In addition to developing our own innovative Lab programmes, we offer PAL’s expertise, skills, international talent pool and methodologies to commercial, academic, private and public sector clients.

We are often commissioned to kick-start a process of new development. This might be for new products, or a new strategy or to refresh professional practice in a climate of change. Our commissioners are diverse but share a curious adventurous approach to personal development. [encode_email email=”” display=”Contact us”] to discuss the ways in which PAL can help you or your organisation make new work and new ways of working.

 Commissions to Date

Ignition* (2008-10): PAL has been commissioned by Ignition* to design and deliver three STEM Fluency Labs in the East Midlands, over a three-year period. Each of the Labs will be five days of intensive learning and exchanges of ideas between teachers, artists and scientists. The purpose is to explore and extend creative practice including teaching and learning practice in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Creativity, Culture and Education (2009): CCE commissioned PAL to design and deliver the Pro-active Communities Lab. We brought together a group of 13 people working with and through the arts within their local Muslim communities across England. The Lab was an open opportunity to explore how the arts might be used to promote resilience to perceived threats of radicalisation.

Met Film School (2008): This Screenwriters Lab was part of the MFS’s year-long programme, funded by Skillset. The scheme supported 10 talented, emerging writers while they develop the first draft of feature film script.

Nuffield Curriculum Centre (2008): This residential Lab for teachers, artists, scientists and curriculum developers kickstarted the creative thinking for the NCC’s new Key Stage 3 STEM Project. Five days were spent exploring the connections between science, technology, engineering and maths subject areas and developing prototype resources and approaches to encourage cross-curriculum, pupil-centred learning.

Queen Mary’s University College, Belfast (2008): A Creative Exploration Lab in Belfast in September 2008, with lecturers from Queen Mary’s and teachers from three schools in Belfast Renfrew and Swansea, all involved in the Leonardo Effect project. Over two days, everyone took part in activities designed to stretch their imaginations and to refresh their own individual and group patterns of creative thinking. They explored new ways of building on the success of the Leonardo project and considered what needs to be in place to make science-art collaborations work well in the classroom.

University College London (2008): A residential colloquium for artists, curators and public engagement managers from the UCL Collections and Museums and the Wellcome Collection to examine ways of building a legacy from the public activities of the 2008 launch of The Big Draw.

British Council (2007): Research into opportunities for collaborative practice across the Council and for new strategic partnerships with a range of outside organisations.

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (2007): This residential Lab took place in November 2007. Artists, designers, a scientist, teachers and policy makers worked with Lab Director Caroline Nevejan to explore and test creative learning design skills. This was part of the preparation for the new teaching practices which will be essential in implementing the revised secondary curriculum in Knowsley’s new Learning Centres. Konrad Weltz directed a short film capturing the participants’ comments and learning.

Creative Partnerships (2003-07): PAL worked with Creative Partnerships national and several regional offices, designing and producing Labs to stimulate the imaginations of artists, scientists and teachers. Sometimes this was to enable them to work collaboratively to effect positive change in schools, in other cases the purpose was more directly related to projects which were being planned. Creative Partnerships also supported PAL’s Creative Science Teaching and part of the project on the work of artists with volatile and challenging young people.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (2006): Possibly PAL’s most unexpected engagement in science to date, contributing to the design and facilitation of a five-day residential project-development event for 28 scientists on scientific uncertainty and decision-making for regulatory and risk assessment purposes. We commissioned new poems from Wendy Cope, Lavinia Greenlaw, Jackie Kay, Dennis O’Driscoll, Don Paterson and Jo Shapcott. These provided a daily prompt and stimulus alongside a ‘hard’ question. All but one of the research projects developed at the sandpit received further funding to a total of £1 million.

Open Society Institute (2006): This commission was comprised of two separate 5-day residential Labs in Hungary. The brief was to raise the quality of commissioned productions being undertaken by collaborative teams of Roma and non-Roma TV and radio professionals, and to address the mutual suspicion, which leads to discrimination, between Romas and non-Romas from nine countries in Eastern Europe.

Slingshot (2006-2008): three residential Labs for script development for micro-budget digital films.

TextTerritory (2006): This Lab was centred on the work of a single artist, the dancer and choreographer Sheron Wray. She commissioned a 5-day residential Lab to explore the potential of text technology in her performance.

Institute for Choreography and Dance, Cork (2004): consultation on developing the role of icd in the professional dance community in Ireland.

National Film and Television School (2004): PAL was commissioned to re-design of the NFTS’s Masters course in Screenwriting on the strength of its renown Screenwriters Lab programme.

Wellcome Trust and NESTA (2004): The 4-day residential Digital Science Lab was the first stage in a two-year project to develop innovative teaching software project prototypes around social and ethical issues in 21st century science. 24 project ideas were developed at the Lab, six of which went on to receive further development funding.

On the Edge, Grey’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (2003/04): A ten day residential Lab in experimental knitting design with traditional and contemporary hand and machine knitters of the Shetland Islands and artists and academics from a range of disciplines.

Film London (2003): As part of the EU-funded East London Moving Image Initiative, this Lab on writing for television drama, drew writers from specific inner-London boroughs with the aim of encouraging under-represented voices in the British television industry.

The Learning and Skills Council (2003): A two-day residential Lab brought together public sector funding bodies and arts organisations offering professional development through the PAL process. The brief was to provide a forum to share work and to discuss effective models of best practice for Continuous Professional Development funding in the arts and creative industries in London.

NESTA FutureLab (2002): residential Lab exploring potential for enabling and enriching the teaching of science through interactive simulations and immersive spaces.

BBC (2001): A Lab focused on the exploration of ‘presence’ in live performance as mediated by broadcast media.

81/2 Scotland (2001): residential Lab for writers developing scripts for short films in Scotland.

Channel Four/Film Four (2000): PAL’s first consultancy — a Lab exploring the potential for multi-platform delivery of films in development at C4.

PAL seeks commissions that stretch us beyond what we know in the same way we expect that of our Lab participants to do this too. Our experience, curiosity and talent pool are at your service! Susan Benn
Founder and President