Job title: Lecturer, Design Context

Role: Head of Design Context

Tel: +44 (0) 131 651 5753


Research outputs: Dr Sónia Matos on Edinburgh Research Explorer

I am a designer and lecturer whose work primarily explores the intersection between design and ethnography. In my work I try to understand and explore ways in which different social, cultural and environmental contexts have potential to inform what we design and the ways in which we design.

I joined ECA’s Design School in 2011 where I teach various courses across different design disciplines at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Since April 2012 I am also a Research Affiliate at MIT’s Program for Art, Culture and Technology.

Prior to this I was a doctoral student and seminar tutor at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Here I have dedicated my research to the study of the Silbo Gomero, a whistled form of language that is still alive in the small island of La Gomera in the Canarian archipelago. Part ethnographic study, part acoustic and ecological reinterpretation, this project has culminated in a doctoral dissertation and the design of audio based media for sensory exploration for local youth.

Amongst other institutions, I have presented my research at the 21st Century research-based programme, Chisenhale Gallery (London, U.K.) and at the ‘Verbindingen/ Jonctions 13’ an annual multidisciplinary festival organized by Constance – Association for Art & Media (Brussels, Belgium). Part of my dissertation has been published in the peer-reviewed proceedings of the 8th Conference of the International Committee for Design Histories & Design Studies.

Research interests

Recently I have been working in collaboration with biologist Dr. Ana Neto from CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (University of the Azores, Portugal). Focusing specifically on the wild and edible seaweed of the Azorean archipelago, this project will attempt to actively contribute toward the safeguard of local vernacular knowledge of the marine environment.

Current PhD students

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