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Prof John Vines


Department: Northumbria School of Design

Before joining Northumbria School of Design as a Professor I was an academic at Open Lab, Newcastle University, with whom I still have many ongoing collaborations. Prior to this I have held post-doctoral positions at both Newcastle (2012-2014) and Northumbria (2010-2012) Universities, and conducted my PhD research at the University of Plymouth (2007-2010).

My research focuses on the study of how people experience, appropriate and use digital technologies in their everyday lives. I often take a research through design approach, which for me involves designing new digital prototypes, artefacts and “things” with citizens, and studying the creation and use of these prototypes to generate knowledge that is both valuable to designers and advances our understanding of social phenomena. I am specifically interested in how technology is interwoven with issues such as independence and agency in later life, could support informal and relational care for people of all ages, and might help scaffold “friendly” and “caring” communities. I also have experience and ongoing interests in human experience and technology design as it relates to self-care, trust, security and empathic communication. Generally, I’m intrigued by the ways in which digital technologies might support new interactions and engagements between people in relation to these issues, rather than be used to replace human contact (as is often the case).

Along with the above, a large amount of my research examines the practical and ethical dimensions of conducting participatory design (and participatory research in general) with citizens, especially in sensitive contexts and with people with heightened vulnerabilities. Therefore I have an ongoing interest in understanding the methods and techniques used for involving people in design and research processes, and have been involved in a series of professional events and journal special issues unpicking the ethical encounters faced when conducting participatory and technology oriented research with participants.

I am currently working on a range of projects involving the design of technologies with communities, examining issues (among others) such as social isolation among carers, intergenerational conversation around dementia, advice and information sharing in health support groups, advocacy and the measuring of outcomes in charities, and community decision making around care services. More details can be found on my personal website:

Campus Address

Squires Building 306C
City Campus


  • Design Studies PhD Ageing Futures: Towards Cognitively Inclusive Digital Media Products July 01 2011
  • Associate Fellow (AFHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2016

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • IoT Resources for Outdoor Play, Dylan, T., Durrant, A., Wood, G., Vines, J., Lawson, S. 4 May 2019, CHI’19 Extended Abstracts, 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, New York, NY, ACM
  • Designing Second-Screening Experiences for Social Co-Selection and Critical Co-Viewing of Reality TV, Feltwell, T., Wood, G., Rowland, S., Long, K., Elsden, C., Brooker, P., Vines, J., Briggs, P., Barnett, J., Lawson, S. 2 May 2019, Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New york, NY, ACM
  • The Feasibility and Acceptability of using a Novel Wrist Worn Cueing Device to Self-Manage Drooling Problems in People with Parkinson’s Disease: a Pilot Study, McNaney, R., Miller, N., Vines, J., Olivier, P., Ladha, K., Jackson, D., Walker, R. 27 Apr 2019, In: Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering
  • In Participatory Budgeting we Trust?, Wilkinson, C., Briggs, J., Salt, K., Vines, J., Flynn, E. 21 Apr 2019, In: Local Government Studies
  • Feeling Alone Among 317 Million Others, Mahoney, J., Le Moignan, E., Long, K., Barreto, M., Wilson, M., Barnett, J., Vines, J., Lawson, S. 24 Mar 2019, In: Computers in Human Behavior
  • Play Poles, Dylan, T., Durrant, A., Wood, G., Cerci, S., Downey, D., Scott, J., Vines, J., Lawson, S. 21 Mar 2019, Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2019
  • Monzo + IFTTT, Feltwell, T., Elsden, C., Vines, J., Lawson, S. 13 Mar 2019, Proceedings of the CHI 2019 workshop on Automation XP '19 (AutomationXP '19), ACM
  • Darkening Programmable Donations, Elsden, C., Trotter, L., Vines, J., Speed, C. 3 Mar 2019, CHI’19 Extended Abstracts, ACM
  • Making the blockchain civic, Elsden, C., Gloerich, I., Spaa, A., Vines, J., De Waal, M. 1 Mar 2019

Current and Recent Projects

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Playing Out with IoT, Vines, J., Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 28/11/17 - 27/07/19, £209,391.00
  • CuRAtOR: Challenging online feaR And OtheRing (transfer), Vines, J., Economic & Social Research Council, 01/01/17 - 31/08/17, £46,173.00
  • Lonliness in the Digital Age (LIDA): Developing Strategies for Empathy and Trust (transfer), Vines, J., Economic & Social Research Council, 01/01/17 - 31/08/17, £63,708.00
  • The Trust Map (transfer), Vines, J., Economic & Social Research Council, 01/01/17 - 30/07/17, £3,448.00
  • Ox-Chain: Towards secure and trustworthy circular economies through distributed ledger technologies (transfer), Vines, J., Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 01/09/16 - 31/08/19, £197,459.00

PGR Supervision

  • Claire Bradnam Start: 21/03/2019
  • Belen Barros Pena Start: 01/10/2017
  • Sena Cerci Start: 01/10/2018
  • Anne Spaa Start: 01/10/2017


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