New Chancellor’s Fellow appointed in Service Design

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Dr. Chris Elsden has been appointed as a Chancellor’s Fellow in Service Design, through the support of Edinburgh Futures Institute and Edinburgh College of Art.

Dr. Chris Elsden has been appointed as a Chancellor’s Fellow in Service Design, through the support of the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) and the Edinburgh College of Art. Dr Elsden will be based in the Institute for Design Informatics (DI) and work closely with Professor Chris Speed to develop research and teaching associated with advanced concepts and practices of Service Design. Dr Elsden will be contributing to the development and delivery of a new MSc in Service Management and Design at EFI, led by Professor Stephen Osborne, that will launch in September 2022.

Dr. Elsden takes up this role following post-doctoral positions as a design researcher on the AHRC Creative Informatics cluster in Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, and in the Co-Create group in Design at Northumbria University. He holds a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Open Lab, Newcastle University, which received an ACM SIGCHI ‘Outstanding Dissertation’ award for his empirical fieldwork and speculative design on data-driven services for remembering life events.

Drawing on an interdisciplinary background across fields of Design, Sociology and Human-Computer Interaction, Dr. Elsden develops and applies innovative design methods to envision and critique new data-driven services, as well as working with multi-disciplinary teams across academia and industry to deploy and reflect on these services in real-world contexts. Working with charities, theatres and festival organisations, his most recent research explores ‘creative transactions’ – examining how new financial and data-driven technologies change the way creative work is valued and paid for.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Chris Elsden said:

“I am delighted to take on this role and work collaboratively across schools and disciplines at Edinburgh to envision, critique and design new data-driven services, with partners throughout the city. With new colleagues across EFI, Design and in the Business School, I’m excited to develop, teach and share Service Design methods that help communities and designers address contemporary societal challenges with emerging technologies.”

As a Chancellor’s Fellow in Service Design at EFI his work will support enquiries into all forms of participatory design practice that demonstrate the core principles of the discipline to students coming into EFI, whilst also pushing the boundaries of co-creation, co-design and service design as he drives new research projects and collaborations. Dr. Elsden comes with a wealth of experience in this field, and an international reputation for pursuing critical enquiries across how people interact with data within the digital economy.

Prof. Chris Speed said:

“Dr. Elsden’s appointment as Chancellor’s Fellow comes at an important moment as EFI begins to launch its suite of Masters programmes and looks forward to challenge based projects with partners across government, industry and the wider community. Chris’ energy, insight, and sensibilities for working with people from all walks of life who are all caught up in the digital economy, will provide EFI with an invaluable strength in design to help better understand how society navigates data-driven systems fairly, safely and with foresight into the personal implications.”


You can follow Chris on Twitter @ElsdenChris, and view his list of publications on Google Scholar.

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