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.



Cecily Morrison, Edward Cutrell, Anupama Dhareshwar, Kevin Doherty, Anja Thieme, Alex Taylor (2017) Imagining Artificial Intelligence Applications with People with Visual Disabilities Using Tactile Ideation, Proceedings of the 19th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, p. 81-90, New York, NY: ACM, pdf, doi:10.1145/3132525.3132530

Alex S Taylor (2017) Becoming More Capable, Platypus, The CASTAC Blog, url


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 data​-policy​.info).

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, doi:


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

Pro­ject Tokyo is work­ing with people who are blind and par­tially sighted to cre­ate a deeply per­son­al agent. Using AI and com­puter vis­ion, the agent will allow people to build up and tune an under­stand­ing of their sur­round­ings by query­ing the social, phys­ic­al and tex­tu­al envir­on­ment. Under­pin­ning the pro­ject is an ambi­tious research agenda in devel­op­ing state of the art machine learn­ing and inter­ac­tion tech­niques that allow users to more read­ily adapt their sys­tem to their needs.
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.