About Me

I am an interaction design researcher, with a background in sociology, and expertise in the human experience of a data-driven life. Using and developing innovative design research methods, I undertake diverse, qualitative and often speculative engagements with participants to investigate emerging relationships with technology – particularly data-driven tools and financial technologies. 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.

I’m currently a post-doctoral research associate in Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh, working on the Creative Informatics project to explore data-driven innovation in the creative industries. Prior to this, I worked on the OxChain project at Northumbria University in the Co-Create research group focused on co-creation, design research and speculative methods, where I remain a visitng researcher.

My doctoral research (completed in 2017, at Open Lab, Newcastle University) considered 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 (here’s my Google Scholar).

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: celsden@ed.ac.uk

Twitter is good too: @ElsdenChris