Tommy Dylan

Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow

I have a background in product design and an interest in designing physical-digital objects with and for people in varying community contexts. I believe that hands-on making with physical and digital materials, and involving people in this process, can lead to a more nuanced understanding of how we might design for meaningful everyday interactions. My practice-based research has involved working across varying contexts of care for older people, including those living with dementia. The aim throughout was to understand how physical-digital interactions with media from the internet, might provide opportunities for ‘meaningful moments’ as part of everyday experiences in care, between residents as well as carers, and in opposition to scheduled and directed activities, which are overemphasised in existing research in design and HCI. I was also a post-doctoral researcher on the EPSRC funded Playing Out with IoT project, which was a response to a decline in children’s free play outdoors. During this project, we explored with children in a local community centre, how their interest in making with digital tool-kits could be translated into novel kinds of free play, that might subsequently entice more children outdoors to play together. Aside from this practice-based research, I also have an interest in understanding how we might visually disseminate Research through Design in a manner that is accessible and of value to both research and practice.

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Forsyth, A. and Dylan, T. 2020. Designing a Radio-Tuner-Thing; Transparency as Metaphor for our Experience of Objects and Things. In Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS’ 20 Companion)


Dylan, T., Wood, G., Durrant, A., Vines, J., Torres, P., Ulrich, P., Cukurova, M., Carr, A., Çerçi, S., and Lawson, S.. 2020. Designing IoT Resources to Support Outdoor Play for Children. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–12.


Wood, G., Dylan, T., Durrant, A., Torres, P., Ulrich, P., Carr, A., Cukurova, M., Downey, D., McGarth, P., Balaam, M., Ferguson, A., Vines, J., and Lawson, S. 2019. Designing for Digital Playing Out. In: Proceedings of ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’19), In Press.

Dylan, T., Durrant, A., Wood, G., Çerçi, S., Downey, D., Scott, J., Vines, J., and Lawson, S.. 2019. Play Poles: Towards IoT Resources for Outdoor Play. In Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1293–1305.


Encinas, E., Dylan, T., Mitchell, R. 2017. What’s the matter with[in] Design Fiction?.  In Proceedings of the 2017 Research through Design Conference (RtD’17).  Edinburgh, UK.