Flow Unlocked: UCL project looking for autistic participants

13 May 2020

FLOW UNLOCKED: A creative participatory research project funded by the UCL Culture Trelllis programme is looking at autistic east Londoners relationships and the effects of lockdown.

3 abstract images of shapes. First is a ripple of water in algae, second a hand with a shadow cast on concrete, third a reflection of windows in rippling water

Flow Unlocked is seeking autisic people to join a consultation group which aims to establish a creative participatory research project. The project will explore how autistic people experience relationships and aims to promote autistic acceptance. 

You can download this call as a PDF.

Who we are:

We are a collaborative group of three; Georgia Pavlopoulou, Doctor in Psychology and Mental health, UCL autism researcher & neurodiversity advocate; Jon Adams, neurodivergent polymath, Synaesthete, MHChampion & artist, Briony Campbell, east London photographer, filmmaker & creative facilitator. We are funded by UCL Culture.

About our funder

We are being funded by UCL Culture (University College London), within the Trellis project. The intentions of Trellis are to connect UCL researchers with local artists and engage the east London communities that surround the new UCL East campus, currently under construction on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. At this stage we have been funded a small amount in order to refine our methodologies and ideas and develop our proposal for a larger project. Your participation in our consultancy group would be helping us to do this.

What we’re doing

We aim to codesign and codeliver a creative participatory research project, which will seek to illuminate the relationships that matter to autistic people during and after lockdown in east London. We are interested in environmental and sensory relationships as well as interpersonal and human/object/animal relationships. The project will focus on east Londoners. Our intention is to create a space for autistic east Londoners to share their perspectives and ideas on relationships, as part of a knowledge exchange with artists and researchers. This project aims to engage autistic people in collaborative and creative practice. We want to enhance awareness and acceptance of autistic people, by creating honest and compelling public art inspired by how Autisic people relate to the communities and environments around them.

How you could be involved

We are asking potential consultants to participate in 3 online meetings (approx 5 hours in total, tbc), in order to help us clarify objectives, aims and methods of this project. Consultants will also respond to a simple creative brief that will be set during the second meeting. There will be no obligation to spend a set amount of time on this, nor to complete it, but only to attempt it and share your reflections afterwards. We will ask all consultants to speak openly about their relationships (personal and environmental) and opportunities and barriers they have experienced during and after Lockdown in east London. Your ideas will inform our next steps in the project. 

Agendas for the meetings and instructions on how to join online will be available in advance. Start times will be agreed collectively to allow maximum accessibility to all participants. 

We would require permission to record the meetings for our research and you will be asked to complete a consent form. We can offer £50 per person as a token of our gratitude.


Participants must live in the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham or Waltham forest and be 16 years old or over. If you would like to express interest in joining the consultation meetings please email Georgia Pavlopoulou.
Please include your full name. If you prefer not to communicate via email, just specify your preferred contact details. We look forward to hearing from you!

Our future goals 

This is a small pilot project, the collaborative process and findings of which will inform our proposal for a larger participatory project. UCL have shortlisted us to bid for funding for the larger project. (They will fully fund 4 community based projects in Autumn 2020). If we are successfully funded the larger project will result in a public art work which will highlight autistic people's relationships and promote autistic acceptance. Your contribution will help us to make our project as authentic, accessible, representative and rewarding as possible. 

Thank you for your time and interest!

3 abstract images. First a face wearing glasses glimpsed through a blurred foreground, second a canal weir viewed from above, third a hand holding a broken shard of glass with a person's shadow cast on the ground