current research

My current role is Research Fellow on the GIFT project, Meaningful Personalization of Hybrid Virtual Museum Experiences Through Gifting and Appropriation, EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme Grant 727040.

This work has only just gotten underway. Updates to follow.

Some of my most recent publications relate to the project I led in 2016 at the MRL as part of the FAST project, EPSRC Programme Grant reference EP/L019981/1. The project, titled The Rough Mile, was a two-part experience for pairs of friends (or colleagues or partners) to make gifts of digital music for each other. I used Performative Experience Design as the framework for the project's structure, giving participants the chance to devise the experience that their friend would have when listening to the songs that made up their gift.

On top of that, participants were led through the process of devising that experience by taking part in a locative audio walk performance using bone-conducting headphones to guide them through a city-centre walk. Along the way, they were bombarded (or surrounded, or immersed) with a narrative, adaptive music, adaptive (recorded) ambient sound, the real-life sounds around them, instructions directing them along the way, a series of questions about the songs they wanted to give to their friends, and two live performers recording their responses. It was an all-out assault on the senses, carefully coordinated to foster particular emotional states and frames of mind from which they would choose songs and volunteer snippets of reflection that we embedded into their gifts.

Sound confusing? It's one of those things that's tricky to explain but clear and compelling to experience. You can read our description of the design process in our paper for DIS 2017, and our case study as part of the argument for performance research in our paper for CHI 2017.

While I initiated the design process, the project itself was a true collaboration with colleagues from the MRL: Chris Greenhalgh, Steve Benford, Sean McGrath, and particularly the locative audio genius Adrian Hazzard.

The CHI paper for which The Rough Mile provided a case study was also a collaboration with Brendan Walker, Bettina Nissen, and Peter Wright, led by my wonderful colleague and rightful first author Robyn Taylor.

I'm also crazy proud to have contributed to some seriously ranting, raving, cage-rattling work led by Joe Marshall and Conor Linehan, along with Stefan Rennick-Egglestone, which won 2017's Best Criticism of CHI Award: 'A Little Respect: Four Case Studies of HCI’s Disregard for Other Disciplines'.