I am a researcher and lecturer in heritage and exhibition design. My disciplinary focus brings together creative methods, critical heritage studies and participatory design. I am Public Engagement Lead for the School of Arts and Creative Industries.
My work is concerned with issues of representation, equality and diversity in the public realm. I adopt inclusive participatory methods in my research with the aim of transcending language barriers and extending the capacity of community agency within research. Most recent publications include “Negotiating privileged networks and exclusive mobilities: the case for a Deaf festival in Scotland’s festival city” (2019) in Annals of Leisure Research, “Exploring Deaf Heritage Futures through critical design and ‘public things’” (2020) in the International Journal of Heritage Studies, and “The Deaf Heritage Collective: Collaboration with Critical Intent” (2021) in a special issue of the Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics.
I am currently working with curators and deaf researchers on the first co-produced national Deaf Heritage Archive at the National Library of Scotland. I am also leading a project that revisits the overlooked work on disability by photographer Franki Raffles (1955-1994). The team is working with children and adults with learning disabilities to curate Raffles' ground-breaking work We Can Take Pictures 1983-84.
I am interested in the inclusive capacity of Public Engagement practices and public pedagogy, especially when paired with creative participatory methods. I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and lead MA/MFA modules in Research as Critical Practice, Heritage Interpretation Design and Research Portfolio for Creative Practice.
I am also part of a team developing Public Engagement workshops that bring together feminist interpretation design and co-design methods in the memorialisation of Scotland’s accused witches. The project invites girls and women of all ages to design and debate the women behind the witchcraft trials in Scotland. Our aim is to create spaces where girls and women can collaboratively design and think about the witch trials in Scotland, and the significance of the pardon granted by the Scottish Government (on the 8th March 2022).
I have developed and co-led Design MA/MFA’s and supervised five PhD projects to completion. I welcome applications from prospective PhD students in the areas of Critical Heritage, Inclusive Museums, Disability and Heritage , Creative Placemaking and inclusive design methods.