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Prof Mina Vasalou
UCL Knowledge Lab
26 Emerald Street
Prof Mina Vasalou profile picture
  • Professor of Interaction Design
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education

I am a professor of Interaction Design based at the UCL Knowledge Lab. Design involves the assemblage of different perspectives, and therefore I have been fortunate to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams involving sociology, psychology, learning sciences, computer science and others. This is also reflected in my professional experience. My PhD was at Imperial College at the Intelligent Systems and Networks group (with Prof. Jeremy Pitt) followed by a post-doctoral position at the School of Management at the University of Bath (with Prof. Adam Joinson). I held a tenured senior fellowship at the HCI centre at the University Birmingham before coming to the UCL Knowledge Lab in 2013. My research has been funded by a mix of EU, UKRI and industry/consultancy funding. Since 2020, I have been co-head of research in my department a role I share with Prof. Andrea Revesz. 

Research Groups
Research Summary

My research seeks to inform the design and use of new digital technologies for learning and communication. For more than ten years, this work has predominantly focused on a range of sensitive groups/contexts, e.g., young children, people with disabilities, social housing tenants. I conduct field studies to understand the impact of digital technologies in everyday life, and I also perform design-oriented research using creative methods toward creating new digital artefacts. I have extensive methodological expertise in these areas and my team have devised new methods for research and design reflecting the diverse aims of our work, e.g., methods to involve disabled children in design processes, methods to trigger reflections on smart technologies in the home. The contributions of this work are generative understandings that inform how digital technology is designed and used. For example:

- Recommendations for designing and using games to support children’s game-based literacy learning in the classroom

- Design opportunities that account for the social, material and lived experience of disability in a move away from medical lenses

- Demonstrating the social practices and values underpinning privacy/security, particularly in domestic and sensitive contexts, to offer guidance on design that considers these concerns

I am in a transition period moving my research toward material interaction design and sustainability. I welcome discussions from prospective students and collaborators on these topics. 

Teaching Summary

I teach and supervise on the MA Programme in Education and Technology at the Department of Culture, Communication and Media. I am Module lead on ‘Digital Design Thinking and Making’ which is a practice-based optional module. I co-teach the module with Dr Andrea Gauthier and Stephen Elms (PGTA). I also supervise PhD projects on selective topics related to my research expertise.

2021 Professor Culture, Communication and Media UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom
2015 Associate Professor Culture, Communication and Media UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom
2013 – 2015 Lecturer Culture, Communication and Media Institute of Education, United Kingdom
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