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Jennifer Gabrys

Position held:

+44 (0)20 7919 7781

j.gabrys (


Science and technology studies, digital media, materiality, environments and environmental change, urbanism, creative practice, participation, inventive methods

Jennifer is currently Principal Investigator on the European Research Council starting grant, 'Citizen Sensing and Environmental Practice: Assessing Participatory Engagements with Environments through Sensor Technologies.' Prior to joining the Department of Sociology, she was Senior Lecturer and Convenor of the MA in Design and Environment in the Department of Design at Goldsmiths, University of London. She completed a PhD in Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal, during which time she was engaged as a research fellow on the Culture of Cities and Digital Cities / Mobile Digital Commons projects.

Areas of supervision

Jennifer's research student supervision is located in the following broadly defined areas: environments and creative practice; digital media and social media; citizen sensing; waste and materialities; urban political ecologies and cultural geography; environmental change and climate change; transdisciplinarity and emerging modes of practice.

Presentations and exhibitions

30 January 2013 - Depletion Design, invited panel discussant, Transmediale, Berlin, Germany

5-7 December 2012 - Digital Materiality in the Smart City, invited speaker for ‘Media Places: Infrastructure, Space, Media,’ HUMlab, Umeå University, Sweden

25-28 October 2012 - Sensing and Remediating a Garbage Patch, invited seminar contributor and discussant for ‘Genesis and Ontology of Technoscientific Objects,’ co-organized by University of Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne and TU Darmstadt; hosted in Pont-à-Mousson, France

22 October 2012 - Sensing an Experimental Forest, invited speaker for Computational Culture launch event, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

25 August 2012 - Ecological Observatories, Fluctuating Sites and Sensing Subjects, invited speaker for ‘Sense of Planet: The Arts and Ecology at Earth Magnitude,’ National Institute for Experimental Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

23 August 2012 - Programming Environments: Politics and Practices of Urban Sensing, invited speaker for the Digital Media Research Seminar, co-hosted by the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney, Australia

25-27 June 2012 - Citizen Science and the Politics of Sensing, invited speaker for ‘The Citizen Scientist on the Move: Digital Play, Politics and Epistemology,’ University of Utrecht and Waag Society Amsterdam, Netherlands

24-25 May 2012 - Materiality as Process: The Case of Electronic Waste, invited speaker for the Ecology, Environment, Culture Network (EECN), an international interdisciplinary research network on media, technology and environment, Trondheim University, Norway

12 May 2012 - The Art of Gathering Environmental Data, invited plenary speaker for Pixelache, Helsinki, Finland

10 May 2012 - Remaking Electronic Waste: Materiality, Process and Creative Intervention, invited speaker for Trashlab, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

18-19 January 2012 - Materializing the Dirt of Electronic Energy, invited presentation for ‘The Invisible Seminar,’ Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway

25 October 2011 - Bluebottle Flies, Biodegradability and Urban Matter, invited speaker for ‘Insect City,’ hosted by Urban Laboratory, University College London, held at Fritz Haeg’s ‘Animal Estates’ exhibition, Arup phase 2, London, UK

21 June 2011 - Material Politics: Plastic, Carbon, and the Work of the Biodegradable, presentation for ‘Accumulation: The Material Ecologies and Economies of Plastic’ seminar presentation, co-organized by Jennifer Gabrys, Mike Michael (Goldsmiths / CSISP), and Gay Hawkins (University of Queensland); hosted at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

16 March 2011 - Life in the City, invited speaker for Department of Architecture seminar series, University of Sheffield, UK

28 January 2011 - Moss-Eye View: Life under the Radar,’ invited speaker for ‘Life Itself,’ Visual Cultures conference and MA workshop, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

10 March 2010 - Dirt, invited speaker for ‘Object Fair,’ Design and Social Science Seminar, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

7 April 2009 - Arts, Sciences and Researching Environmental Change, invited speaker with Kathryn Yusoff / Weather Permitting for AHRC Living with Environmental Change seminar, London, UK



Grants & awards

DateAwarding BodyDetailsAmount
2013-2017 ERC Starting Grant 'Citizen Sensing and Environmental Practice: Assessing Participatory Engagements with Environments through Sensor Technologies,' Principal Investigator €1.5m
 2011-13 ESRC (RCUK Energy Research Programme) grant, Energy and Communities 'Sustainability Invention and Energy Demand Reduction: Co-Designing Communities and Practice,' Co-Investigator with Mike Michael and Bill Gaver £974,000
 2010-11 ADM-HEA grant 'Liquid Books' pilot study, Co-Investigator with Joanna Zylinska (PI) and Edgar Schmitz (CI) (with Goldsmiths Learning Enhancement Unit match-funding) £10,000
 2009-10 Goldsmtihs, University of London, Cultivation Research Funds 'Citizen Science, Creative Practice and Climate Change: New Models for Participation, seed-funding, Goldsmiths, University of London £5,000
 2007-08 Goldsmiths, University of London, Research & Knowledge Transfer Committee Research Funds 'Design Ecologies,' seed-funding, Goldsmiths, University of London £3,000
 2007 Arts Council of England 'Forecast Factory: Snow Globes and Climate Change,' Artist commission for Weather Permitting, as part of 'Curating Climate Change,' organised by Kathryn Yusoff and Arts Catalyst £2,000
 2004-07 Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture 'Digital Cities' project, co-writer of grant bid with Michael Longford (PI) and named Research Fellow $135,000 CND
 2004 Daniel Langlois Foundation, Centre for Research and Documentation, Researcher in Residence grant 'From Outside Art to E-waste: Translating the Research Environment of Experiments in Art and Technology' $5,000 CND

Research interests

Jennifer’s research and practice investigates environments, material processes and digital technologies through theoretical and practice-based work. Projects within this area include Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (University of Michigan Press, 2011), which examines the materialities of electronic waste; and a study currently underway on environmental sensor technologies and practices, Program Earth: Environment as Experiment in Sensing Technology.

She is a Co-Investigator on the ESRC / RCUK Energy Programme-funded project, Energy and Co-Designing Communities. This study, which is a collaboration with Mike Michael, Bill Gaver and the Interaction Research Studio, investigates how new technologies might be designed to engage communities in rethinking energy consumption.

Gabrys is a member of Surface Tension; and a member of Weather Permitting, a collaborative environmental design and research group focused on climate change.

Selected publications

Number of items: 21.


Gabrys, Jennifer. 2014. A Cosmopolitics of Energy: Diverging Materialities and Hesitating Practices. Environment and Planning A, 46(9), pp. 2095-2109. ISSN 0308-518X [Article]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2014. Programming environments: environmentality and citizen sensing in the smart city. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 32(1), pp. 30-48. [Article]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2012. Becoming urban: sitework from a moss-eye view. Environment and Planning A, 44(12), pp. 2922-2939. ISSN 0308-518X [Article]

Gabrys, Jennifer and Yusoff, Kathryn. 2012. Arts, sciences and climate change: practices and politics at the threshold. Science as Culture, 21(1), pp. 1-24. ISSN 0950-5431 [Article]

Yusoff, Kathryn and Gabrys, Jennifer. 2011. Climate change and the imagination. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2(4), pp. 516-534. [Article]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2009. Sink: the dirt of systems. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 27(4), pp. 666-681. ISSN 0263-7758 [Article]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2007. Automatic sensation: environmental sensors in the digital city. The Senses & Society, 2(2), pp. 189-200. ISSN 1745-8927 [Article]

Gabrys, Jennifer and Yusoff, Kathryn. 2007. Bear Life. Focas: Forum on Contemporary Art and Society, Vol. 6, pp. 66-83. ISSN 978-981-05-8681-2 [Article]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2005. Machines fall apart: failure in art and technology. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 13(4), online. ISSN 1071-4391 [Article]


Gabrys, Jennifer. 2011. Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11761-1 [Book]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2004. Airdrop. London: Bookworks. ISBN 1870699726 [Book]

Book Section

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2014. Powering the Digital: From Energy Ecologies to Electronic Environmentalism. In: Richard Maxwell, Jon Raundalen, and Nina Lager Vestberg, eds. Media and the Ecological Crisis. New York and London: Routledge, pp. 3-18. ISBN 978-0-415-70923-1 [Book Section] (In Press)

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2013. Plastic and the work of the biodegradable. In: Jennifer Gabrys, Gay Hawkins and Mike Michael, eds. Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 208-227. ISBN 978-0-415-62582-1 [Book Section]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2010. Atmospheres of communication. In: Barbara Crow, Michael Longford and Kim Sawchuk, eds. The Wireless Spectrum: The Politics, Practices, and Poetics of Mobile Media. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 46-59. ISBN 978-0802098931 [Book Section]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2010. Telepathically urban. In: Alexandra Boutros and Will Straw, eds. Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, pp. 48-63. ISBN 9780773536647 [Book Section]

Gabrys, Jennifer and Yusoff, Kathryn. 2008. Forecast factory: snow globes and weather makers. In: Kathryn Yusoff, ed. Bipolar. London: Arts Catalyst, pp. 62-66. ISBN 9780953454662 [Book Section]

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2006. Media in the dump. In: John Knechtel, ed. Trash. (11) Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 156-165. ISBN 0-262-11301-5 [Book Section]

Edited Book

Gabrys, Jennifer, Hawkins, Gay and Michael, Mike, eds. 2013. Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-62582-1 [Edited Book]


Gabrys, Jennifer. 2008. Forecast factory: snow globes exhibition. In: "Bipolar: exhibition and book launch ", Society of Antiquaries, United Kingdom. [Show/Exhibition]

Printed Ephemera

This list was generated on Thu Nov 20 18:31:23 2014 GMT.

Content last modified: 11 Jul 2014

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