My research investigates the role of civic and participatory media in facilitating democratic modes of social interaction across multiple sites of inquiry such as virtual communities formed around digital games or neighborhood interactions mediated by social media. This research is both theoretical and design-based, engaging a wide range of digital forms such as digital visualizations, educational games, interactive documentaries, or art installations.


Design-based Inquiry

Sweet Auburn Digital Media Initiative

Abstract: A research initiative that explores the potentials and challenges of locative participatory media, investigating a set of research questions that probe the relationship between technology, place, storytelling, and community engagement.

Participatory Media for Science Education

Abstract: This research aims at creating media environments that support new and more engaging ways of understanding abstract scientific concepts (i.e., Quantum Mechanics).

(T)racing Eyes and Hearts:
An Installation to Explore the Physiology of Empathy

Abstract: This project brings together humanities scholars and physiology scholars to create an art installation to reflect upon the physiology of empathy.

Visual Policy Research Initiative

Abstract: This research initiative draws on policy research and human-centered design research to build communication tools and strategies (“digital boundary objects”) that aid legislators and the public in understanding policy issues.

Conversational Media

Abstract: This research introduces a new class of media applications that we refer to as Conversational Media, media applications that turn with the organic flow of a conversation (in collaboration with the KER unit at the Mayo Clinic)


Theoretical Inquiry & Criticism

Values and Design

Abstract: This research challenges the separation of values and action (inclusive of design). It puts forward a fundamental repositioning of values as hypotheses, drawing attention to their service in ethically problematic situations of practice developed through strategies of storytelling and conversation.

A Critique of Algorithmic Morality

Abstract:  This research engages the dominant utilitarian framings around discourse on self-driving cars and algorithmic morality. In doing so, it serve as a starting point to rethink mobility as it connects to the design of cities, the wellbeing of communities, and the future of the planet.

Collective Intelligence or Group Think? Engaging the Concept of Community in World without Oil

Abstract:  Through an online ethnography of ARG World without Oil , this case study challenges claims of community and participation that dominate the discourse around Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) and Serious Games.

An Experience-based Criticism of Human Computation and Gamification

Abstract: Drawing on the case of Google Image Labeler and an online ethnographic study of player responses to the game, this research critically engages concepts of gamification and collective intelligence.