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Durham University

Department of Geography

£ Million Hubbub Project

(12 January 2015)

The Hubbub project, which has received £1.06m from The Wellcome Trust, brings together an international team of experts to investigate the meanings, benefits, histories and societal distribution of rest and busyness.

Hubbub at Wellcome Collection is the first residency of The Hub, a new dedicated space designed to house two-year long interdisciplinary projects exploring medicine, health and wellbeing. Both Hubbub’s Group Leader, Felicity Callard, and one of the core members, James Wilkes, are members of the geography department; Charles Fernyhough (another core group member) is a member of Durham's psychology department.

The project has many aims during its two year life. Firstly, the team will advance interdisciplinary methods for categorising, representing and understanding states of restfulness and busyness. Secondly, it will nurture new understandings of cultures of rest - referring to the diverse set of practices through which both rest and its opposites manifest themselves. Thirdly, Hubbub will examine the effects of restful or busy lifestyles on the health and well-being of the human mind and body - by conducting a variety of experiments with people in London. Finally, the project will strive to invigorate public dialogue about rest and busyness, and the changing roles these are expected to play in modern life.

Over the course of Hubbub's two-year residency at Wellcome Collection in London, this interdisciplinary team of scientists, humanists, artists, clinicians, public health experts, broadcasters, and public engagement professionals will have the freedom to conduct in-depth research and produce a range of public outputs. These outputs will include a new, multidisciplinary archive about rest and activity in early 21st century city life. This database will open up avenues for academic or creative inquiry and inform public policy. The project will also present research findings and experimental work from collaborators in multiple fields to audiences at Wellcome Collection and during a six-week exhibition at GV Art, an independent London gallery. Hubbub's findings will be showcased and made accessible through the development of novel mapping methods and the use of innovative web-based visualisations.

You can follow Hubbub on Twitter @hubbubgroup.