Job title: Chair of Material and Design Innovation, School of Design

Role: Postgraduate Research Director PhD/MPhil Degrees, School of Design

Tel: +44 (0) 131 651 5836


Office address: Room 2.22, School of Design, 2nd Floor, Evolution House, 78 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE

Research outputs: Professor Sarah Kettley on Edinburgh Research Explorer

BA (Hons), MSc, PhD, FHEA

Sarah is Chair of Material and Design Innovation, with a remit to develop new cross-disciplinary teaching and research initiatives at the intersections of making traditions, new technologies, and the humanities. She chairs the RAFT Research Group, whose members investigate innovative interdisciplinary research practices through making and discussion.

Sarah’s doctoral research combined a background in jewellery and silversmithing with the emerging field of wearable computing to ask what a craft methodology for wearables might look like. She completed her PhD in 2007 at Edinburgh Napier University, and held an AHRC post-doctoral position to extend her practice-based work with networked digital jewellery. She has been supported by the Scottish Arts Council and alt-w, and was Principal Investigator on the EPSRC funded project An internet of Soft Things. Her recent research has brought together participatory design methods, electronic textiles, and mental health communities to investigate Carl Rogers’ Person-Centred Approach as a way of doing ethical and relational design with people.

She convenes the Design Research Society special interest group on tangible, embedded and networked technologies (tentSIG), frequently reviews for academic conferences, and is on the editorial board of the Artifact Journal of Design Practice.

Sarah is the Interim Programme Director for Jewellery and Silversmithing in the School of Design, Edinburgh College of Art, where she contributes at all year levels. She has designed, managed and delivered a wide range of learning and teaching in design education, and specialises in curating multi-disciplinary experiences for students across institutional boundaries, and will be working with teams across the university to develop new flexible programmes of study to enable creative student engagement with emerging materials and technologies. She has supervised a range of PhD students in design management, technical textiles, ubiquitous computing, and sustainability areas. She authored the Bloomsbury Required Reading teaching title, Designing With Smart Textiles, and was a sub-editor on the award winning Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design. Sarah is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Sarah welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students.

Sarah chairs the RAFT Research Group at ECA, whose members investigate innovative interdisciplinary research practices through making and discussion. Her research is concerned with craft and the Person-Centred Approach (as found in psychotherapy practice) as methodologies for design research; she is currently working on a number of publications exploring humanistic approaches in design, including a book chapter for Design for Wellbeing, and an edited title on relational design practices in Human-Computer Interaction, both part of the Routledge Design for Social Responsibility series. She serves on the steering group of Arcintex, an international research network concerned with the commonalities of architecture, interaction design and textiles brought about by advances in ‘smart’ textiles.

Her principal publications include:


Books and book chapters

Kettley, S., Kettley, R. & Lucas, R. (2016). From Human-Centred to Person-Centred Design. In I. Kuksa & T. Fisher (Eds). Design and Personalization, Routledge, pp.170-191.

Kettley, S. (2016). Designing with Smart Textiles. London: Fairchild/Bloomsbury.

Edwards, C., Atkinson, H., Kettley, S., O'Brien, S., Raizman, D., & Willis, A.M., (Eds.). (2016). Encyclopaedia of Design. London: Bloomsbury.

Kettley, S. (2011). The Design of Technical Textiles. In A. Briggs-Goode & K. Townsend (Eds.). Textile design: principles, advances and applications. Cambridge: Woodhead, pp.323-353.

Journal papers

Møller, T. & Kettley, S. (2017). From Social Weight to Social Agility: Exploring the Accessory Approach as a Platform for Future Health Wearables Design. International Journal of Design: Special Issue on Designing for Wearable and Fashionable Interactions.

Brown, D., Kettley, S., Kettley, R., Walker, S., Cosma, G., Battersby, S., Sadkowska, A., and Lucas, R. (2017). Analysis of Multimodal Data Obtained from Users of Smart Textiles Designed for 36 Mental Wellbeing. Proceedings of the IoTGC 2017: IEEE International Conference in Internet of Things for the Global Community. 10-13 July 2017, Funchal, pp36-42.

Kettley, S. (2016). “You’ve got to keep looking”: Craft Thinking and Authenticity. In The Journal of Craft Research, Real or Unreal? - Crafting authenticity in the digital age special issue, 7.2 September/October 2016.

Kettley, S. (2012). The Foundations of Craft: a suggested protocol for introducing craft to other disciplines. The Journal of Craft Research, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2012, Intellect.

Kettley, S. (2011). Interrogating Hyperfunctionality. Proceedings 1st International Conference on Smart Design, Nottingham Trent University, 22-24 November 2011. In P. Breedon (Ed). Smart Design. London: Springer. pp. 65-73.

Peer reviewed conference papers

Kettley, S., Townsend, K., & Walker, S. (2017). Electric Corset: An approach to wearables innovation. Proceedings, Research Through Design, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh UK March 22 -24 2017.

Valero-Silva, N., Kettley, S., & Kent, A. (2016). Mental Health Service Design: Methodological and Ethical Challenges in Stakeholder Engagement. In Proceedings of the British Academy of Management Conference, Newcastle University 6th - 8th September 2016.

Kettley, S., Lucas, R., & Sadkowska, A. (2016). Tangibility in e-textile participatory service design with mental health participants. Proceedings DRS2016 Design + Research + Society: Future Focused Thinking, Brighton UK, 27-30 June 2016.

Brown, D., Kettley, R., & Kettley, S. (2016). Interpersonal Process Recall: A Method for Reflecting on Co-Design Experiences. Proceedings Workshop on Sharing Methods for Involving People with Impairments in Design: Exploring the Method Story Approach, CHI 2016, May 7-12, San Jose.

Kettley, S, Kettley, R. & Bates, M. (2015). An Introduction to the Person-Centred Approach as an Attitude for Participatory Design. Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015), Sep. 7-11, Osaka, Japan.

Kettley, S, Kettley, R. & Bates, M. (2015). An Introduction to IPR as a Participatory Design Research Method. Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015), Sep. 7-11, Osaka, Japan.

Glazzard, M., Kettley, R., Lucas, R., Bates, M., Walker, S. and Kettley, S. (2015). Facilitating a non-judgmental skills-based co-design environment. 3rd International Design4Helath Conference, Sheffield Hallam University, 13-16 July 2015.

Kettley, S. (2011). Reflections on a Craft Design Protocol. Proceedings Ambience11, Boras University, Sweden. 28-30 November 2011, pp. 164-169.

Kettley, S., Downes, T., Glazzard, M. & Harrigan, K. (2010). Fit for Purpose? Pattern Cutting and Seams in Wearables Development. CREATE’10, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh 30 June - 2 July 2010.

Kettley, S. & Glazzard. M. (2010). Knitted Stretch Sensors for Sound Output. Proceedings 4th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded & Embodied Interactions, MIT, Boston CA. January 2010.

Kettley, S. (2008). Parallels in the Evolution of Craft and Authenticity. Proceedings of Crafticulation & Education
International Conference of Craft Science and Craft Education 24
−26 September 2008, pp.76-83.

Kettley, S. (2007). Reflection and Transparency: Rhythms in Experiences with Craft. Proceedings of New Craft – Future Voices, Dundee 4 – 6 July 2007.

Kettley, S. (2007). ensemble- a sound and jewellery work. Exhibitions Proceedings, New Craft – Future Voices, Dundee 4 – 6 July 2007.

Kettley, S. & Smyth, M. (2007). ensemble: embodied experiences in a sound and jewellery installation. Proceedings of the British Computer Society’s CREATE 2007: Creative Inventions, Innovations and Everyday Designs in HCI Conference. London, June 2007.

Kettley, S., & Smyth, M. (2006). Plotting Affect and Premises for Use in Aesthetic Interaction Design: towards evaluation for the everyday. People and Computers XX - Engage: HCI UK. London, Sept 2006. Ppp17-26.

Kettley, S. (2007). Crafts Praxis for Critical Wearables Design. Proceedings Wearable Futures Conference, University of Wales, Newport, Sept 2005.

Kettley, S. (2007). Crafts Praxis as a Design Resource. Proceedings 5th Engineering, Product Design in Education Conference, Edinburgh, Sept 2005.

Kettley, S., & Smyth, M. (2004). The Materiality of Wearable Computers – Craft and Authentic User Experience. Proceedings Pixelraiders2, Sheffield Hallam University, 8-10 April 2004.

Encyclopedia entries

Kettley, S. (2016). Biomimicry (Vol1, pp170-171); CoDesign (Vol1, pp250-254); Craft (Vol1, pp300-302); Creative Digital Design (Vol1, p304); Electronic Design (Vol1, pp470-471); Healthcare Design (Vol2, pp137-139): Illustration (Vol2, p185): Materials (Vol2, pp358-359); Mechanical Design (Vol2, p367); Moving Image Design (Vol2, p415); Organic Design (with Tiffany Washington, Vol3, pp15-16); Process Design (Vol3, p99); Quality Assurance (Vol3, pp128-129); Science and Technology Studies (Vol3, p209); Slow Design (Vol3, p229); Textile Design (Vol3, pp315-317). In Edwards, C., Atkinson, H., Kettley, S., O'Brien, S., Raizman, D., & Willis, A.M., (Eds.). (2016). Encyclopaedia of Design (Design Process. London: Bloomsbury.

Kettley, S. (2006). Art as Methodology. In C. Ghaoui (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction (pp. 31-37). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Kettley, S. (2006). On Not Designing Tools. In C. Ghaoui (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction (pp. 429-434). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Doctoral thesis

Crafting the Wearable Computer: Design process and user experience Centre for Interaction Design, Edinburgh Napier University, September 2007.

Selected presentations

IACDE Nordic Chapter Smart Textile Event, Sweden, November 2017

Celebration event for Prof. Anne Cranny-Francis, University Technology Sydney, Australia, November 2017

Open Lab research group, Newcastle University, April 2017

Mixed Reality Lab research group, University of Nottingham, April 2017

Research Through Design, invited Design panel member (with Tobie Kerridge, James Auger and Kristina Andersen), Edinburgh, March 2017

Crafts Council Make: Shift Conference, Manchester, November 2016; Invited panel member (healthcare and wellbeing), chaired by Jeremy Myerson

Welfare Design research group, Design School, Kolding, Denmark, October 2016

Bradford Textile Society, October 2016

Inaugural research seminar (Relational Design), Nottingham Trent University, July 2016  

Interaction Design Research Group, University College London, March 2016

Art, Design and New Technology for Health, The Sackler Conference 2015, Victoria & Albert Museum, June  2015

Crafting Anatomies Symposium, Nottingham Trent University, Jan 2015

The 170 Celebration Debates - Design and Personalisation: Does it empower or exploit? Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham Trent University, 24 September 2014