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Chancellor's Fellow in Service Design at Design Informatics, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Chris Elsden is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Service Design in Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He is a design researcher, with a background in sociology, and expertise in the human experience of data-driven services. 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, FinTech 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. Working with charities, theatres and festival organisations, his most recent research explores ‘creative transactions’ – examining how new financial and data-driven technologies change the way creative work is valued and paid for.

Chris is an affiliate researcher on the AHRC Creative Informatics cluster. He 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 detail -


  • –present
    Postdoctoral Research Associate in Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh