I am a Senior Lecturer in Design and a sociologist of science and technology based at Goldsmiths, University of London. I am the Director of Research in the Department of Design where I am also the Director of the PhD programme in Design. I am a Director of the Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP), alongside Michael Guggenheim and Marsha Rosengarten. I am a member of the Unit of Play hosted by the Department of Sociology. Prior to this, I studied for a BA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design (1994-1997), where I was taught by Roger Ackling and Martin Creed amongst others, and I then gained my master’s degree in Computer Related Design at the Royal College of Art (1997-1999). I have worked as a researcher for the Netherlands Design Institute, Amsterdam, and as a Designer in Residence as part of the Design & Media Research Fellowship (1999-2000) at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. I have co-edited the volumes ‘Studio Studies: Operations, Topologies & Displacements‘ (2015: with Ignacio Farías) and Speculative Research: The lure of Possible Futures (2017: with Martin Savransky and Marsha Rosengarten) both part of the CRESC, Routledge. I am also co-editing the volume ‘Inventing the Social’, with Noortje Marres and Michael Guggenheim (Mattering Press, Forthcoming). I am a founding editor of Demonstrations, a new interdisciplinary academic journal that aims to publish peer-reviewed contributions that combine creative approaches with science and technology studies. My Ph.D. thesis is an ethnographic study of the role of users in user-centered design practices (funded by the EPSRC).
My research interests are organized around design practices and the various enactments of the ‘user’. Through these empirical prisms I explore sociological questions around the following: design as a prospective practice; design controversies; the politics of technology; object-centered practices; speculative practice, research and thought; user-involvement in design especially participatory and user-centered design; the publics of design; associations between design and social science. Conceptually and methodologically I draw upon science & technology studies (STS), particularly developments in actor-network theory (ANT) and the sociology of expectations.
My Ph.D. thesis, entitled ‘User Assemblages in Design: An Ethnographic Study’ is a sociological study of user-centered design practices within, but not limited to, the organisational boundaries of a multinational semiconductor manufacturer. This includes a detailed examination of how multiple users are enrolled and enacted within design practices in relation to the development of information and communication technologies.
I am a member of the Interaction Research Research Studio (Department of Design, Goldsmiths) and I have been a member of The Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process (Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths) since its inception in 2004 where I now share the role of Co-Director of with Michael Guggenheim and Marsha Rosengarten. I am also a member of the Unit of Play (Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths), the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology and the British Sociological Association. I have also been a member of the Association for Computing Machinery.
I have reviewed for the following academic journals, conferences and publishers: Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Co-Design; Environment and Planning A; Environment and Planing D; MIT Press; Science, Technology & Human Values, Social Studies of Science, Science as Culture, SIGCHI, Design Research Society, Sociological Research Online and The Sociological Review.