Thesis title: Visualising Plastic Ocean Pollution: Designing Waste Ontologies
Supervised by Mathilda Tham
It is challenging to visualise oceanic plastic pollution extent because of the sea depth and currents. I use marine scientific findings and data on plastic waste recycling extrapolation to support my argument that the oceans are the world’s largest mismanaged landfill.
As the sea’s landfill is not visible, I approach this complex situation through the HE symposium, participatory workshops, art exposition and developing learning tools for sustainable awareness.
Therefore, as a speculative design researcher, I feel responsible for participating and intervening in worldviews to build positive relations to plastic waste through reuse practices, mapping discard relations and visualising plastic pollution.
Thesis title: Design Graduates in Transition: first role as a graduate in a design agency
Supervised by Kay Stables
The research explores the process of graduate transition from higher education into the design industry in the United Kingdom.
Her work focuses on identifying the processes of learning that occur during the first roles for graduates and in conjunction to determine how work-based learning is supported and developed by design agencies.
During the course of her PhD, Nicola will be exploring the two interrelated aspects of her research and aims to ascertain why it can be a difficult time for graduates during the transition period into design agencies and how design agencies can facilitate, support and develop workplace learning and early career development for recent design graduates.
Thesis title: The housing database made visible: An artist and activist led investigation into the relational machine, aspiration, and urban regeneration
Supervised by Alex Wilkie and Graham Harwood (Department of Cultural Studies)
An artist and activist led PhD research project that explores how relational databases are complicit in the displacement of communities and demolition of social housing in the UK. Through acts of making, programming, writing, and activism, the project explores the technical, political, historical, and intrapersonal entanglements of governmental databases within processes of urban regeneration. The project is focused on, and contributes to, a live activist campaign on Cressingham Gardens Estate in Southwest London which is under threat of demolition by Lambeth Borough Council.
Thesis title: Material Dialogues: Ludic engagement with indigenous communities through craft practices
Supervised by Bill Gaver and Ann Light (University of Sussex)
Thesis title: Curating issues of concern: mediating critically engaged design
Supervised by Alex Wilkie and Michael Guggenheim (Department of Sociology)
Thesis title: Mythologies of Connected Objects: Designing animate things
Supervised by Matt Ward
The project studies how design responds to and reinforces narratives of what connected, smart, networked devices actually are.
Objects like smartwatches and phones, robot vacuum cleaners, connected toys and autonomous vehicles exist in a network across multiple times and spaces and have the ability to display apparent agency and autonomy.
Despite this wholly new type of object, they’re still treated as and designed as their anachronistic selves, black-boxing the true nature of their functionality and often the purpose.
This project uses critical techniques to taxonomies and challenges the politics of a design vocabulary that fails to respond adequately to the toxicological landscape.
Thesis title: Locating Stories: Designing participatory, locative and embodied experiences with people, objects and sounds.
Supervised by Tobie Kerridge and Roberto Feo
My practice-based PhD explores how simple and repeatable interactions with sounds, objects, stories and technology can be used in the design of playful enactive spaces to enhance locative audio storytelling and build emotional and embodied connections with others in a variety of public platforms.
Locative audio storytelling usually refers to experiences such as museum tours or urban soundwalks where users can listen to content site-specifically where location refers to the geographical position of the user mediated through tools and technology. What if instead, audio could be located in more embodied ways, with or within specific actions or gestures?
How might physical actions of stepping towards or turning around be responded to with audio? How could physical, spatial and rhythmical bodily interactions change the design, content and experience of locative audio storytelling? I investigate the complex relationship between the agency of embodied prototyping and its mediating effect on the experiences found in rendered output (installations and workshops) particularly when enactive spaces are created through a co-collaboration between participants.
I explore the role of empathy and power as the interplay of sounds, people, spaces and objects is observed. Finally, and considering the unique characteristics of locative storytelling, I raise the question of responsibility, our emotional identification and our connectedness as a society.
Thesis title: Dorcas Stories (Practice-led design research)
Supervised by Mathilda Tham and John Backwell
Rose Sinclair is Convenor of the BA Design, Creativity and Learning and Lecturer in the Department of Design.
Across 2016, and 2017 Rose undertook a range of highly successful engagement activities as part of her practice led research into the development of the Dorcas Clubs and Societies set up by Caribbean women on their arrival in the UK in the 1950s and 60s, the aim of which was exploring black women’s crafting and making practices through female textile networks, alongside the use of such networks as a catalyst for social and economic change. Rose’s work uses life stories and oral histories and the archive to unpick how the textiles created by these networks embody both material culture and diasporic tales. It asks how understanding this history provides new ways of thinking about networks and their place in textile design and innovation, as well as the rise of ‘safe making spaces’.
Rose’s practice based research is made up of various public engagement events, which include installations in retail spaces such as Lewisham Shopping Centre, and museum spaces such as the Bruce Castle Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the National Archives at Kew.
Thesis title: The fat made us do it: Deciphering the logic of Fatberg engagement events
Supervised by Tobie Kerridge and Bill Gaver
Thesis title: A Network of One’s Own: struggles to domesticate the Internet
Supervised by Bill Gaver, Andy Boucher and Alex Wilkie
Rebecca (Becca Rose) Glowacki
Thesis title: Learning on the Edges: investigating arts based approaches to computing from non-formal learning contexts.
Practice-based research into computing education from an arts perspective. The PhD project explores how computing can be taught and learned through radical pedagogies and community arts practices. The research is practice-based and collaborative by nature.
Becca’s website - www.beccarose.co.uk
Supervised by Tobie Kerridge and Tara Page (Educational Studies)
Thesis Title: Humanitarian Infrastructuring
Supervisors: Tobie Kerridge and Liam Healy
I am researching developmental work in terms of STS engagements with infrastructuring. To do this I am looking at Zaatari Radio - a radio station in Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan and The Freedom Skatepark - a skatepark and youth centre in Kingston, Jamaica. I am interested in the participatory and collaborative nature of their design, construction and ongoing development, and what this means for the young people who engage with them.
I also research and write about skateboarding, urbanisation and DIY.