Edinburgh Research Explorer

Sonia Matos

Lecturer

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Design Research and Practice; Design Ethnography; Action Research; Design and Community Development; Inclusive Design, Environmental Education

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of London
Here We Don’t Speak, Here We Whistle. Mobilising a Cultural Reading of Cognition, Sound and Ecology in the Design of Language Support System for the Silbo Gomero
Master of Design, Design Academy Eindhoven
Bachelor of Design, University of Lisbon

Biography

I am a designer and lecturer whose work primarily explores the intersection between design and ethnography. In my work I try to understand and explore the ways in which different social, cultural and environmental contexts have potential to inform what we design and the ways in which we design.

In September 2011 I joined ECA’s Design School as a lecturer where I teach various courses across the different design disciplines at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Since April 2012 I am also a Research Affiliate at MIT’s Program for Art, Culture and Technology.

Prior to this I was a doctoral student and seminar tutor at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London where I have dedicated my research to the study of the Silbo Gomero, a whistled form of language that is still alive in the small island of La Gomera in the Canarian Archipelago (Spain).

Part ethnographic study, part acoustic and ecological reinterpretation, this project has culminated in a doctoral dissertation entitled ‘Here We Don’t Speak, Here We Whistle: Mobilizing a Cultural Reading of Cognition, Sound and Ecology in the Design of a Language Support System for the Silbo Gomero’ and the design of audio based media for sensory exploration to be used by local youth.

Amongst other institutions, I have presented my research at the 21st Century research-based programme, Chisenhale Gallery (London, U.K.) and at the ‘Verbindingen/ Jonctions 13’ an annual multidisciplinary festival organized by Constance – Association for Art & Media (Brussels, Belgium). Part of my dissertation will be published in the peer-reviewed proceedings of the 8th Conference of the International Committee for Design Histories & Design Studies.

Research Interests

More recently, I am working on a research project entitled: ‘Edible Oceans: In Search of a Vernacular Knowledge of Maritime Plants’, developed in collaboration with biologists Dr. Ana Neto and Dr. Isabel Sousa Pinto from CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of the Azores and University of Porto respectively.

This project looks into the almost lost tradition of collecting seaweed in the wild by the Azorean people while attempting to mobilize a new cultural reading of this situated form of knowledge and its relation to local ecosystems.

Research outputs

  1. Manifesto! Now: Game design for revolutionary thinking

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  2. Fourth-wave HCI meets the 21st century manifesto: Creative subversion in the 'CHI-verse'

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  3. Dissent by Design: A Manifesto for CHI Manifestos

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

View all (30) »

Research activities & awards

  1. 9th International Conference on Communities & Technologies

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  2. The Current Superflex, Convening #1: Deep Sea Minding

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  3. 5th IFIP Conference on Sustainable Internet and ICT for Sustainability

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

View all (25) »

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