Vanessa Thomas

PhD student

Research Overview

Once upon a time, I lived in a country far, far away. It was full of mounties and maple syrup and a bizarre orange substance called "mac and cheese." While there, I studied computer science, mathematics, physics, human security, peace building, internal communications, intercultural communications, graphic design, leadership, history, women's studies and a whole bunch of other subjects that didn't seem to be directly related to one another, except in my head. I used my unusual set of skills to find work in Canada, Ecuador, Bolivia and the United States of America. Then I found the HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training, which seemed like a great place for a disciplinary misfit like myself.

While at Lancaster, my doctoral research examined a set of social practices and public policies that influence the environmental footprint of digital technologies. I was also a Research Associate with the Institute for Social Futures, where I explored some of the future implications of our digital technologies.

I am now a postdoctoral research fellow with Susanne Bødker's team in the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University, Denmark. We're working to reimagine interactive objects, while also contributing to the EU's "From Sharing to Caring" project.

My research interests and side projects remain related to sustainable development, ICT4D, crisis informatics, human rights, public policy, "smart" cities, retrocomputing and retrogaming, urban development (especially in Latin America), open EVERYTHING (data, source software, Internet, education, government, etc), and human-computer interaction (HCI). Please get in touch through one of my instititional emails, twitter, or LinkedIn if you have any questions or concerns about my work. :)

Online vs offline inequality: Examining disableist infrastructure via open data
Thomas, V. 16/11/2017

Reflexive practices for the future of design education: an exercise in ethno-empathy
Hohnekamp-Bruggemann, M., Strohmayer, A., Marshall, M., Birbeck, N., Thomas, V. 6/09/2017 In: The Design Journal. 20, Suppl. 1, p. S1260-S1269. 10 p.
Journal article

Doing Good in HCI: Can We Broaden Our Agenda?
Bates, O., Thomas, V., Remy, C. 09/2017 In: Interactions. 24, p. 80-82. 3 p.
Journal article

The Limits of Evaluating Sustainability
Remy, C., Bates, O.E.G., Thomas, V., Huang, E.M. 22/06/2017 In: LIMITS '17 Proceedings of the 2017 Workshop on Computing Within Limits. New York : ACM p. 103-110. 8 p. ISBN: 9781450349505.
Conference contribution

The limits of HCD: reimagining the anthropocentricity of ISO 9241-210
Thomas, V., Remy, C., Bates, O.E.G. 22/06/2017 In: LIMITS '17 Proceedings of the 2017 Workshop on Computing Within Limits. New York : ACM p. 85-92. 8 p. Electronic ISBN: 9781450349505.
Conference contribution

HCI and environmental public policy: opportunities for engagement
Thomas, V., Remy, C., Hazas, M.D., Bates, O.E.G. 6/05/2017 In: CHI '17 Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York : ACM p. 6986-6992. 7 p. ISBN: 9781450346559.
Conference contribution

What is open design for ethnography?: an open discussion
Wang, D., Thomas, V. 03/2017 In: Cumulus Hong Kong 2016. Hong Kong p. 492-497. 6 p. ISBN: 9789526000800. Electronic ISBN: 9789526000817.
Conference contribution

Digital technologies and environmental change: examining the influence of social practices and public policies
Thomas, V. 2017 Lancaster University. 158 p.
Doctoral Thesis

Where's Wally?: in search of citizen perspectives on the smart city
Thomas, V., Wang, D., Mullagh, L., Dunn, N.S. 26/02/2016 In: Sustainability. 8, 3, p. 1-13. 13 p.
Journal article

Beware the Smart City: insights from the UK and beyond
Thomas, V. 17/09/2015

I am more than the sum of my parts: an e-waste design fiction
Thomas, V., Hohnekamp-Bruggemann, M., Feldman, D. 7/09/2015 In: EnviroInfo and ICT for Sustainability 2015. Atlantis Press p. 57-65. 9 p.

Re-writing the city: negotiating and reflecting on data streams
Abel, P., Fox, M., Potts, R., Hemment, D., Thomson, C., Gajdos, P., Li, S., Vazquez, A.D., Barraclough, R., Schliwa, G., Lindley, J., Turner, S., Devitt, J., MacDonald, J., Lee, A., Trueblood, C., Maxwell, D., Mehrpouya, H., Woods, M., Walsh, V., Moisy, A., Islamoglu, G., Sherriff, G., Thomas, V., Devitt, L., Jennings, K., Speed, C., Tynan-O'Mahony, F., Gebhardt, V., Trimble, L., Raikes, R., Monsen, K. 07/2015 In: British HCI '15 Proceedings of the 2015 British HCI Conference. New York, NY, USA : ACM p. 147-156. 10 p. ISBN: 9781450336437.
Conference contribution

Where's Wally?: in search of citizen perspectives on the smart city
Thomas, V., Mullagh, L., Wang, D., Dunn, N. 21/06/2015 In: Proceedings of the 8th International Forum on Urbanism. 8 p.

aidWORK: a participatory, interactive map for project management, employee engagement and cross-organisational collaboration
Thomas, V., Darby, A. 20/06/2014

Collective intelligence in crises
Buscher, M., Liegl, M., Thomas, V. 2014 In: Social collective intelligence. Springer p. 243-265. 23 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Using an online, self-diagnostic test for introductory general chemistry at an Open University
Kennepohl, D., Guay, M., Thomas, V. 1/11/2010 In: Journal of Chemical Education. 87, 11, p. 1273-1277. 5 p.
Journal article