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 Design Department where I am also the Director of the PhD programme in Design. I am also a Director of the Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP), alongside Michael Guggenheim and Marsha Rosengarten. I am also a member of the Unit of Play hosted by the Department of Sociology and the Interaction Research Studio. Prior to this, I studied for a BA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design (1994-1997) and then I gained my master’s degree in Computer Related Design at the Royal College of Art (1997-1999) and 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 and SIGCHI.
Much design work takes place in collaboration and authorship is often difficult to ascribe. For much of the designs featured on this site I have worked in collaboration with others, including Andy Boucher, David Cameron, Bill Gaver, Stephanie Hankey, Nadine Jarvis, Tobie Kerridge, Mike Michael, Noortje Marres, Liliana Ovalle, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, and Richard Rogers.