Professor Richard Harper


Research Overview

Richard is concerned with how new technologies shape us and how we in turn shape our technologies - in the space known as Human Computer Interaction or HCI. He has 28 patents, published over 220 articles and written or edited 18 books, including the IEEE award winning "The Myth of the Paperless Office" (2001); “Texture”, (the A.o.I.R. book of the year 2011); “Choice” (2016) and "Skyping the Family" (2019). He is currently researching the role of AI in society and this will be reported in "The Shape of Thought" (McGill Press, forthcoming).

Between 2017 and 2022 he was Co-Director of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster. Before that he led research groups at Microsoft Research and Xerox Euro-Parxc, both in Cambridge. He has founded various start-ups and consulting companies.

Throughout his career he has learnt that the best innovation comes from interdisciplinary thinking. This is key to his teaching and research at Lancaster where is director of the Leverhulme Trust Centre for Material Social Futures.

He is a Fellow of the IET and of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2014, the ACM elected him Fellow of its Academy in honour of leadership in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. More recent awards have included IISI-EUSSET Lifetime Acheivement Awards for Contributions to CSCW (2022). He is a Visiting Professor in the College of Science at the University of Swansea, Wales and is currently a Digital Futures Scholar in Residence at KTH, Stockholme.