capra, John Lane, Henri Bortoft, Stephan Harding, David Abrams, Lynn Margulis, Kate Raworth, Vandana Shiva, Rupert Sheldrake, Merlin Sheldrake, and its current Head, Pavel Cenkl. 

Dartington runs a programme of short courses and events in arts, crafts, ecology and wellbeing. Its arts programme includes films in the Barn Cinema, designed by Walter Gropius, and the renowned Dartington Music Summer School & Festival

Dartington Trust is an independent higher education provider with two colleges. Schumacher College offers masters and undergraduate programmes and is currently celebrating its 30th year. The new Dartington Arts School was established last year and is offering five postgraduate degrees in Poetics of Imagination, Arts and Place, Arts and Ecology, Cultural Production, and Reimagining Performance Practice. Dartington has a wealth of performance and art studios, a cinema, a pub, restaurants, cafes, a campsite, and visitor and student accommodation. The Dartington estate is boundaried by the River Dart, has a working farm, many small tenant organisations, woodlands, agroforestry experiments, a restored medieval deerpark, grows much of its own food, has its own water supply, and generates a substantial part of its energy with a solar field and biomass boilers. The survival of this medieval estate into the 21st century makes contemporary Dartington a kind of island or lab for prototyping ways of living for the future.


The research focus of contemporary Dartington is imagining, visioning, prototyping, and living ecological futures with a particular emphasis on food production, land use, and culture. Dartington researchers have expertise in a wide range of topics including arts practice-led research; animism; medieval literature; modernism; story and myth; arts, design and ecology; ecology and spirituality; Goethean science; regenerative economics, farming and food; social work with adults and children; social enterprise.


To discuss making a potential application, please make initial enquiries to Dr Tracey Warr, Head of Research and Dartington Arts School

The application process is managed through the University of Westminster, with further guidance provided here

When your proposal is ready you can apply via the University of Westminster PhD Application Portal, stipulating CREAM/Dartington Node on your application.