Chris Elsden

Chris Elsden

Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Creative Informatics

Dr Chris Elsden, Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Dr Chris Elsden is a post-doctoral research associate in Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Chris is primarily working on the AHRC Creative Informatics project. He is an interaction design researcher, with a background in sociology, and expertise in the human experience of a data-driven life. Using and developing innovative design research methods, his work undertakes diverse, qualitative and often speculative engagements with participants to investigate emerging relationships with technology – particularly data-driven tools and blockchain technologies. In so doing, he hopes to reveal the many nuanced relationships people and organisations have with digital technology in their everyday lives, and use these insights to identify new and future opportunities for design.

Chris worked previously in the Co-Create group at Northumbria University, on the EPSRC-funded OxChain project, leading user-centred and speculative co-design activities with research partners to explore the future of philanthropy and international development with the emergence of blockchain technologies. In his doctoral research at Open Lab, Newcastle University considered the human implications of self-tracking tools as new ‘technologies of memory’, and outlined opportunities to design new forms of ‘documentary informatics’. Chris’ research has been widely published in the field of HCI – see here for further details. 

Qualifications: PhD (Computer Science), Open Lab at Newcastle University; MSc (Social Media and Interactive Technologies), University of York; BEng Hons (Mechanical Engineering with International Study), University of Strathclyde

Research interests:

  • Datafication
  • FinTech and Blockchain Technologies
  • Remembering
  • Speculative Design Methods
  • Valuation Practices


Creative Informatics

Creative Informatics aims to bring Edinburgh’s world-class creative industries and tech sector together, utilising innovative data-driven technologies to develop ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences. 

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Ox-Chain is a major research project between the Universities of Edinburgh, Northumbria and Lancaster, and research partners Oxfam, Zero Waste Scotland, Volunteer Scotland and WHALE Arts, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. It brings together experts in digital design, cryptography, business and international development. Through collaborative research, we will design a Blockchain for Oxfam to better support the circulation and re-circulation of valuable items within its business model – hence ‘Ox-Chain’.

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