- Chopra, S., Vasiliou, C., Clear, A.K., Clarke, R., Heitlinger, S. and Dilaver, Ö. (2023). Bottom-up visions for future of food growing in cities. International Journal of Food Design. doi:10.1386/ijfd_00059_1.
- Nichols, P. and Heitlinger, S. (2022). Farm lab. Interactions, 29(1), pp. 16–19. doi:10.1145/3505275.
- Clarke, R., Heitlinger, S., Light, A., Forlano, L., Foth, M. and DiSalvo, C. (2019). More-than-human participation. Interactions, 26(3), pp. 60–63. doi:10.1145/3319075.
- Heitlinger, S. and Bryan-Kinns, N. (2013). Understanding performative behaviour within content-rich Digital Live Art. Digital Creativity, 24(2), pp. 111–118. doi:10.1080/14626268.2013.808962.
- Heitlinger, S. (2010). Privileged Tactics. Wasafiri, 25(3), pp. 69–75. doi:10.1080/02690055.2010.486265.
London EC1V 0HB
I am a leading researcher in more-than-human smart cities and sustainable human-computer interaction (HCI). My research is grounded in participatory design, and I use creative practice to engage with communities who are not typically involved in the design of emerging technologies. I have pioneered novel methods for co-envisaging urban futures with diverse participants, including multispecies live action roleplay. I am motivated to find new approaches that help HCI move beyond authoritarian, top-down, and efficiency-based solutions to the problem of urban sustainability, and move towards more just and inclusive nature-based solutions, with the help of digital technologies such as AI, blockchain, networked sensors and data visualisation.
I have recently been awarded Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and promoted to Senior Lecturer. I am currently Programme Co-Director on the MSc in Human Computer Interaction Design.
I am PI on the recently-funded projects:
• More-than-Human Smart Urban Decision Making in Water Policy, funded by Research England. A project exploring creative practice and the development of new methods and prototypes for engaging with multispecies stakeholders in water policymaking, as a way to address current crises in UK waterways. I led this collaboration that included researchers from UCL, Anglia Ruskin University, and in collaboration with Defra Futures (Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs). A film about the project can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/829333234
• More-than-Human Data Interactions in the Smart City, a project funded through an EPSRC Human Data Interaction Network Plus Grant. I led this project that included researchers from Goldsmiths University, Newcastle University, London School of Economics, and Warwick University, as well as 2 small NGOs. The project explored ways data could be collected, repurposed and interacted with to support diverse forms of life and enrich the ways that different species live together in the city. A project website can be viewed at: https://mothcities.uk/
• Algorithmic Food Justice, a project exploring how new algorithmic technologies such as blockchain could be used to create a fairer and more sustainable food system. I led this project funded through an EPSRC Not-Equal Network Plus grant. This project pioneered the novel research method of multispecies live action roleplay (LARP) to explore co-designing urban futures blockchain for a more just and sustainable food commons. The project website can be viewed at: https://algorithmicfoodjustice.net/
• I was also Named Researcher Co-I on Connected Seeds and Sensors, an 18-month EPSRC-funded project through the Internet of Things- Research in the Wild call, for a project exploring networked sensing and data visualisation for more sustainable urban food production and consumption. I effectively led this research, which grew out of my PhD. For this project I won a Community Collaboration Award for Research at Queen Mary University of London in 2017. A film I commissioned about the research toured in selected international film festivals: https://www.connectedseeds.org/connected-seeds-film
• Total grant capture as PI = £118,142
I have published extensively on the topic of sustainable HCI, more-than-human perspectives, and smart cities, including an honourable mention award paper at CHI. I am co-editing the first interdisciplinary book on more-than-human smart cities, spanning fields including computer science, urban planning, architecture, design, and geography (Oxford University Press, in press).
Prior to coming to City, I was part of the Digital Local Democracy research strand in the Global Urban Research Centre at Newcastle University, where I investigated new methods for increasing citizen participation in democratic processes through co-designing “smart” urban food futures. And prior to this I had a successful, award-winning career as a socially-engaged artist, designer and writer.
All my work is collaborative, and I am always keen to make new collaborative links. Public engagement and impact is core to my research.
- Fellowship FHEA, AdvanceHE, Jun 2023
- PhD in Media and Arts Technology, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
- MA in Creative Writing, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
- BSc in Computer Science, Hebrew University, Israel
- Programme Co-Director MSc in HCID, City, University of London, Sep 2022 – present
- Lecturer in Computer Science, City, University of London, Jan 2019 – present
- Postdoctoral Research Associate, Newcastle University, Apr 2017 – Jan 2019
- Researcher Co-Investigator, Queen Mary University of London, Oct 2015 – Mar 2017
- Fellow (FHEA), Advance HE, Jun 2023 – present
- Queen Mary University of London (2017) Community Collaboration Award for Research
An award to recognise the people and projects at QMUL that work with the community to mutual benefit
- UNESCO (2007) UNESCO Digital Arts Award
- Srravya Chandhiramowuli, Research Student
Attendance: Oct 2021 – present
Thesis title: Community wealth building through digital tools for collaborative funding
Attendance: Oct 2021 – present
Thesis title: Making datasets, making scale: Tracing global flows in data annotation for AI
Thesis title: AI for People with Visual Impairments: Exploring Design Methods for Interdependence
- Heitlinger, S., Bryan-Kinns, N. and Comber, R. (2019). The Right to the Sustainable Smart City. CHI '19: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. doi:10.1145/3290605.3300517
Publications by category
- Houston, L., Heitlinger, S., Catlow, R. and Taylor, A. (2023). Algorithmic food justice. In Papadopoulos, D., Puig de la Bellacasa, M. and Tacchetti, M. (Eds.), Ecological Reparation – Repair, Remediation and Resurgence in Social and Environmental Conflict Bristol University Press. ISBN 978-1-5292-1605-9.
- Heitlinger, S., Houston, L. and Taylor, A. (2022). Nature 3.0 Blockchain for extraction or care? In Catlow, R. and Rafferty, P. (Eds.), Radical Friends: Decentralised Autonomous Organisations and the Arts Torque Editions. ISBN 978-0-9932487-7-1.
- Heitlinger, S., Houston, L., Choi, J.H.-.J., Taylor, A. and Catlow, R. (2022). More-than-human computer interaction for urban food governance. In Moragues-Faus, A., Clark, J.K., Battersby, J. and Davies, A. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Urban Food Governance Routledge. ISBN 978-0-367-51800-4.
Conference papers and proceedings (13)
- Chopra, S., Clarke, R.E., Clear, A.K., Heitlinger, S., Dilaver, O. and Vasiliou, C. (2022). Negotiating sustainable futures in communities through participatory speculative design and experiments in living. CHI '22: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. doi:10.1145/3491102.3501929
- Chopra, S., Clarke, R., Crivellaro, C., Clear, A., Heitlinger, S. and Dilaver, O. (2022). Infrastructuring ecological sustainability through multi-scalar speculations. PDC 2022: Participatory Design Conference 2022. doi:10.1145/3536169.3537776
- Heitlinger, S., Houston, L., Taylor, A. and Catlow, R. (2021). Algorithmic Food Justice: Co-Designing More-than-Human Blockchain Futures for the Food Commons. CHI '21: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. doi:10.1145/3411764.3445655
- Dolejšová, M., van Gaalen, S., Wilde, D., Raven, P.G., Heitlinger, S. and Light, A. (2020). Designing with More-than-Human Food Practices for Climate-Resilience. DIS '20: Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2020. doi:10.1145/3393914.3395909
- Heitlinger, S., Clarke, R., Clear, A.K., Chopra, S. and Dilaver, Ö. (2019). Co-creating “smart” sustainable food futures with urban food growers. doi:10.1145/3328320.3328399
- Heitlinger, S., Bryan-Kinns, N. and Comber, R. (2018). Connected seeds and sensors: Co-designing internet of things for sustainable smart cities with urban food-growing communities. doi:10.1145/3210604.3210620
- Heitlinger, S., Foth, M., Clarke, R., DiSalvo, C., Light, A. and Forlano, L. (2018). Avoiding ecocidal smart cities. PDC '18: Participatory Design Conference 2018. doi:10.1145/3210604.3210619
- Clarke, R., Heitlinger, S., Foth, M., DiSalvo, C., Light, A. and Forlano, L. (2018). More-than-human urban futures. PDC '18: Participatory Design Conference 2018. doi:10.1145/3210604.3210641
- Clarke, R.E., Briggs, J., Light, A., Heitlinger, S. and Crivellaro, C. (2014). Socially engaged arts practice in HCI. CHI '14: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. doi:10.1145/2559206.2559227
- Heitlinger, S., Bryan-Kinns, N. and Jefferies, J. (2014). The talking plants. CHI '14: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. doi:10.1145/2559206.2574792
- Heitlinger, S., Bryan-Kinns, N. and Jefferies, J. (2013). Sustainable HCI for grassroots urban food-growing communities. OzCHI '13: Augmentation, Application, Innovation, Collaboration. doi:10.1145/2541016.2541023
- Heitlinger, S., Bryan-Kinns, N. and Jefferies, J. (2013). UbiComp for grassroots urban food-growing communities. UbiComp '13: The 2013 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing. doi:10.1145/2494091.2497617
- Heitlinger, S., Bryan-Kinns, N., Stockman, T., O'Flanagan, O. and Couzyn, T. (2012). The Talking Quilt - Augmenting domestic objects for communal meaning-making.
- Clarke, R., Heitlinger, S., Foth, M., DiSalvo, C., Light, A. and Forlano, L. (2018). More-than-Human Urban Futures: Speculative Participatory Design to Avoid Ecocidal Smart Cities. 22 Aug 2018 – 2 Dec 2018, Z33 House for Contemporary Art.
- Heitlinger, S. (2017). Connected Seeds. 31 Jan 2017 – 12 Feb 2017, Rich Mix Cultural Foundation.
Journal articles (5)
- Heitlinger, S., Taylor, A., Clarke, R., Powell, A., Gaver, B., Boucher, A. … Doney, E. (2022). More-than-human data interactions in the city. London, UK.
Collaborations (academic) (3)
- Panel assessor for ESRC CONACYT Newton call for collaborative research: Smart Cities in Mexico, 2018.
- Board member, Spitalfields City Farm, London.