Research activity per year

Personal profile


Grounded in human geography, and with a strong commitment to interdisciplinary and collaborative scholarship, I investigate how people experience design and technology in their surroundings, particularly in shared, public spaces and events.

My research takes place in a range of settings, scales and technologies. I have a longstanding research interest in the digital aspects of spatiality, investigating how people understand and imagine technology. A current focus is the use and impact of robots in public space and in everyday life, and the implications for new forms of human-robot collaboration. Previous research on digital spatialities has focused on automated light, the spatial experience of self-tracking and how people make sense of city data. 

Another research interest is in memorial and heritage sites, investigating how their distinct affective and sensory affordances contribute to feelings of identity and collectivity. My reframing of state commemoration foregrounds its experiential aspects, including the contributions of digital technologies, and shows how these complicate its narration and political deployment.

My research is conducted through inventive digital, visual, sensory and design ethnographic methodologies. With colleagues, I have advanced new methodological approaches and applied these widely. I teach this methodology at undergraduate and PhD level, and many of my PhD students also employ this approach. I welcome inquiries from potential PhD students.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Sociology, PhD, Australian National University (ANU)

Award Date: 15 Jun 2011

Nationalism Studies, MSc, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Sept 1996

Sociology/Anthropology, BA, Carleton College

Award Date: 1 Jun 1992

Research area keywords

  • Atmospheres
  • Technology
  • Public Space
  • Design
  • Design Ethnography
  • Commemoration

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or