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Mari Thynne

Research student

Mari Thynne

United Kingdom


My career has spanned academia, civil service, senior management and professional theatre. During this time, I have gained in-depth knowledge of organisation and management, research and grant funding, government policy development and delivery,higher education teaching and immersive theatre production. This career trajectory offers the advantage of a distinctive approach to research and research consultancy. Presently completing a PhD, my research and practice is within organisation and management. More specifically, within the processes necessary to deliver meaningful and profitable ‘experiences’ within a developing experience economy. 

I am affiliated with the department of Organisation, Work and Technology in the Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), Computing and Communications and  the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts (LICA).


Research overview

PhD Synopsis

There is a growing consumer interest in purchasing ‘immersive’ experiences. The phenomenon of experiential consumption, driven by live interactions and digital interfaces, is evident within routine retail, themed restaurants, exotic tourism, and more recently, the purchasing of both virtual and live simulated experiences. Primarily associated with business development, I argue the emerging experience economy is an expression of fundamental cultural change. More specifically, subjectivity itself is becoming the product in which consumers of ‘experience’ invest; exposing a new ethos of consumption. The consumer’s ‘sense of reality’ is potentially ‘altered’ (Pine and Gilmore,1999) by the entering of increasingly convincing simulated situations. However, such encounters can be indicative of an ‘ethical inarticulacy’ (Taylor, 1989) leading to conflicting and often irreconcilable ethical demands that underlie the production and consumption of experience. 

Research Grants

  • PhD funding 1+3 (2012) Funder: EPSRC
  • NEMODE – New Economic Models in the Digital Economy, Network+ (2014) £10k. PI for scoping study and hosting workshop titled ‘New Economic Models for the Performing Arts: Reconfiguring the value space’. Funder: RSUK.
  • Department of International Trade(2016) £12k. PI for study on the Experience Economy. Dissemination at business conferences in Zagreb and London. Funder: UK Government 

Current Teaching

I explore seminal literature on management theories in a way that allows accessibly to all. More specifically, I reflect the theories and concepts by global examples from today’s organisations to inspire debates and discussions that enable critical understanding, challenge preconceptions and facilitate independent thinking. Topics taught:

  • Management and Organisational Behaviour  
  • Managing Organisations, Human Resources & Technology
  • E-Business Management
  • Ethics in Creative Organisations

Teaching includes:

  •  Advising on module design, development and assessment
  •  Designing delivery to reinforce lecture content
  •  Designing assessment and grading of coursework presentations
  •  Moodle uploading for information distribution
  •  Office hour for advising and feedback
  •  Marking formative feedback essays
  •  Marking course work
  •  Marking of exam scripts
  •  Preparing study skills hand-outs 

Research Interests


I am particularly interested in developing the following research area:


  • Collaborations with colleagues from interactive digital media design to advance experience design, knowledge and practice. Particularly through developing innovative conceptualisations, planning tools, and training programmes for immersive experiences in educational fields such as museums, libraries, and higher education pedagogy.


Current Research


  • Digital Research in the Humanities and the Arts (DRHA) 2016 – University of Brighton Sept 2016. Joint-author Dr I. Willcock (Hertfordshire). Ecologies of Experience: A Survey of Contemporary Immersive Practices   

  • Quadrangular Conference on Technology, Organisations & Society – Lancaster University Sept 2015.  Creating Liminality within Interactive Theatre: Creating space or place?
  • Digital Research in the Humanities and the Arts (DRHA) 2015 
- University College Dublin September 2015.  Creating Intense Interactive Theatre: Offering cultural freedom or consumer control?
  • German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE) 2015 – University of Barcelona. June 2015. Maker’s Narratives: Making sense of the value of interactive performance
  • New Economic Models for the Performing Arts: Refiguring the value space – Workshop – Watershed Bristol. September 2014 Interactive Theatre: Reconfiguring the value space
  • 10th Annual TaPRA Conference 2014 -Royal Holloway University London. September 2014.  Interactive Theatre: Reconfiguring the value space
  • Digital Research in the Humanities and the Arts (DRHA) 2014 
- University of Greenwich August 2014. Interactive Theatre Making: An interdisciplinary lens on maker narratives