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, exploring, through design, 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 suggest 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 smartphone at feeding times and as a sort of childcare helper, a family member or pet. Evoking a material space populated by toys, bottles and transitional objects, my 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 be showing my artefacts and research at the V&A on the 11th November 2017, as part of their Digital Design Drop-in programme.
Some of my work is on display at King’s College, London until the end of October, to coincide with the Anna Freud and Play Conference, held on 15/9/17.
I have presented my work at the Freud Museum on the 9th August, 2017. Here is the link to this event.
You can see this artefact in video here.