About Me

I’m a completing PhD student and interaction design researcher at  Open Lab (formerly Culture Lab), Newcastle University. With a background in sociology, I undertake  qualitative research into diverse experiences of self-tracking technologies and the implications of a more quantified, ‘data-driven life’. My research seeks to reveal the many nuanced relationships people have with their digital possessions in everyday life, and use these insights to identify new and future opportunities for design.

More specifically, my thesis work considers the implications of self-tracking tools as new ‘technologies of memory’. Through a combination of interviews, ethnography and speculative design methods I have investigated the implications and design of a ‘quantified past’ – the historical record being generated through data captured from smartphones, wearable devices and the Internet of Things.

I publish my work regularly at academic venues, predominantly in HCI, including three first-author papers at CHI 2016.

Away from work, I play very amateur cricket, I’m an Arsenal fan, I play piano and enjoy travel, languages and photography. In the past I’ve done a Mechanical Engineering degree, lived and studied in France, and written for a satirical Scottish website.


If you’re interested in any of my work, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Email is best: c.r.elsden(at)ncl.ac.uk

Twitter is good too: @ElsdenChris

You can download a recent copy of my academic CV here.