I’m Karen Martin, a researcher whose work focuses on practices of participation and design strategies to encourage civil engagement within the urban environment. I’m interested in how technology will alter these practices and engagement.
My EngD thesis, The role of uncertainty in the design of informal space, explored these interests in detail. I completed the EngD in March 2016.
From 2010 – 2014 I worked as a researcher at the Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment at the University of Kent. Alongside my research post I was unit tutor to Unit In-between at Plymouth School of Architecture from 2011-2013.
In 2010, I co-founded Makerhood with Kristina Glushkova. Makerhood is a community interest company (CIC) that supports makers in the London borough of Lambeth and promotes economic and social sustainability within our neighbourhood.
Previously, I was a project assistant at Proboscis, an artist-led social practice based in London.
Prior to this, I worked as a research assistant at Media Lab Europe in Dublin where I was part of the Everyday Learning research group drawing on constructionist theories to explore how technology might support learning.
From 1998-2002 I was a web developer, mostly I worked for Syzygy, an agency building websites for clients including Boots, Mazda and Dixons, but I also did freelance work.
Before all of this, I trained as a dancer at Northern Ballet School.
Employment and professional experience
- 2010-2014: The Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment, University of Kent, Research Associate
- 2010-Present: Makerhood, co-founder and director
- 2011-2013: Plymouth School of Architecture, Design and Environment, University of Plymouth, Design tutor, Unit In-between
- 2006-2009: Proboscis, assistant project manager
- 2004-2005: Media Lab Europe, Research assistant in Everyday Learning Group
- 1998-2002: Web developer with Syzygy and freelance work
- EngD Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation: The role of uncertainty in the design of informal spaces
University College London, (2005-2016)
- MSc Virtual Environments – DISTINCTION
Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL, 2002-2003
- BA(Hons) Interactive Arts (2:1)
University of Wales, College Newport (1993-1996)
- Dancers’ course
Northern Ballet School (1989-1990)
- Mediating Heritage: The use and re-use of cultural inheritance, Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment, University of Kent, Co-chair with M. Nikolopoulou
- Crafting Urban Camouflage workshop, Designing Interactive Systems (DIS), University of Newcastle, (Martin, K., Dalton, B. & Jones, M.) 2012
- Inspiring digital engagement, Communication and Computing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Co-chair with A. Light (2010)
- Hybrid Design Practices workshop, 10th International Conference of Ubiquitous Computing, (Lindtner, S., Leahu, L., Martin, K., Brewer, J. & Brown, B.) 2009
- A public (in)convenience: A workshop on public toilets De Waag, Amsterdam (Bassoli, A., Brewer, J. & Martin, K.) 2007
- Betwixt: Technology and transitional spaces workshop, Dept. of Informatics, University of California, Irvine (Bassoli, A., Brewer, J. & Martin, K.) 2006
- Why Wait? A workshop on place, time and future technologies Bartlett School of Architecture (Bassoli, A., Brewer, J. & Martin, K.) 2006
- Cities Methodologies, UCL, Working with vulnerable communities, panel discussion October 2014
- Creative Citizens Conference, Royal College of Art, Mapping the lived experience of foodbank clients and volunteers (Martin, K. & Nikolopoulou, N.), September 2014
- Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual International Conference, Royal Geographical Society, The use of digital techniques in the co-production of geography with vulnerable communities (Martin, K. & Nikolopoulou, N.) In session The Co-production of Digital Geography: Geographers, the Internet, and digital practice 2014
- Lambeth Council food poverty group and invited guests, Key findings from research into foodbanks in Lambeth, May 2014
- ITaaU conference, Geographical information systems: openness, privacy and accessibility, June 2014
- ‘Digital Practices, Invisible Communities’ EPSRC CCNetwork+ annual event, University of Leeds, Cultural heritage and the built environment, 2013
- Spaces and Flows: An International Conference on Urban and ExtraUrban Studies 2013, University of Amsterdam, Disrupting pedestrian movement through playful interventions. What does experimental evidence suggest? (Martin, K. & Nikolopoulou, N.) 2013
- Spaces and Flows: An International Conference on Urban and ExtraUrban Studies 2013, University of Amsterdam, Urban screens: Extending the spatial and social thresholds (Martin, K. & Nikolopoulou, N.) 2013
- Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, London, Key findings from Shades of Grey Work Package 3b ‘Flow’ 2012
- Remediating urban space, University of Plymouth, Interaction as material 2012
- ‘United we act’ AHRC Connected Communities symposium, Culture Lab, Newcastle, Makerhood: Local making meets the web (2011)
- Media Cities
- Design Practices
- Designing Visible Counter-Terrorism Interventions in Public Spaces (Dalton, B., Martin, K., McAndrew, C., Nikolopoulou, M. and Triggs, T.) in Stedmon, A. and Lawson, G. (eds), Hostile Intent & Counter-Terrorism: Human Factors Theory and Application Ashgate In press
- Making Glue: Participation in Everyday Computing (Martin, K.) In Willis, K. S., Roussos, G., Chorianopoulos, K. and Struppek, M. (eds), Shared Encounters Springer 2009
- Shaping pedestrian movement through playful interventions in security planning: what do field surveys suggest? (Nikolopoulou, M., Martin. K. and Dalton, B) Journal of Urban Design 21(1):84-104 2016
- Art as a means to disrupt routine use of public space? (Martin, K., Dalton, B. and Nikolopoulou, M.) Special Issue of Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology 2013
- Sensory Threads (Joe Marshall, Demetrios Airantzis, Alice Angus, Nick Bryan-Kinns, Robin Fencott, Frederik Lesage, Karen Martin, George Roussos, Jenson Taylor, Lorraine Warren, Orlagh Woods) Leonardo 43(2):196-197 2010
- Urban Social Tapestries (Alice Angus, Dikaios Papadogkonas, George Papamarkos, George Roussos, Giles Lane, Karen Martin, Nick West, Sarah Thelwall, Zoetanya Sujon, Roger Silverstone) IEEE Pervasive Computing 7:44-51 2008
- Underground Aesthetics: Rethinking Urban Computing (Brewer, J., Bassoli, A., Martin K., Dourish, P. and Mainwaring S.) IEEE Pervasive computing 6(3) July-September, 39-45 2007
Conference papers, extended abstracts & position papers
- Developing a neighbourhood locative media toolkit (Willis, K., Corino, G. & Martin, K.) Proceedings of the 4th Media Architecture Biennale Conference: Participation MAB ’12 2012
- Sensory Threads: Perceiving the Imperceptible (Nick Bryan-Kinns, Demetrios Airantzis, Alice Angus, Robin Fencott, Giles Lane, Frederik Lesage, Joe Marshall, Karen Martin, George Roussos, Jenson Taylor, Lorraine Warren, Orlagh Woods) Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Intelligent Environments 2009
- Seeding without leading: making space for participant contribution in design elicitation techniques. (Ann Light, Pam Briggs, Karen Martin) Proceedings of the 22nd British HCI Group Annual Conference on HCI 2008: People and Computers XXII: Culture, Creativity, Interaction – Volume 2, BCS HCI 2008
- Participatory Sensing for Urban Communities (Airantzis, D., Angus, A., Lane, G., Martin K., Roussos G. and Taylor J.) International Workshop on Urban, Community, and Social Applications of Networked Sensing Systems – UrbanSense08 2008
- Undersound and the above ground (Arianna Bassoli, Johanna Brewer, Karen Martin, Iacopo Carreras, David Tacconi) Mobile Music Workshop, 2008
- Situating Inbetweenness (Bassoli, A., Brewer, J. and Martin, K.) in MEDIACITY. Situations, Practices and Encounters ed. Eckhardt, F., Geelhaar, J., Colini, L., Willis, K. S., Chorianopoulos, K. and Hennig, R. 2008
- Imaging Social and Spatial Relationships Under the City (Martin, K. and Bassoli, A.) Position paper for workshop Imaging the City, ACM Conf Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007
- In-between Theory and Practice: Dialogues in Design Research (Bassoli, A., Brewer, J. and Martin, K.) ACM Conference of Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI 2007
- Community-based public authoring with mobile chemical sensor networks (G. Lane, C. Brueton, D. Diall, D. Airantzis, N. Jeremijenko, G. Papamarkos, G. Roussos, K. Martin) International Conference on Intelligent Environments 2006
- Engaging with a situated display via picture messaging (Karen Martin, Alan Penn, Lesley Gavin) Extended Abstracts Proceedings of the 2006 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2006
- Digilounge Dance & Technology Residency, Essex Dance, Chelmsford (2004)
- Lab Culture Residency, PVA Media Lab Bridport (2002)
- ‘Flying by Wire’ Internet Residency, ArtSway Sway Hants (1998)
- Body Ornament Touring Exhibition, North West Arts (1996-1997)