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Prof Abigail Durrant


Department: Northumbria School of Design

My research addresses the significant design challenges that we face for managing identity in our everyday interactions with digital technologies and personal data. I have explored the digital representation of selfhood in the context of family relationships and legacies, major life transitions, memorialization and cultural visiting, human rights media, and personal identity management. I am particularly interested in the health implications of managing a digitally-mediated self.

I am currently Principal Investigator for the EPSRC-funded project ‘INTUIT: Interaction Design for Trusted Sharing of Personal Health Data to Live Well with HIV’ (EP/R033900/1). INTUIT aims to understand issues of trust, identity and privacy that are experienced by people living with HIV when sharing self-generated data with clinicians, peers, and others, for the purposes of self-managing their condition. It considers an ethically responsible and inclusive design research programme to prototype and evaluate digital tools to support data sharing for living well with HIV, which is grounded in empirical insight about these issues, and co-created in partnership with key stakeholders including the HIV community, Healthcare providers, HIV charities, public health organisations, and community advocacy groups.

My work is grounded in participatory, experience-centered and design-led methodologies. I have first degree in Fine Art, a Masters in Design and a PhD in Psychology, which reflects my deep and longstanding interest in interdisciplinary research practice, with Design in productive conversations with other disciplines. My recently completed Leverhulme fellowship (ECF-2012-642) delivered methodological insight about the transformational value of design within interdisciplinary research teams. I also have a special interest in: video to support inquiry; visual argumentation in the dissemination of design research; digital photographic expression; and ethical design practice.

Before working in academia I was Director of an Interaction Design research consultancy for 10 years, working with clients in Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Telecommunications, Leisure and Entertainment, and for UK Government.


Design Studies PhD February 01 2011

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Designing IoT Resources to Support Outdoor Play for Children, Dylan, T., Wood, G., Durrant, A., Vines, J., Torres, P., Ulrich, P., Cukurova, M., Carr, A., Cerci, S., Lawson, S. 8 Jan 2020, Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’20): April 25–30, 2020, Honolulu, HI, USA, ACM
  • 7½ and Weekend Alarm: Designing Alarm Clocks for the Morality of Sleep and Rest, Spaa, A., Wakkary, R., Frens, J., Durrant, A., Vines, J. Mar 2019
  • Crafting Critical Heritage Discourses into Interactive Exhibition Design, Claisse, C., Petrelli, D., Ciolfi, L., Dulake, N., Marshall, M., Durrant, A. 9 Dec 2019, Proceedings of the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2020 CHI '20, ACM
  • Designing for Digital Playing Out, Wood, G., Dylan, T., Durrant, A., Torres, P., Ulrich, P., Carr, A., Cukurova, M., Downey, D., McGrath, P., Balaam, M., Ferguson, A., Vines, J., Lawson, S. 2 May 2019, Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '19), New York, NY, USA, ACM
  • Domestic Widgets, Verweij, D., Kirk, D., Rogage, K., Durrant, A. 18 Mar 2019
  • IoT Resources for Outdoor Play, Dylan, T., Durrant, A., Wood, G., Vines, J., Lawson, S. 4 May 2019, CHI’19 Extended Abstracts, ACM
  • Play Poles, Dylan, T., Durrant, A., Wood, G., Cerci, S., Downey, D., Scott, J., Vines, J., Lawson, S. 18 Jun 2019, Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS ‘19), New York, NY, USA, ACM
  • Understanding, capturing, and assessing value in collaborative design research, Whitham, R., Moreton, S., Bowen, S., Speed, C., Durrant, A. 2019, In: CoDesign
  • Understanding the Boundaries between Policymaking and HCI, Spaa, A., Durrant, A., Elsden, C., Vines, J. 2 May 2019, Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '19), New York, NY, USA, ACM
  • Admixed portrait: Design to understand facebook portrayals in new parenthood, Durrant, A., Kirk, D., Trujillo-Pisanty, D., Martindale, S. 21 Apr 2018, CHI '18, ACM

PGR Supervision

  • Julia Wilmott Start: 22/05/2017
  • Kiersten Hay Start: 01/10/2017
  • Wezi Thamm Start: 01/10/2019
  • Henry Collingham Start: 01/10/2017
  • Sarah Walton Start: 01/03/2018


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