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Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research considers how technology and design shift our understanding of death and bereavement. I have curated various events for public engagement and worked with the Hospice of St Francis, in collaboration with bereaved makers using co-design methods to artistically explore their loved one's physical and digital heritage. I have also been an advocate for Future Death in a range of high profile festivals such as Death: The Southbank Centre's Festival for the Living (2012), The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival and Internet Week Europe (2013), The Southbank Centre's Beyond Belief Festival and the Edinburgh International Science Festival (2017).

My research interests include:

  • Social Design, designing for sensitive situations in a practice-based participatory way
  • Understanding how technology is reframing our notions of death & bereavement
  • Re-evaluating evolving ethical practices within digital contexts
  • Data: questioning the relationship between value, context and curation
  • Crafting as a design process, when applied to digital content
  • Practice research, curation as a mode of knowledge production

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Physically distant but socially connected: streaming funerals, memorials and ritual design during COVID-19, Pitsillides, S., Wallace, J. 6 Aug 2021, Death, Grief and Loss in the Context of COVID-19, Abingdon, Oxon, Taylor & Francis
  • Digital legacy: Designing with things, Pitsillides, S. 9 Aug 2019, In: Death Studies
  • Networked Emotions: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sharing Loss Online, Giaxoglou, K., Döveling, K., Pitsillides, S. 2017, In: Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
  • Death and Memory in the Twenty-First Century, Pitsillides, S. 1 Jan 2016, Memory in the Twenty-First Century, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Digital death: What role does digital information play in the way we are (Re)membered?, Pitsillides, S., Waller, M., Fairfax, D. Jul 2012, Digital Identity and Social Media, IGI Global
  • Does the internet change how we die and mourn? Overview and analysis, Walter, T., Hourizi, R., Moncur, W., Pitsillides, S. 1 Jun 2012, In: Omega: Journal of Death and Dying
  • Museum of the self and Digital Death: An emerging Curatorial Dilemma for Digital Heritage, Pitsillides, S., Jefferies, J., Conreen, M. 14 Jun 2012, Heritage and Social Media, Abingdon, Oxon, Taylor & Francis

PGR Supervision

  • Julie Parsons This research-led art and design practise investigates the notion of cocreating comforting things, to serve as an intervention in extending a relationship beyond the living, provide agency to continue bonds, and help our dead companion animals take part in life again. Start Date: 18/01/2021
  • Roxanne Bottomley Closing the gap: Using design activities to document and archive the experiences of women and queer people in grassroots football and fandom Start Date: 18/01/2021
  • Sena Cerci Probing into Research through Design: Understanding the Narratives around Design-led Research in HCI Start Date: 01/01/2021


  • PhD February 24 2017
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2019

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