I work in Design & Screen Cultures (D&SC) which teaches across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Design concerning the philosophical, cultural, social and ecological dimensions of art, design, media and screen. I am an anthropologist who works with a phenomenological approach to address questions concerning the transformative interrelations between body, materials-media and environment.
I originally trained and practiced as an engineer and a designer, then as a design educator, before retraining as a social anthropologist, studying and working with anthropologist Tim Ingold. My teaching and research is concerned with how people work with materials-media to form knowledge of the self and the world around them. I am particularly interested in diverse manifestations of materials and media—such as non-object notions of growth, weave, screen and surface—and how they influence perception of the body, the environment and structures of knowledge and power. My work is also directed by the ideas of 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 published an edited volume—Surfaces: Transformations of Body, Materials and Earth (Anusas and Simonetti 2020)—with Routledge, 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
Coordinator of Design & Screen Cultures (D&SC) Research Group
Member of Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI)