Research + Practice


Cap­ab­il­ity and
Vis­ion Impair­ment
Study­ing the mutu­al sens­ing and com­bined achieve­ments of people with dif­fer­ent levels of vis­ion, work­ing togeth­er. As well as deep­en­ing our under­stand­ing of cap­ab­il­ity — as it is col­lect­ively accom­plished — this research is dir­ec­ted at inform­ing a role for machine learn­ing in assist­ive tech­no­logy and build­ing assist­ive sys­tems that sup­port rich­er forms of social inter­ac­tion. This work is in col­lab­or­a­tion with Cindy Ben­nett, Rebec­ca Fiebrink, Kat­ja Hof­mann, Nate Kush­man, Ewa Luger, Cecily Mor­ris­on, Sebasti­an Nowoz­in, Anja Thieme, and Shi­mon Whiteson.


Data, Par­ti­cip­a­tion
and Digit­al Civics
A col­lec­tion of col­lab­or­at­ive pro­jects examin­ing the rela­tion­ships between data, civic life and place mak­ing. Bring­ing these pro­jects togeth­er is a broad focus on the pro­lif­er­a­tion of data and ana­lyt­ics, and how this might enable dif­fer­ent and pos­sibly wider forms of par­ti­cip­a­tion. Research has com­bined exten­ded par­ti­cip­at­ory research and design meth­ods with large-scale, deploy­ments in the ‘wild’. Res­ults have been presen­ted at the 4S annu­al meet­ing and the CHI con­fer­ence, are in press for the Journ­al of Com­puter Sup­por­ted Col­lab­or­at­ive Work and Demon­stra­tions, and led to poli­cy engage­ments (see

An exten­ded engage­ment with a com­munity and its data

Street party and data fair on TenisonRd



Alex S Taylor, Siân Lindley, Tim Regan, David Sweeney (2014) Data and life on the street, Big Data & Society 1(2), pdf

Alex S Taylor (2015) After Interaction, Interactions 22(5), p. 48-53, pdf, doi:10.1145/2809888

David Sweeney, Tim Regan, Alex Taylor, Siân Lindley (2015) A Pixel is Not a Pixel: Simple Data Charting Made Physical, Research Through Design (RTD '15), pdf, doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.1327998

Tim Regan, David Sweeney, John Helmes, Vasillis Vlachokyriakos, Siân Lindley, Alex S. Taylor (2015) Designing Engaging Data in Communities, CHI EA '15, p. 271-274, New York, NY, USA: ACM, pdf, doi:10.1145/2702613.2725432

Alex S Taylor, Siân Lindley, Tim Regan, David Sweeney, Vasilis Vlachokyriakos, Lillie Grainger, Jessa Lingel (2015) Data in place: Thinking through the Relations Between Data and Community, CHI '15, p. 2863-2872, New York, NY, USA: ACM, pdf, doi:10.1145/2702123.2702558

Clara Crivellaro, Alex S Taylor, Vasillis Vlachokyriakos, Rob Comber, Bettina Nissen, Peter Wright (2016) Re-Making Places: HCI, 'Community Building' and Change, CHI '16, p. 2958-2969, New York: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/2858036.2858332

Alex S. Taylor (2016) Data, (bio)sensing and (other-)worldly stories from the cycle routes of London, Quantified, p. 189-209, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pdf


Com­pu­ta­tion and Bio­logy
Stud­ies of the bur­geon­ing research in com­pu­ta­tion­al and syn­thet­ic bio­logy, and build­ing tools to sup­port this new hybrid of applied sci­ence. This has been com­pli­men­ted with research into a grass­roots DIY­Bio, as a coun­ter point to main­stream know­ledge mak­ing prac­tices and pro­duc­tion pro­cesses. Res­ults have been presen­ted widely at the CHI con­fer­ence and CAV, pub­lished in Com­pu­ta­tion­al Cul­ture and Nature (online), and led to a pub­licly avail­able mod­el­ling tool used by bio­lo­gists (see BMA).



Stacey Kuznetsov, Alex S Taylor, Eric Paulos, Carl DiSalvo, Tad Hirsch (2012) (DIY)biology and opportunities for HCI, DIS '12, p. 809-810, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf

David Benque, Sam Bourton, Caitlin Cockerton, Byron Cook, Jasmin Fisher, Samin Ishtiaq, Nir Piterman, Alex Taylor, Moshe Y Vardi (2012) BMA: visual tool for modeling and analyzing biological networks, CAV'12, p. 686-692, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pdf, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-31424-7_50

Alex S Taylor, Nir Piterman, Samin Ishtiaq, Jasmin Fisher, Byron Cook, Caitlin Cockerton, Sam Bourton, David Benque (2013) At the interface of biology and computation, CHI '13, p. 493-502, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/2470654.2470725

Alex S Taylor, Jasmin Fisher, Byron Cook, Samin Ishtiaq, Nir Piterman (2014) Modelling Biology – working through (in-)stabilities and frictions, Computational Culture 1(3), url

Ryan Chuang, Benjamin A Hall, David Benque, Byron Cook, Samin Ishtiaq, Nir Piterman, Alex S Taylor, Moshe Vardi, Steffen Koschmieder, Berthold Gottgens, Jasmin Fisher (2015) Drug Target Optimization in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Using Innovative Computational Platform, Scientific Reports 5, Macmillan Publishers Limited, url


and Autonomy
Invest­ig­a­tions into intel­li­gence and autonomy. This work has com­bined field stud­ies and design inter­ven­tions to ques­tion the lim­its placed on machine intel­li­gence and autonomy. Through design it aims to invite the pos­sib­il­ity of human-nonhuman rela­tions enlar­ging the capa­cit­ies for being, not entit­ies by them­selves defined by pre­sumed lim­its. Work has been exhib­ited at SIGGRAPH, MOMA NYC, and the Beijing Inter­na­tion­al Design Tri­en­ni­al.
Audiograph from Rudiments projects
Energy Autonomous Radio exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2008
Living Radio design speculation
Gub­bin Snip can be car­ried while com­mut­ing. He has the abil­ity to look around, sniff radio wave emis­sions from the envir­on­ment, and attrib­ute them to strangers in the vicin­ity.



Anab Jain, Alex S Taylor (2008) Domestic Gubbins, Design and the Elastic Mind (online exhibits), New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, url

Anab Jain, Alex S Taylor (2008) Life and death of energy-autonomous devices, SIGGRAPH '08: ACM SIGGRAPH 2008 art gallery, p. 70, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/1400385.1400425

Alex S Taylor, Anab Jain, Laurel Swan (2009) New Companions, Close Engagements with Artificial Companions, Yorick Wilks (ed.), p. 107–120, John Benjamins Publishing Company, url, doi:10.1075/nlp.8.16tay

Alex S Taylor (2009) Machine intelligence, CHI '09, p. 2109-2118, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/1518701.1519022

John Helmes, Kenton O'Hara, Nicolas Villar, Alex Taylor (2011) Meerkat and tuba: Design alternatives for randomness, surprise and serendipity in reminiscing, INTERACT'11, p. 376-391, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pdf, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-23771-3_28

John Helmes, Alex S Taylor, Xiang Cao, Kristina Höök, Peter Schmitt, Nicolas Villar (2011) Rudiments 1, 2 & 3: design speculations on autonomy, TEI '11, p. 145-152, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/1935701.1935730


Home Life
Stud­ies of home and fam­ily life, with emphas­is on the rela­tions between social organ­isa­tion and the use of mundane arte­facts includ­ing lists, pho­to­graphs, fridge doors, and clut­ter. Long term field­work has been run along­side design and deploy­ment of pro­to­types and spec­u­lat­ive tech­no­lo­gies, aim­ing to raise fur­ther ques­tions about life at home.



Laurel Swan, Alex S Taylor (2005) Notes on fridge surfaces, CHI EA '05, p. 1813-1816, New York, NY: ACM Press, doi:

Abigail Sellen, Richard Harper, Rachel Eardley, Shahram Izadi, Tim Regan, Alex S Taylor, Ken R Wood (2006) HomeNote: supporting situated messaging in the home, CSCW '06, p. 383-392, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/1180875.1180933

Barry Brown, Alex S Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye, Rachel Eardley (2007) Locating family values: A field trial of the whereabouts clock, UbiComp '07, p. 354-371, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pdf, doi:10.1007/978-3-540-74853-3_21

Susan P Wyche, Alex Taylor, Joseph Kaye (2007) Pottering: a design-oriented investigation, CHI EA '07, p. 1893-1898, New York, NY: ACM Press, url

Anab Jain, Alex S Taylor (2008) Domestic Gubbins, Design and the Elastic Mind (online exhibits), New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, url

Laurel Swan, Alex S Taylor, Richard Harper (2008) Making place for clutter and other ideas of home, ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 15(2), p. 1-24, pdf, doi:10.1145/1375761.1375764

Alex S Taylor, Susan P Wyche, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye (2008) Pottering by design, NordiCHI '08, p. 363-372, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/1463160.1463200

Siân E Lindley, Abigail Durrant, David Kirk, Alex S Taylor (2009) Editorial: Collocated social practices surrounding photos, Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Stud. 67(12), p. 995-1004, url, doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2009.08.004

Abigail Durrant, Alex S Taylor, David Frohlich, Abigail Sellen, David Uzzell (2009) Photo displays and intergenerational relationships in the family home, BCS-HCI '09, p. 10-19, Swindon, UK: British Computer Society, pdf

Siân E Lindley, Richard Banks, Richard Harper, Anab Jain, Tim Regan, Abigail Sellen, Alex S Taylor (2009) Resilience in the face of innovation: Household trials with BubbleBoard, Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Stud. 67(2), p. 154-164, pdf, doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2008.07.008


Invest­ig­a­tions into and exper­i­ments with hard­ware as design mater­i­als.
Urban scene with woman with RFID tattoo on back and skateboarder with RFID tattoo on arm.Photos of hacked RFID tags from Rethinking RFID.



Anab Jain, Alex S Taylor (2008) Objects Incognito: RFID and Body Readers, Design and the Elastic Mind (online exhibits), New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art

Anab Jain, Nicolai Marquardt, Alex S Taylor (2008) Near-Future RFID, Artifacts Session, EPIC '08, p. 352-353, Copenhagen, Denmark: American Anthropological Assoc., pdf

Susanne Seitinger, Daniel M Taub, Alex S Taylor (2010) Light bodies: exploring interactions with responsive lights, TEI '10, p. 113-120, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/1709886.1709908

Nicolai Marquardt, Alex S Taylor, Nicolas Villar, Saul Greenberg (2010) Rethinking RFID: awareness and control for interaction with RFID systems, CHI '10, p. 2307-2316, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/1753326.1753674

Nicolai Marquardt, Alex Taylor, Saul Greenberg (2010) Visible and controllable RFID tags, CHI EA '10, p. 3057-3062, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf

Petra Sundström, Alex S Taylor, Kenton O'Hara (2011) Sketching in software and hardware Bluetooth as a design material, MobileHCI '11, p. 405-414, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/2037373.2037434

Scott Davidoff, Nicolas Villar, Alex S Taylor, Shahram Izadi (2011) Mechanical hijacking: how robots can accelerate UbiComp deployments, UbiComp '11, p. 267-270, New York, NY: ACM Press, pdf, doi:10.1145/2030112.2030148

Work in this area is con­trib­ut­ing to a wider, cross-lab research ini­ti­at­ive at Microsoft Research fall­ing under the ban­ner of Pro­ject Tokyo.
A year-long pro­ject invest­ig­at­ing data and it rela­tions with a street and its com­munity. In col­lab­or­a­tion with Siân Lind­ley, Tim Regan, Dav­id Sweeney, Anja Thieme, Vasil­is Vlachokyriakos, Lil­lie Grainger, Jes­sa Lin­gel, and res­id­ents of Ten­ison Road.
Exten­ded engage­ment with stake­hold­ers liv­ing and work­ing on an estate in South East Lon­don. Look­ing to under­stand the mul­tiple ways people ori­ent­ate to com­munity and how walk­ing and talk­ing might help with sur­fa­cing the pro­duct­ive dif­fer­ences. Research led by Clara Crivel­laro of Open Lab, New­castle Uni­ver­sity.
Bio Mod­el Ana­lyz­er is a new bio­lo­gic­al mod­el­ling tool that illus­trates sig­nalling path­ways and determ­ines cel­lu­lar sta­bil­iz­a­tion. The tool rep­res­ents a mer­ging of per­spect­ives from sys­tems bio­logy, form­al meth­ods, human com­puter inter­ac­tion and design. See BMA and this page for an over­view and video.
Design spec­u­la­tions on machine autonomy and every­day life. In col­lab­or­a­tion with John Helmes, Xiang Cao, Kristina Höök, Peter Schmitt, and Nic Vil­lar.
Exper­i­ment­ing with the rela­tions between energy and autonomy. For two videos see here and here. A col­lab­or­a­tion with Anab Jain.
Design spec­u­la­tions on lively objects in the home. A col­lab­or­a­tion with Anab Jain.
Design and deploy­ment of situ­ated mes­saging device for the home.
Design and deploy­ment of coarse-graned loc­a­tion­ing ‘clock’ in fam­ily homes. Col­lab­or­a­tion with Barry Brown, Shahram Iza­di, Abi­gail Sel­len and Jofish Kaye.
Phys­ic­al exper­i­ments with RFID. Col­lab­or­a­tions with Anab Jain and Nic Marquardt.
Exper­i­ments with Bluetooth. Col­lab­or­a­tion with Pet­ra Sund­strom.