Chris Elsden

Visiting Researcher

Chris Elsden is a visiting researcher at CoCreate, having worked on the EPSRC-funded OxChain project, where he led user-centred and speculative co-design activities with research partners to explore the future of philanthropy and international development with the emergence of blockchain technologies. Chris is an interaction design researcher, with a background in sociology, and expertise in the human experience of a data-driven life. Using and developing innovative design research methods, his work undertakes diverse, qualitative and often speculative engagements with participants to investigate emerging relationships with technology – particularly data-driven tools and blockchain technologies. In so doing, he hopes to reveal the many nuanced relationships people and organisations have with digital technology in their everyday lives, and use these insights to identify new and future opportunities for design. He now holds a post-doctoral research position in the Design Informatics group at the University of Edinburgh.

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Chris Elsden, Inte Gloerich, Anne Spaa, John Vines, and Martijn de Waal. 2019. Making the blockchain civic. Interactions 26, 2 (February 2019), 60-65. DOI:


Chris Elsden, Ludwig Trotter, Mike Harding, Nigel Davies, Chris Speed, John Vines. Programmable Donations: Exploring Escrow-based Conditional Giving. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings (CHI 2019), May 4–9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland UK. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 13 pages. https: // 


Chris Elsden, Tom Feltwell, Shaun Lawson and John Vines. 2019. Recipes for Programmable Money. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings (CHI 2019), May 4–9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland UK. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 13 pages. https: //




Ella Tallyn, Larissa Pschetz, Rory Gianni, Chris Speed, and Chris Elsden. 2018. Exploring Machine Autonomy and Provenance Data in Coffee Consumption: A Field Study of Bitbarista. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 2, CSCW, Article 170 (November 2018), 25 pages. DOI: [Open Access]


Raluca Bunduchi, Chris Elsden, Kate Symons, Chris Speed. Adding value with blockchain: an explorative study in the charity retail sector. In Proc. ISPIM Innovation Conference.


Chris Elsden, Arthi Manohar, Jo Briggs, Mike Harding, Chris Speed, and John Vines. 2018. Making Sense of Blockchain Applications: A Typology for HCI. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper 458, 14 pages. DOI: [Open Access]


Chris Elsden, Bettina Nissen, Karim Jabbar, Reem Talhouk, Caitlin Lustig, Paul Dunphy, Chris Speed, John Vines. HCI for Blockchain: Studying, Critiquing, Designing and Envisioning Distributed Ledger Technologies. (CHI EA’18), (forthcoming). ACM.




Chris Elsden, John Vines. Speculative Approaches to Understanding DAOs. In Proc. DIS 2017 Workshop on New Value Transactions – Understanding and Designing for Distributed Autonomous Organisations. (pdf)


Chris Elsden, Abigail C. Durrant, David Chatting, David S. Kirk. Designing Documentary Informatics. In Proc. Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS ’17). ACM, 649-661. DOI:, ACM. (pre-print PDF)


Chris Elsden, David Chatting, Abigail C. Durrant, Andy Garbett, Bettina Nissen, John Vines, David S. Kirk. On Speculative Enactments. In Proc. CHI 2017 (5386-5399), ACM. (HONOURABLE MENTION, top 5% of papers)


Chris Elsden, Aisling O’Kane, Paul Marshall, Abigail Durrant, Rowanne Fleck, John Rooksby, and Deborah Lupton. 2017. Quantified Data & Social Relationships. In Proc. CHI 2017 Extended Abstracts (644-651), ACM. DOI: (pdf)


David Chatting, David S. Kirk, Abigail C. Durrant, Chris Elsden, Paulina Yurman, and Jo-Anne Bichard. 2017. Making Ritual Machines: The Mobile Phone as a Networked Material for Research Products. In Proc. CHI 2017 (435-447), ACM. DOI:


Abigail Durrant, David Kirk, Diego Trujillo Pisanty, Wendy Moncur, Kathryn Orzech, Tom Schofield, Chris Elsden, David Chatting, and Andrew Monk. 2017. Transitions in Digital Personhood: Online Activity in Early Retirement. In Proc. CHI 2017 (6398-6411), ACM. DOI:


Chris Elsden, Abigail Durrant, David Chatting, David Green, David S. Kirk. Abacus Datagraphy: A Speculative Enactment. In Proc. 3rd Biennial Research Through Design (RTD) Conference. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.4746961.