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 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 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 ideas of form, object, growth, textile, screen and surface - and how they influence perception of the body, environment and structures of 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.
Currently, I am contributing to the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Centenary Programmeand finalising an edited volume on Surfaces: Transformations of Body, Materials and Earth (Routledge)—publication 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)