I am currently doing my doctoral studies in the Design Department at Goldsmiths College under the supervision of Professors Bill Gaver and Janis Jefferies. My practice based PhD investigates the competing discourses offered by smartphones to mothers and their young children and how experiments in design can explore the ambivalent attitudes towards the device. My research combines experimental design approaches with psychoanalytic, feminist and related perspectives on the meaning of products.
I have created a series of proposals that are critical and symbolic. They are not propositions for the commercial market. Instead, they are conversational pieces, material representations of practices involving the use of the smartphone during childcare. They invoke practices that often take place in private and I have used them to engage with participants about our complex, often ambivalent relationship with technologies in family life. Through the discussions they have encouraged, I have been able to recognise recurrent themes such as guilt, the role of the phone at feeding times, the phone as a sort of childcare, a family member or pet, a sort of transitional object. The proposals represent the possibilities for design to expose and critique current scenarios, and to explore potentials for change.
Two grants from the EPSRC Balance Network, have allowed me to run workshops sessions as part of my research (* see links at the bottom of this page). These have enabled me to develop design led approaches that are core elements in my investigation.
I have also received a grant from the Foundation Scotland’s Fran Trust.
I will informally discuss my work at the Freud Museum on the 9th August. Here is the link to this event.
You can see this artefact in video here.