+44 (0)20 7919 3188
29 Laurie Grove, Room 6
STS, mobilities, cycling, bodies, ethnographic methods, materialities, DiY/DiT, maker culture, urban studies, digital sociology, inventive methods, visual culture
I joined Goldsmiths in June 2013 to lead an ESRC Knowledge Exchange project and teach on a series of undergraduate courses. I completed a PhD in Sociology at Goldsmiths and a Postdoc in the Sustainable Mobilities Research Group at the University of East London.
Convenor of MA Brands, Communication and Culture
Convenor of third year module: Privacy, Surveillance and Security
Contributor to first year core course Critical Readings
Contributor to third year core course Theorising Contemporary Society
Contributor to MA Visual Sociology, MA Digital Sociology
A selection of talks and events
Invited speaker at INvisible Design 'On the Move: how mobility challenges the design field?', The Institute of Design Projects, Państwomiasto, Warsaw, 6-7 Dec.
Suffrage, cycling and sewing; a story telling and making workshop about Victorian women's cycle wear, Invited talk and workshop at the 2014 Feminism in London Conference, Institute of Education, London, 25 Oct.
Invited chair and panel curator of a V&A Design Culture Salon - How is the urban cyclist designed?, V&A Museum, The Clore Centre, Oct 10. Report here.
Invited panelist for London Cycle Campaign's 15th Policy Forum Seminar, Department of Planning & Transport Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. University of Westminster, Sept 23.
Dressing in Your Data and Other Forms of Sociological Storytelling. Accepted paper for co-chaired panel ‘Transmissions and Entanglements: the potentials and pitfalls of new forms of discussion’ at the 2014 4S (The Society for the Social Studies of Science) Annual meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina., 19-23 Aug.
Live Transmissions: Critical conversations about performing, making and curating. I curated a week long series of critical and creative events across London designed to explore how we transmit and entangle social worlds through new forms of stories and storytelling. Included a public lecture, symposium, sewing workshop, performance, an exhibition and a curated bike ride. 11-14 June. See: transmissionsandentanglements.com
Invited panelist for Women in Tech: an Intel Centre for Social Computing & FemTech Collaboration, The New School, NYU, 22 April.
Bloomer Making Workshop II. Public event (sold out in 12 hours). Held at Look Mum No Hands, Mare Street London, 5 April.
(Extra) Ordinary Cycle Wear: Historic patents, convertible clothing and the contested nature of gendered mobility in Victorian Britain, Invited lecture at Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, March 10.
Dresses and Data: Methods for making archival materials matter, Invited speaker for Data Practices: The Design & Social Science Seminar Series 2013-14, Goldsmiths, UK, Feb 5.
Touching and Being Touched: emergent media methods, and modes of transmission, Invited talk at RMIT's Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) - Locating the Mobile workshop, Melbourne, 13 Dec.
Freedom of Movement: the bike, bloomer and women's im/mobility in late nineteenth century Britain, Invited talk to Fashion Studies/ Design Culture: Convergences and Divergences, Design Research Conference Series, University of Southern Denmark, 21 Nov.
I bring a background of sociology and visual culture to my practice-based research on mobilities, maker culture, DiY / DiT (do-it-together) technology practices and inventive methods. I am particularly interested in mundane everyday materials and practices; the use of found, purchased and resourcefully adapted materials and improvised methods to re-imagine understandings of and relationships to technology.
My first book DiY WiFi: Re-imagining Connectivity (Palgrave Pivot) ethnographically examines the culture of home-brew high-tech community technologists who hand-build their own version of the internet from the ground up and in doing so re-imagine new forms of connectivity.
Recently I have been working on an ESRC funded project about Victorian women cyclists, inventive cycle wear and changing ideas about gendered mobility and citizenship in the late nineteenth century.
Making and engaging are central to my practice. My research investigates different forms of knowledge transmission and the potential textual, visual and sensory stories hold for understanding and entangling social worlds. This approach generates dialogue between multi-dimensional materials and opens up for discussion, improvised, hands-on and object-oriented ways of thinking about and through knowledge production. As a result my work takes many forms - websites, blogs, machines, films, printed materials, photographs, exhibitions, performances, installations and costume.
Near Miss Project
An interdisciplinary research project with Westminster University, Blaze (a successful Kickstarter bike light designer) and The Bike Show that sets out to target a common, yet under-researched phenomenon: the 'ordinary' experience of near misses and other non-injury incidents (from incivilities and low-level harassment to SMIDSY: 'sorry mate, I didn't see you'). It features one-day diaries, secondary data analysis and public events.
Freedom of Movement: the bike, bloomer and female cyclist in late nineteenth century Britain
This ESRC funded knowledge exchange project explores the role and importance of cycling clothing (esp. the bloomer and attending ideas of rational dress) in relation to changing ideas around citizenship, gender relations and the legitimising of women’s independent mobility in public space. It involves hand-making a collection of 'convertible' cycling costumes from 120year old design patents in collaboration with interdisciplinary practitioners - weaver, tailor, artist and filmmaker.
Transmissions & Entanglements
Part of the above ESRC funded project, this project explores inventive methods and modes of knowledge transmission. It is premised on the idea that far from operating as a point of closure, how researchers make, curate and represent knowledge offers new ways of understanding and entangling the social world. It involves a series of international conferences, talks, workshops and student training events.
This project makes objects from at-hand materials to open up new landscapes of enquiry about difficult, complex or multiple ideas and in doing so render visible the processes, limitations and mechanics of knowledge production. Enquiry Machines are interdisciplinary collaborations, workshops and performances.
I worked as a post-doc on this ESRC funded multi-method sociological research project led by Dr Rachel Aldred that focused on four relatively high-cycling cities (Hull, Hackney, Bristol, Cambridge) in order to find out why cycling thrives in particular areas. It was located in the Sustainable Mobilities Research Group at the University of East London.
DiY WiFi: re-imagining connectivity
My PhD and book examines the culture of a new digital technology, Wireless Fidelity (WiFi), via the home-brew high-tech culture of backyard technologists who imbue a Do-it-Yourself (DiY) ethos but do not do it alone – they Do-it-Together (DiT). Drawing on an eighteen-month ethnography of the largest not-for-profit community WiFi group in Australia I examine how individuals collectively make their own customised, deeply local and richly cultural version of the internet by connecting home-made antennas, many of which are located in their own backyards. Rather than simply replicate the internet, I argue that these digital tinkerers are inscribing wireless broadband technology with new meanings and re-imagined possibilities of use.
For the last decade I have had the privilege of working as an ethnographer with a range of interdisciplinary technology and design companies, most notably for Intel’s Interaction and Experience Research Group (Portland, Oregon). This work has been located in Australia, Asia, Europe, the US and UK. Projects and outputs have been diverse, but they generally coalesce around the many ways local cultures and practices shape and are shaped by technology use.
Content last modified: 21 Oct 2014
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