Job title: Lecturer, Design Informatics, School of Design

Role: Programme Director MA/MFA Design Informatics


Office address: 3.10 Evolution House

Research outputs: Dave Murray-Rust on Edinburgh Research Explorer

​Dave Murray-Rust is a Lecturer in Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He has a MEng in Information Systems (Cambridge), MSc in Informatics (Edinburgh) and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Music (Edinburgh). His work is concerned with ways that people, data and things interact. Current research questions include: How can we understand the "social machines" – large-scale human-computer collective systems – that are a manifestation of the algorithmically mediated society that we are heading towards? How can we ensure that there is space for people within computational systems, preserving privacy, choice, identity and humanity while making use of possibilities of computational coordination and personal data? How can we work with things that have an increasing sense of agency, from sensing to responding to shaping the world around them? In practice, this relates to: IoT, personal data, human data interaction, physical computing and manifesting data.

His artwork relates to the research questions, and explores interactions between people, matter and computational systems. His work has been shown internationally, in particular Lichtsuchende, which has been exhibited at ZKM (Exo-evolution exhibition, 2016), the New Technology Art Awards (Ghent, 2015), Edinburgh Science Festival (2017).

Previously, Dave has worked on several large FP7 and EU projects on modelling and simulating human/environment interactions around land use and climate change (PLUREL, ECOCHANGE, VOLANTE), and produced several agent based modelling frameworks (Aporia, CRAFTY, ABMLand). He was a postdoc on the SociaM project, looking at the theory and practice of social machines, including using process calculus to model online interaction, developing ideas of pro-social deception and applying wayfaring to social machines.​​

​Dave Murray-Rust is Programme Director for the Design Informatics MA and MFA.​

He runs courses on:

  • Design with Data (MSc, group design around IoT and data materialisation)
  • Data Science for Design (MSc, introduction to programming and data science in a social context)
  • Electronic Things (undergraduate, introduction to physical computing/Arduino)
  • Connected Things (undergraduate, introduction to IoT)
  • New Making (undergraduate, participatory design and current making strategies).​

​​Current research topics:

  • Social machines
  • Human data interaction
  • Personal data (privacy, security)
  • Pro-social deception
  • Human machine inter-agencies
  • Human data interaction
  • IoT/Physical computing
  • Blockchains and DLTs​
  • ​Digital ethnography



Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications.

​Human data interaction

Social machines

Personal data (privacy, security)

Digital ethnography

Blockchains and DLTs

Internet of Things