My research begins with moments of breakdown, where technologies and technological systems are beginning to unravel. I study the practices of repair, mending and remediation that respond to malfunction and decay; and also the processes of salvaging and wasting that accompany the demise of systems or machines. Sites of repair provide profoundly rich and engaging snapshots of how we live with technologies. The work of getting – and keeping – technologies ‘working’ (whatever that may mean) enfold their own values and resources. These open up to offer a counterpoint to more traditional discourses around communications and computing technologies.
I use ethnographic and participatory approaches in my work: firstly to explore environmentally problematic phenomena, and secondly to experiment with how we might produce more sustainable conditions. My work is often interdisciplinary and I tend to sit at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and Science and Technology Studies. I have held postdoctoral research positions at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the ERC project Citizen Sense, and at Cornell University, USA on the Reclaiming Repair project. I completed my PhD in Sociology at Lancaster University’s Centre for Science Studies, supervised by Lucy Suchman and Adrian Mackenzie. This was funded by the Microsoft Research PhD scholarship programme.