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Prof David Kirk

Professor of Digital Living

Department: Computer and Information Sciences

I am Professor of Digital Living in the School of Computer and Information Science. I study Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and the design of interactive computational technologies. I'm particularly interested in design research methods and the ways in which technology design can be centred on rich understanding of user experiences, cultures and contexts.

I have previously held positions as Senior Lecturer of Experience-Centred Design and then Reader in Cultural Computing at Newcastle University, Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction in the Mixed Reality Lab and School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, and as a post-doc in the Socio-Digital Systems group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. My background is in Psychology (BSc) and Ergonomics (MSc) with a PhD in Computer Science. Over the years my work has been heavily influenced by the sociologists, philosophers and designers that I've collaborated with and consequently I take a design-led, social science orientation to understanding human experience and its application to the design of digital technologies. Accordingly, and although trained as an experimental scientist, my research is increasingly based on qualitative methods and design-research practices.

Campus Address

Pandon Building (Room 238)

+44 (0)191 2273376


PhD (Computer Science – Nottingham),

MSc (Ergonomics – Loughborough),

BSc (Hons) (Psychology – York)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

I'm interested in a variety of broad research areas in HCI including (but not limited to):

Memory and Data - this has been a large focus for much of my research. I've been engaged in and led a variety of studies which have explored the archiving of memories in the home (photos and videos), human relationships to material culture (sentimental mementoes) and the interrelationship of digital technologies, data and human memory. I've also led studies looking at the design of, and issues around, 'pervasive monuments' or digital augmentations to memorial sites. I'm particularly keen to expand research on the role of data as a material for designing evocative memory experiences.

Things and Materiality - I've done a fair bit of work exploring human relationships to material artefacts (things), communication through networked-objects, and also hybrid interfaces which combine tangible interactions with multi-touch surfaces (with a focus on hands and gesturing). I'm keen to explore new interaction paradigms with interactive artefacts, especially in IoT (Internet-of-Things) contexts. I was previously papers chair for the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI) conference in 2013.

Adaptive Architecture and Human-Building Interaction - I have worked with Holger Schnädelbach at Nottingham and our PhD student Nils Jaeger on the design and development of reactive Architectures, buildings which adapt to their inhabitants. With my new PhD student Sara Nabil, we are exploring the use of Organic User Interfaces (OUIs) as part of the building fabric. In particular, I'm interested in the user experience of 'smart environments' and ubiquitous computing visions of future inhabited spaces.

Professional Activity

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Chartered Psychologist

Conference Duties: Program chair for ACM TEI 2013 (Seventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction), Programme Sub-Committee Chair for ACM CHI 2013 + 2014, Associate Chair for ACM Mobile-HCI 2012 + 2014, ACM CHI 2017, 2016, 2012, 2010, 2009, ACM CSCW 2010 and ECSCW 2007 conferences, Courses chair ACM DIS (Designing Interactive Systems) 2012.

Reviewing: for ACM CHI, ACM UIST, ACM Ubicomp, ACM CSCW, ACM ITS (Tabletop), ACM TEI, ACM DIS, B-HCI, ACM Mobile-HCI and ECSCW conferences, and HCI, IJHCS, Information Society, ACM TOMCCAP & ACM TOCHI journals

Reviewer for Microsoft PhD programme and EPSRC and EU FET-Open Research Proposals

Sponsors and Collaborators


Current/Recent Projects

Out of Bounds (Co-I). 2015-16. AHRC (AH/N003578/1). (AHRC contr. £77,380)

DERC: Digital Economy Research Centre. (Co-I). 2015-20. EPSRC (EP/M023001/1). (EPSRC contr. £4,051,360)

Design Your Own Future: Supporting Networked Design Expertise. (PI). 2015-17. EPSRC (EP/N005848/1). (EPSRC contr. £270,315)

Quality of Experience of 3D Audio. Principal Investigator (PI)BBC ICASE Studentship. 2014-17. (£89,000)

Creativity Greenhouse: Balance Network. (Co-I). 2013-17. EPSRC (EP/K025619/1). (EPSRC contr. £154,097)

The Poetics of the Archive: Creativity and Community Engagement with the Bloodaxe Archive. (Co-I). 2013-15. AHRC (AH/L007746/1). (AHRC contr. £470,823)

Creativity Greenhouse: Family Rituals 2.0. (PI). 2013-15. EPSRC (EP/K025678/1). (EPSRC contr. £581,615)

Pervasive Monuments Project. PI. April 2010 – Sept. 2011. Horizon Digital Economy Research (RCUK – University of Nottingham). Total Award £170K

Key Publications

Kirk, D., Chatting, D., Yurman, P., & Bichard, J. (2016) Ritual Machines I & II: Making Technology at Home. In Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016). ACM Press.

Marshall, M., Kirk, D. & Vines, J. (2016) Accountable: Exploring the Inadequacies of Transparent Financial Practice in the Non-Profit Sector. In Proceedings of ACM CHI 2016. ACM Press.

Elsden, C., Durrant, A. & Kirk, D. (2016) It's Just My History Isn't It?: Understanding Smart Journaling Practices. In Proceedings of ACM CHI 2016. ACM Press.

Elsden, C., Nissen, B., Garbett, A., Chatting, D., Kirk, D. & Vines, J. (2016) Metadating: Exploring the Romance and Future of Personal Data. In Proceedings of ACM CHI 2016. ACM Press.

Elsden, C., Kirk, D., and Durrant, A. (2016) A Quantified Past: Towards Design for Remembering with Personal Informatics. Human Computer Interaction, 31, 6, 1-40

Nowacka, D., Hammerla, N., Elsden, C., Plötz, T. & Kirk, D. (2015) Diri-the actuated helium balloon: a study of autonomous behaviour in interfaces. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp). ACM Press, 349-360


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