TRACE’s full name and title is The Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education. Our mission is to enable the formation of new knowledge across cultures of creativity and education.

This is achieved through an ongoing process of investigation, mapping, and documenting cultural crossroads and projects that enable innovation. See below for an introduction to the language and terms that TRACE uses to describe its day to day work:


Culture is the collective manifestation of human achievements (Oxford Dictionary. ‘Transcultural’ means across cultures. It follows that TRACE, the Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education, explores the making of meaning, practices, and products across cultures. TRACE investigates culture both from the point of view of an individual (for example a person who is involved in a lifelong learning journey, or a journey across cultures) and through the lens of society (for example through exploration of a body of knowledge that sits across two cultures). We explore a wide range of cultures, and our research projects often involve collaboration across the sciences, the arts and the humanities.


When we talk about creativity, we’re talking about imagination, innovation, and insight. Creativity has personal value and is a product of culture across the arts, science, business, the humanities, and education. As a research centre, TRACE aims to investigate and develop a wider understanding of how creativity (across the sciences, the arts, humanities, design, and business) can be incubated and supported to flourish.


The word education has its roots in the word ‘educe’ which means to ‘lead out’, bring out or ‘develop latent potential’. Within TRACE, we often use the words ‘development’, ‘learning’, ‘habit formation’ and ‘education’ interchangeably (but we know, of course, there are nuances and important differences inherit in the meanings of these terms). As a research centre, TRACE investigates the ways in which people learn, develop and form habits through access to cultures. Likewise, we conduct research into how communities can work together, across cultures, to enable education and creativity to flourish.

Putting these concepts together, TRACE aims to support research that enables a better understanding creativity and education as it occurs within the world, and across cultures. We want to map, document, and share knowledge about cross-cultural spaces that enable education and creativity to flourish across the arts, sciences, and humanities, as well as within homes, communities, and business.

Some of our associates and our friends across Bath Spa University approach this theme through an exploration of the different ways in which their subject area is manifested and/or developed through public sites of memory, sustainable cities, through research into the public understanding of science and through cultures of health and wellbeing.

Other research associates approach this subject by tackling the issue head-on: For example,intercultural communication and practice - “considers this theme through reflection on how cultural heritage is shared across borders and transmitted through arts practice”. The quote below provides an arts focused definition of the ‘Transcultural’ and helps to further define the approach of the intercultural communication and practice group.

Transcultural (which may include intercultural elements) means to draw extensively from more than one artistic tradition freely to create something new, using concretely recognisable performance elements (i.e. instruments, performance practices) of more than one culture in these new creations.

Quotation from:

Ellison, Michael, ‘Performance philosophy and spirituality: the way of Tasavvuf’ in Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca & Alice Lagaay (eds), Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy (forthcoming).