RESEARCH & DESIGN
FOR PLAY & STORIES
I am a researcher and artist specialising in play and storytelling for children. Having a doctorate in Education and MA degrees in Research Methods, Early Childhood Education and Japanese Semiotics my work crosses academia and industry. I am the Co-Founder of a storytelling consultancy and studio called X||dinary Stories.
My research sits at the intersection of experimental design and social sciences, focusing on digital storytelling, games and play on a range of platforms such as apps, augmented and virtual reality, as well as new content for television, all with an emphasis on media for children.
As an artist I use drawing, emerging technologies and game engines to explore experimental visual and multimodal methods as part of the research process. In this way I take an Information Experience Design approach to including participants in the research process, also to connect data findings [the information] to design and production [the experience].
2023 Exploring Children’s Attitudes Towards Notions of Digital Good/Bad through Hybrid Arts Practice. ESRC, £50K.
Principal-Investigator. (Co-Is) RCA, GSA, UCL and X||dinary Stories.
2023 Rear Window for Brick Moon Virtual Theatre. Arts Council of Northern Ireland, £10K.
Principal Investigator with Eleanor Dare, X||dinary Stories in collaboration with Big Telly.
2023 Communication Design in the Context of Child Health. Impact Accelerator Funding, University of Sheffield, £16K.
Co-Investigator. (PI) Jill Thompson, University of Sheffield (Co-I) LEGO.
2022 Trials with MRI Playkit, TiTCH Network and University of Sheffield, £30K.
Co-Investigator. (PI) Jill Thompson, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Children’s NHS Trust.
2022-2023 Future of Broadcast Media for 7-11-Year-olds, AHRC via XR Stories, £24K. Principal-Investigator with Eleanor Dare X||dinary Stories. Read more here.
2019-2023 Promoting Disaster Resilience in Children: Developing a Network to Research Culturally Appropriate, Sustainable Public Health Interventions in Fiji and Samoa. GCRF, £25K. Co-Investigator. (PI) Jill Thompson, University of Sheffield, Universities of Fiji, Samoa and Auckland (Delayed by COVID). Read more here.
2019-2021 VR and Mixed-Realities Play Kit to Prepare Under 10s for an MRI. Innovate UK. £388K (including additional COVID-19 support)
Principal Investigator. (Co-I) University of Sheffield, GSA, Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Trust. Read more here.
2021 Counter measures: Giving Children better control over how they're observed by digital sensors. EPSRC, £50K.
Co-Investigator. (PI) Angus Main, Royal College of Art. (Co-I) UCL. Read more here.
2019-2020 Location-Based Virtual Reality Experiences for Children: Japan-UK Knowledge Exchange Network. ESRC/AHRC, £50K.
Principal Investigator. (Co-I) RCA, GSA, UCL, Hashilus, Japan, University of Tokyo, WEARVR.
Read more here.
2016-2018 The Potential Role of FabLabs and Maker Spaces in the Lives of Children. RISE, Marie Sklowska Curie Action, €531K.
Co-Investigator. (PI) Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield. Read more here.
2016-2018 VR and Children: Emerging Possibilities and Challenges. Commercially funded, £45K.
Principal Investigator. Read more here.
2016 Investigating the Design and Use of a New Smart-Toy in Relation to Children’s Play. COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), €2484.
Principal Investigator. (Co-I) Vai Kai Ltd, Berlin. Read more here.
2015 Play and Creativity in Preschoolers use of Apps. ESRC, £54k.
Co-Investigator. (PI) Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield, Cbeebies, University of Edinburgh, Foundling Bird, Dubit, Monteany Primary School. Read more here.
2014 Developing Videogames & Play for Hospitalised children. AHRC, £30K.
Co-investigator. (PI) Wood, University of Sheffield. (Co-Is) Birmingham and Sheffield NHS Trusts, Stripey Designs and Distinctive Games. Read more here.
Presentations & Talks
Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) Evolve-it.
Plymouth Undokai, University of Plymouth (24/11/23)
Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2023) The Future of Broadcast Media according to Kid.
Children’s Media Conference 2023. Recorded talk disseminated online.
Dare, E. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) The Future of Broadcast Media according to Kid.
The Future is Northern, The Studio, Leeds (28/3/23).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) Storytelling in a Digital Age: how immersive entertainment can support childhood development.
Invited talk for NESTA. (23/02/23).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) A visionary look at how the metaverse could change research and insights practices in the near future.
Insights from the Metaverse 2023, Market Research Society. (20/01/23).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Games & Play to Engage Research Participants in Projects about Change.
Invited talk for Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, online. (26/10/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Art and Design in Protests,
Village Green Talks, MMU. (12/10/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Games & Play to Engage Research Participants in Projects about Change.
Games for Change, New York City.(13-16/07/22). Keynote.
Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2022) Equity and the Immersive Lab: Polygon by polygon, how do we build an equitable world. Kingston University, London (22/06/22) Keynote.
Main, A. Grierson, M., Yamada-Rice, D. & Murr, J. (2022) Augmenting Personal Creativity with Artificial Intelligence.Creativity & Cognition, Venice. Full-day Workshop (20/06/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) The Art of Storytelling.
Invited talk for The Richmond Market Insight Forum, Savoy Place, London (08/06/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Re-Imagining Data Storytelling and Impact. Invited presentation for Western Cape Education Department’s Empower Hour, South Africa (20/05/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2022) Virtual magic: sleight of hand in immersive storytelling. Connecting Screens: Playing with Immersive Systems Research Symposium, Leeds School of Art, Invited Keynote (30/03/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Designing with Children: How to Involve them in Research. Digital Kids Today, Aarhaus, Denmark, Invited Keynote (3/3/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Dismantel the Doors: approaches to interdisciplinary research and practice. Invited keynote speaker for i-Dat Visitng Lecturers and given as part of the University of Plymouth’s Professional And Creative Attributes Week (24/02/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Dismantle the Doors: an interdisciplinary approach to information and experience in the design of play and storytelling, Manchester School of Art (10/02/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Invited Keynote presentation for "What Matters in Early Childhood Studies Now? Dialogues of Pasts, Presents and Futures" Conference, Brock University (27/01/22).
Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2021) Virtual [UN]Reality: the role of magic in immersive storytelling, Immersive Storytelling Symposium, Lakeside Arts, Nottingham (02/11/21).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2021) Invited panel presentation for 'Digital Devices Before 5' Workshop for Bradford City Council organised by University of Leeds, Invited Talk (10/05/21).
On this site you can find details of my RESEARCH & GRAPHIC NARRATIVES with links to related publications, reports, stories and games/
There is also a BLOG which documents work and ideas as they are in progress interlinked with details of finished publications.
Scott, F., Parry, B., Marsh, J., Lahmar, J., Nutbrown, B., Scholey, E., Baldi, P., Law, L., & Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) Addressing the ‘whys’ of UK children’s YouTube use: a purposes approach. Journal Social Media and Society.
Thompson, J., Yamada-Rice, D., Thompson, S., Murray, L. and Taylor, M. (2023) Development and introduction of a mixed realities playkit: decreasing the incidence of general anaesthesia for paediatric MRI. British Medical Journal, Early Innovation Report. Online first (09/11/23). doi:10.1136/ bmjinnov-2023-001083.
Yamada-Rice, D. et al (2023) The Importance of Multimodal Play and Storytelling to a Mixed Realities Playkit for Preparing 4 to 10-year-olds for an MRI scan. Multimodality & Society, Volume 3, Issue 2.
Dare, E. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) Queer Psycho and the HE Circus: Applying Queering, Magic and More-than-Human Theories to Immersive Visual Story Worlds as an Antidote to Late Capitalism. Presence, MIT.
Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2023) The Future of Broadcast Media According to Kids: Final Project Report. Available online.
Main, A. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Evading Big Brother: using visual methods to understand children’s perception of sensors and interest in subverting digital surveillance. Visual Communication, Vol.20(3).
Yamada-Rice, D., Thompson, J., Love, S., Thompson, S. & McQuillian,H. (2022) Mixed Realities Playkit to Prepare Children for an MRI Scan: Findings for health, families and industry. Available online at: <http://dubit.us/mri>.
Fass, J., Yamada-Rice, D., Shelley, J. , Lewis, M. & Pappas, G. (2022). Information is Ugly. Visual Communication, Vol.20(3). Editorial.
Main, A. Grierson, M., Yamada-Rice, D. & Murr, J. (2022) Augmenting Personal Creativity with Artificial Intelligence.
C&C '22: Creativity and Cognition, June 2022 p.462- 465https://doi.org/10.1145/3527927.3531205. Published online at ACM Digital Library.
Dare, E. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Reading the Cards: Critical Chatbots, Tarot and Drawing as an Epistemological Repositioning to Defend Against the Neoliberal Structures of Art Education. In: Filimowicz, M. (ed) Systematic Bias: Algorithms and Society. London: Routledge
Nash, R., Yamada-Rice, D., Dare, E., Love, S., Main, A., Potter, D., Rodrigues, D. (2021) Using a collaborative zine to co-produce knowledge about location-based virtual reality experiences. Qualitative Research Journal, Vol.21(2).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2021) Children’s interactive storytelling in Virtual Reality, Multimodality & Society, Vol.1(1), p.48-67.
Ikon, E., Wee, C., Dare, E., Lewis, M., Biderman, K., Gordon, L., Pochodzaj, J., and Yamada-Rice, D, 'Exercises in Exorcism, Ways of Healing (through) Art Education'. In: Baier, W., Canepa, E., Golemis, H. (eds) (2021) Capitalism's Deadly Threat: transform! London: Merlin Press.
Yamada-Rice, D., Dare, E. Main, A., Potter, J., Ando, A. Miyoshi, K., Narumi, T., Beshani, S., Clark, A., Duszenko, I. Love, S., Nash, R., Rodrigues, D., and Stearman, N. (2020) Location-Based Virtual Reality Experiences for Children: Japan-UK Knowledge Exchange Network: Final Project Report. Available online at: <https://ukjapanvr.wordpress.com/2020/06/13/nalprojectreport/>
Yamada-Rice, D. & Love, S. (2019) Designing tech for health: Developing a mixed reality playkit to help children who need an MRI Scan. RIAS Quarterly, Vol.38, p. 57.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2019) Including Children in the Design of the Internet of Toys: In Mascheroni, G. & Holloway, D. (Eds) The Internet of Toys: Practices, Affordances and the Political Economy of Children’s Smart play.
Yamada-Rice, D., Rodrigues, D. & Zubrycka, J. (2019) Makerspaces and Virtual Reality, Chapter 5. In: Blum-Ross, A., Kumpulainen, K. & Marsh, J.(eds) Enhancing digital Literacy and Creativity: Makerspaces in the Early Years. Routledge.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2018) Licking planets and Stomping on Buildings: children’s interactions with curated spaces in Virtual Reality. Children's Geographies, Vol.16(5).
Yamada-Rice, D. and Marsh, J., (2018) Using Augmented and virtual Reality in the Early Childhood Curriculum. Printed Publication available online at:
Marsh, J. A., Plowman, L., Bishop, J, Lahmar, J and Scott, F, Yamada-Rice, D. (2018), Play and creativity in young children’s use of apps. British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol.49(4).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2018) Designing Play: young children’s play and communication practices in relation to designers’ intentions for their toy. Global Studies of Childhood, Vol.8(1), p. 5-22.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2017) Designing Play for Dark Times. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Vol.18(2), p.196-212.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2017) Using visual and digital research methods to capture young children’s interaction with and comprehension of images. In: Christensen, P. and James, A. (2017) Research with Children: Perspectives and practice, 3rd Edition, Routledge.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2017) Designing connected play: Perspectives from combining industry and academic know-how. In: Chaudron S., Di Gioia R., Gemo M., Holloway D., Marsh J., Mascheroni G., Peter J., Yamada-Rice D. Kaleidoscope on the Internet of Toys - Safety, security,
privacy and societal insights, EUR 28397 EN, doi:10.2788/05383
Yamada-Rice, D., Mushtaq, F., Woodgate, A., Bosmans, D, Douthwaite, A, Douthwaite, I, Harris, W, Holt, R, Kleeman, D, Marsh, J, Milovidov, E, Mon Williams, M, Parry, B, Riddler, A, Robinson, P, Rodrigues, D, Thompson, S and Whitley, S, (2017), Children and Virtual Reality: Emerging Possibilities and Challenges. Available online at http://childrenvr.org.
Yamada-Rice, D. & Marsh, J. (2017) Working Together on Young Children’s Digital and Media Practics: Fostering Academic and Industry Partnerships. Published online and available for download here.
Marsh, J., Plowman, L., Yamada-Rice, D., Bishop, J. & Scott, F., (2016) Digital play: a new classication, Early Years an International Research Journal, Vol. 36(3). p. 242-253
Marsh, J. and Yamada-Rice, D. (2016) Bringing Pudsey to Life: Young Children’s Use of Augmented Reality Apps. In: Kucirkova, N. and Falloon, G. (eds) Apps, Technology and Younger Learners. Routledge.
Nutbrown, C., Clough, P., Levy, R. Little, S., Yamada-Rice, D. Bishop, J., Lamb, T., (2016) Families’ roles in children’s literacy, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Vol.15(35).
Marsh, J., Plowman, L., Yamada-Rice, D., Bishop, J.C., Lahmar, J., Scott, F., Davenport, A., Davis, S., French, K., Piras, M., Thornhill, S., Robinson, P. and Winter, P. (2015) Exploring Play and Creativity in Pre-Schoolers’ Use of Apps: Final Project Report. Available at: <www.techandplay.org>
Yamada-Rice, D. (2015) Semiotic Landscapes: Cultural
affordances of texts in and of Japanese landscapes. In: Pahl, K. & Rowsell, J. (eds) (2015) Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies. Routledge.
Yamada-Rice, D. & Stirling, E. (2015) Visual Methods with
Children and Young People. Academics and Visual Industry in Dialogue. London: Palgrave.
Yamada-Rice, D., Procter, L., Stirling, E. & Almansour M. (2015) Review: Margolis & Pauwels (eds) (2011). The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods, Visual Communication, Vol.14(2).
Yamada-Rice, D. (2014) The Semiotic Landscape and Three-Year-Olds’ EmergingUnderstanding of Multimodal Communication Practices, Journal of Early Childhood Research, Vol.12(2), p. 154-184.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2014) Using Multimodal Social Semiotic
Theory and Visual Methods to Consider Young Children’s
Interaction with and Comprehension of Images. SAGE Research Methods Cases Collection.
Levy, R., Yamada-Rice, D. and Marsh, J. (2013) Digital literacies in the primary classroom. In: Hall, K., Cremin, T., Comber, B. and Moll, L. (eds) (2013) International Handbook of Research in Children's Literacy, Learning and Culture. Wiley-Blackwell.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2011) New Media, evolving multimodal
literacy practices and the potential impact of increased use of the visual mode in the urban environment on young children’s learning. Literacy, Vol.45(1), p.32-43.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2011) A Comparative Study of Visuals in the Urban Landscapes of Tokyo and London, Visual Communication, Vol.10(2) p.175-186.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2011) The Benefits of Sign Language in the International Preschool Curriculum. In: Murphy, E. (ed) (2011) Welcoming Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Classrooms. Multilingual Matters. p.112-124.
Yamada-Rice, D. (2010) Beyond words: An enquiry into children’s home visual communication practices. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Vol.10(3), p.341–363.