Karen Martin

Awarded VEIV EngD

My research aims are to design and develop tools and strategies that use technology to encourage the development of a sense of place through increasing people's feeling of connection with their physical location, and to investigate how this can be extended into a sense of community.

    I plan to achieve these aims by creating technology systems that:
  • Harness individual experiences into collective ones
  • Add value to a space by increasing understanding of its function, history and attributes
  • Act as social catalysts between individuals as they co-create elements of their environment

The theoretical framework for this research is cybernetic ideas of the properties of systems, in particular, Gordon Pask’s Conversation Theory. The technological approach is the use of locative technologies, and the design basis for the study is the use of movement as a method of participant interaction.


Arianna Bassoli, Johanna Brewer and Karen Martin; 2007; In-between Theory and Practice: Dialogues in Design Research; ACM Conf Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI 2007

G. Lane, C. Brueton, D. Diall, D. Airantzis, N. Jeremijenko, G. Papamarkos, G. Roussos and K. Martin; 2006; Community-Based Public Authoring With Mobile Chemical Sensor Networks; IET Intelligent Environments

Karen Martin, Alan Penn and Lesley Gavin; 2006; Engaging with a Situated Display via Picture Messaging; ACM Conference Human Factors in Computing Systems

Arianna Bassoli, Johanna Brewer, and Karen Martin; 2006; Undersound: Music And Mobility Under the City; Poster at the 8th International Conference of Ubiquitous Computing


Primary Supervisor: Alan Penn

Industry Sponsor: BT Research and Venturing

Hardware and Design | Sense of place in public spaces