A selection of academic research projects:
(2015) The Dewey Organ: A problem & public making machine (Goldsmiths, DJCAD, Civic Workshop). This AHRC funded project experiments with new forms of creative cross-disciplinary, design-oriented research. The Organ is a device for making sound, harmony and dissonance, and of bringing people together. It also speaks of the material body politic, an anatomy of publics. It also comes from John Dewey’s (1927) ‘The Public and its Problems’ which critically examines civic participation and the relationships between citizens and experts. The project aims to materially explore the practice of problem and public making in two events: (1) The making of a tangible machine and (2) the playing of the organ at a festival where people can assemble and interact with problems in new ways.
(2013-14) Bikes & Bloomers (Freedom of Movement: the bike, the bloomer and female cyclists in late nineteenth-century) Britain (Goldsmiths). This ESRC funded research project explores the role and importance of the bloomer (and attending ideas of rational dress) in legitimising women’s independent mobility in public space. It involves making (and wearing) a series of convertible cycling garments from 120 year old patents in collaboration with a weaver, tailor, artist and filmmaker. A collection of downloadable open source PDF sewing pattern packs inspired by the research will launch in late 2015.
(2012-14) Transmissions & Entanglements (Goldsmiths). This project explores inventive methods and modes of knowledge transmission. It is premised on the idea that far from operating as a point of closure, how people make, curate and represent knowledge offers new ways of understanding the social world. Initial funding from Intel and Goldsmiths and further supported by an ESRC Knowledge Exchange grant.
(2010-11) Cycling Cultures in a Mass Motorised Society: A multi-method case study of four English urban areas (University of East London). An ESRC funded multi-method sociological research project that focuses on four relatively high-cycling cities (Hull, Hackney, Bristol, Cambridge) in order to find out why cycling thrives in particular areas. It was located in the Sustainable Mobilities Research Group. I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2010-11) with the PI, Dr Rachel Aldred.
(2010-) Enquiry Machines (Goldsmiths). A series of badly hand-made artefacts that seek to open up new landscapes of enquiry about difficult or slippery ideas and in doing so render visible the processes, limitations and mechanics of knowledge production. Enquiry Machines are interdisciplinary collaborations: EM#1 with Julien McHardy (designer/sociologist), EM#2 with Aleks Krotoski (social psychologist/journalist) and a range of events here and here.
(2005-09) Making WiFi: A sociological study of backyard technologists in suburban Australia (Goldsmiths). My PhD examined the culture of a new digital technology – Wireless Fidelity (WiFi). Drawing on an eighteen-month ethnography of the largest not-for-profit community WiFi group in Australia I examined how members made their own digital communications network that spanned the largely suburban city of Adelaide, by connecting together home-made antennas, many of which are located in their own backyards. The book from this research is available here. An outline is here.
(2006-07) Domestic Space and Interfaces for Located Mobility (Goldsmiths, University of London). A one year ethnographic study that examined the use of computers and the internet in the Australian home, in the context of increasing provision of WiFi and WiMAX. Co-funded by Intel and Studio INCITE (Incubator for Critical Inquiry into Technology and Ethnography), the study aimed to gain a better understanding of how and to what extent these new wireless technologies are reconfiguring and reorganising domestic practice and social relations.
(2003-06) 73 Urban Journeys (University of Surrey). A studio INCITE Research Fellowship designed to explore, experience and capture textual, visual and sensual narratives of the mobile London urban experience. It was part of a larger study conceived by Nina Wakeford (INCITE) for a collaboration with INTEL which looked at the relationship between mobility, new mobile digital technologies and experience of place, with particular reference to the use of digital content and involved a qualitative study of spaces in London in which people consume information.
(2001-04) Urban Tapestries (Proboscis). An interdisciplinary project investigating how, by combining mobile and internet technologies with geographic information systems, people could ‘author’ the environment around them. It enabled people to map and share knowledge, stories and information and provided a framework for investigating social and cultural implications of pervasive location based wireless environments at a time when they these technologies were just emerging.