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portrait of Dr Alex Taylor

Dr Alex Taylor

Reader in Human Computer Interaction

School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering, Department of Computer Science

Contact Information


Visit Alex Taylor

A207, College Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Alex Taylor is a sociologist working in the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design. Showing a broad fasciation for the entanglements between social life and machines, his research ranges from empirical studies of technology in everyday life to speculative design interventions—both large and small scale. Across these realms, he draws on a feminist technoscience to ask questions about the co-constitutive roles human-machine composites play in forms of knowing and being, and how they might open up possibilities for fundamental transformations in society. Most recently, he’s begun to wonder about the abilities of humans and non-humans, together, and to speculate on hybrid compositions that enlarge capacity and offer the chance of something different-than, something more-than.

Memberships of professional organisations

  1. Fellow, RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), Sep 2012 – present


  1. Taylor, A. (2016). Data, (bio)sensing, and (other-)worldly stories from the cycle routes of London. Quantified: Biosensing Technologies in Everyday Life (pp. 189–209). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-33454-9.
  2. Comber, R., Nissen, B. and Wright, P. (2016). Re-making places: HCI, 'community building' and change.
  3. Lingel, J. (2015). Data-in-place: Thinking through the relations between data and community.
  4. (2011). Out there.
  5. (2009). Machine intelligence.
  6. (2007). Locating family values: A field trial of the whereabouts clock.
  7. (2005). Artful systems in the home.
  8. Taylor, A.S. (2017). What lines, rats, and sheep can tell us. Design Issues, 33(3), pp. 25–36. doi:10.1162/DESI_a_00449.
  9. Lindley, S.E., Thieme, A., Taylor, A.S., Vlachokyriakos, V., Regan, T. and Sweeney, D. (2017). Surfacing Small Worlds through Data-In-Place. Computer Supported Cooperative Work: CSCW: An International Journal, 26(1-2), pp. 135–163. doi:10.1007/s10606-017-9263-3.
  10. (2015). After interaction. Interactions, 22(5), pp. 48–53. doi:10.1145/2809888.
  11. (2012). Binding and aging. Journal of Material Culture, 17(4), pp. 405–424. doi:10.1177/1359183512459630.
  12. (2008). Making place for clutter and other ideas of home. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 15(2). doi:10.1145/1375761.1375764.
  13. Perry, M., Pica, D., Sormani, P., Strebel, I., Swan, L., Taylor, A. … Weilenmann, A. (2008). Driving and 'passengering': Notes on the ordinary organization of car travel. Mobilities, 3(1), pp. 1–23. doi:10.1080/17450100701797273.
  14. (2003). The gift of the gab?: A design oriented sociology of young people's use of mobiles. Computer Supported Cooperative Work: CSCW: An International Journal, 12(3), pp. 267–296. doi:10.1023/A:1025091532662.


  1. Harper, R., Palen, L. and Taylor, A. (2005). The Inside Text Social, Cultural and Design Perspectives on SMS. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-1-4020-3059-8.

Chapters (6)

  1. Taylor, A., Jain, A. and Swan, L. (2010). New Companions. Close Engagements with Artificial Companions (pp. 107–120). John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN 978-90-272-4994-4.
  2. Taylor, A. (2009). Ethnography in Ubiquitous Computing. In Krumm, J. (Ed.), Ubiquitous Computing Fundamentals (pp. 203–236). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4200-9360-5.
  3. Harper, R., Taylor, A. and Molloy, M. (2008). Intelligent Artefacts at Home in the 21st Century. Material Agency (pp. 97–119). Springer US. ISBN 978-0-387-74710-1.
  4. Taylor, A. and Vincent, J. (2005). A SMS History. Mobile World: Past, Present and Future (pp. 75–91). Springer. ISBN 978-1-85233-825-1.
  5. Taylor, A. and Harper, R. Switching On to Switch Off. Inside the Smart Home (pp. 115–126). Springer-Verlag. ISBN 1-85233-688-9.
  6. Taylor, A. Phone Talk. Mobile Communications (pp. 149–166). Springer-Verlag. ISBN 1-85233-931-4.

Conference papers and proceedings (41)

  1. Schlesinger, A., O Hara, K.P. and Taylor, A.S. (2018). Lets Talk about Race: Identity, Chatbots, and AI. CHI ’18 21-26 April, Montreal, Canada.
  2. Cutrell, E. and Taylor, A.S. (2018). "I can do everything but see!" - How people with vision impairments negotiate their abilities in social contexts.
  3. Reeves, S., Porcheron, M., Fischer, J.E., Candello, H., McMillan, D., McGregor, M. … Zouinar, M. (2018). Voice-based conversational ux studies and design.
  4. Morrison, C., Cutrell, E., Dhareshwar, A., Doherty, K., Thieme, A. and Taylor, A. (2017). Imagining artificial intelligence applications with people with visual disabilities using tactile ideation.
  5. (2015). Designing engaging data in communities.
  6. (2013). 'Eyes free' in-car assistance: Parent and child passenger collaboration during phone calls.
  7. (2013). Imaging the body: Embodied vision in minimally invasive surgery.
  8. Benque, D. (2013). At the interface of biology and computation.
  9. (2012). BMA: Visual tool for modeling and analyzing biological networks.
  10. (2012). At the seams: DIYbio and opportunities for HCI.
  11. Hirsch, T. (2012). (DIY)biology and opportunities for HCI.
  12. (2011). Mechanical hijacking: How robots can accelerate UbiComp deployments.
  13. (2011). Meerkat and tuba: Design alternatives for randomness, surprise and serendipity in reminiscing.
  14. Lundén, M. (2011). Inspirational bits: Towards a shared understanding of the digital material.
  15. (2011). Antiquarian answers: Book restoration as a resource for design.
  16. Helmes, J., Taylor, A.S., Cao, X., Höök, K., Schmitt, P. and Villar, N. (2011). Rudiments 1, 2 & 3: Design speculations on autonomy.
  17. (2011). Sketching in software and hardware Bluetooth as a design material.
  18. Swan, L., Tanase, D. and Taylor, A.S. (2010). Design's processional character.
  19. Greenberg, S. (2010). Rethinking RFID: Awareness and control for interaction with RFID systems.
  20. (2010). Visible and controllable RFID tags.
  21. (2010). Light bodies: Exploring interactions with responsive lights.
  22. (2009). Photo displays and intergenerational relationships in the family home.
  23. (2008). Photo displays in the home.
  24. Swan, L. (2008). Speculative devices for photo display.
  25. (2008). Night and darkness: Interaction after dark.
  26. (2008). Collocated social practices surrounding photos.
  27. (2008). Where third wave HCI meets HRI: Report from a workshop on user-centred design of robots.
  28. (2008). Pottering by design.
  29. (2008). Entrigue: Re-picturing the home.
  30. (2007). Containing family clutter.
  31. (2007). Designing family photo displays.
  32. (2007). Pottering: A design-oriented investigation.
  33. Brown, B., Taylor, A.S., Izadi, S., Sellen, A., Kaye, J.J. and Eardley, R. (2007). Locating family values: A field trial of the whereabouts clock - (Nominated for the best paper award).
  34. Wood, K.R. (2006). HomeNote: Supporting situated messaging in the home.
  35. (2006). Affective diary - Designing for bodily expressiveness and self-reflection.
  36. Eardley, R., Sellen, A., Hodges, S. and Wood, K. (2006). Augmenting refrigerator magnets: Why less is sometimes more.
  37. (2005). Notes on fridge surfaces.
  38. Brush, A.J., Palen, L., Swan, L. and Taylor, A.S. (2005). Designs for home life.
  39. Taylor, A.S. and Swan, L. (2004). List making in the home.
  40. (2003). Mobile phones for the next generation: Device designs for teenagers.
  41. Taylor, A.S. and Harper, R. (2002). Age-old practices in the 'New World': A study of gift-giving between teenage mobile phone users.

Journal articles (14)

  1. Taylor, A. and Rosner, D. (2017). Alex S. Taylor and Daniela K. Rosner. interactions, 24(6), pp. 12–13. doi:10.1145/3145630.
  2. Chuang, R., Hall, B.A., Benque, D., Cook, B., Ishtiaq, S., Piterman, N. … Fisher, J. (2015). Drug target optimization in chronic myeloid leukemia using innovative computational platform. Scientific Reports, 5, p. 8190. doi:10.1038/srep08190.
  3. (2013). On the naturalness of touchless: Putting the "interaction" back into NUI. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 20(1). doi:10.1145/2442106.2442111.
  4. (2009). Collocated social practices surrounding photos. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 67(12), pp. 995–1004. doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2009.08.004.
  5. (2009). The family and communication technologies. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 67(2), pp. 125–127. doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2008.08.007.
  6. (2009). Resilience in the face of innovation: Household trials with BubbleBoard. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 67(2), pp. 154–164. doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2008.07.008.
  7. (2009). Experiencing the affective diary. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 13(5), pp. 365–378. doi:10.1007/s00779-008-0202-7.
  8. (2007). Homes that make us smart. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 11(5), pp. 383–393. doi:10.1007/s00779-006-0076-5.
  9. (2002). MUDs and their potential contribution to tourism. Anatolia, 13(2), pp. 198–212.
  10. (2002). I am not afraid to be gay when im on the net’: Minimising social risk for lesbian and gay consumers when using the internet. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 11(2-3), pp. 127–142. doi:10.1300/J073v11n02_07.
  11. (2002). Understanding the materiality of writing from multiple sources. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 56(3), pp. 269–305. doi:10.1006/ijhc.2001.0525.
  12. Dance, C.R. and Taylor, S.A. (2000). Performance targets, models and innovation in interactive system design. Proceedings of the Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods, and Techniques, DIS pp. 381–387.
  13. (1999). Advances in interactive video scanning of paper documents. IEE Colloquium (Digest), (41).
  14. Taylor, M. and Aldhous, T. (1999). CamWorks: a video-based tool for efficient capture from paper source documents. International Conference on Multimedia Computing and Systems -Proceedings, 2, pp. 647–653.