As Director of the Design & Screen Cultures (D&SC) Teaching & Research Group, I lead teaching across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Design on the philosophical, critical, social and political dimensions of design, crafts and media. As a researcher, I am a designer and anthropologist with a focus on social practices of trans/formation through body, materials and media.
I originally trained and practiced as a designer and design educator, to later retrain as a social anthropologist, being mentored by and co-leading research projects with social anthropologist Tim Ingold. My work is concerned with how people work with materials and media to form knowledge of the self and the world around them. I am particularly interested in different manifestations of materials and media—across non-object notions of growth, textile, screen and surface—and how they influence perception of the body and environment and structures of thought, knowledge and power. As well as being influenced by the work of Tim Ingold, I am directed by the ideas of the media philosopher Vilém Flusser and associated phenomenological approaches.
I led the Design Anthropology theme within the European Research Council (ERC) FP7 grant Knowing From the Inside (KFI): Anthropology, Art, Architecture and Design. I am published within the edited volume Designing Anthropological Futures (Bloomsbury) and in worldwide peer-reviewed journals Cultural Anthropology (American Anthropological Association) and Design Issues (MIT). My journal article 'Designing Environmental Relations' has been recently translated and published in a special Chinese edition of Design Issues.
Recently I have contributed to the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Centenary Programmeand finished an edited volume on Surfaces: Transformations of Body, Materials and Earth (Routledge)—publication 16 March 2020—which features writings from an international collective of anthropologists working with practices of art, architecture, craft and design.
I am open to enquiries from prospective doctoral students, whether to study in classical or 'by practice' mode. I am open to applicants from any background and that connect with my interests above.
Course Organiser for:
DESI08097 Modernism and After
DESI10123 Surfaces & Screens
DESI11110 Surfaces & Screens
Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI)