Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Expanding Aesthetics

Dog and human play with ball

My article Expanding Aesthetics, about expanding traditional aesthetic dimensions of design to encompass other species' sensory modalities, has been published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, part of research topic - Animal Computer Interaction and Beyond: The Benefits of Animal-Centred Research and Design, eds. Clara Mancini and Eleonora Nannoni.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Between Animal/Tech/Human


Rosie McGoldrick and I were invited to speak at a London Met Lab "Finding Ecologies" event - a public conversation discussing where our respective disciplines (Art and Interaction Design) meet and overlap.  It was an interesting discussion, chaired by Trevor Norris and Anna Kim, and introduced by Sian Moxon who has been organising this series of talks.

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Visiting Valli and Lakshmi


Valli and Lakshmi with new wall feeding device
Over to Carmarthen this weekend to visit the ashram at Skanda Vale and chat about elephants... It was lovely to see Brothers Stefan, Peter and Simon again, as well as Valli and Lakshmi.  Everyone has their own ideas about potentially interesting enrichment items and we had some good discussions.

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Visiting Mondy

Visiting Mondy at Blair Drummond, Dec 2022

Met up with Ilyena in Stirling on Monday morning to visit Blair Drummond Safari Park and see Mondy and her keepers... We chatted to Susie and Alex about some enrichment concepts, did a quick survey of the indoor enclosure, then sat and discussed ideas until Ilyena's feet froze into her socks.

Mondy loves wandering outside whenever she likes, but Scottish winters can be pretty chilly for an elephant, so the Large Mammal team are thinking of different ways to enrich her indoor space to make it more enticing during the cold spells.

Mondy wandering outside in Scottish winter

Wednesday, 17 November 2021



First Londonmet ElephantJam on Tuesday, with BSc Games Programming and BSc Games Animation Modelling & Effects students working together to come up with designs for some captive elephant toys and games... The prototype elephants clearly wanted to join in the fun, which involved treasure-hunting, nosework, fiendishly difficult mazes, tantalising puzzles and the chance to shoot as many visitors as possible...
We're sharing the designs with colleagues at Skanda Vale and Blair Drummond Safari Park, to see what can be adapted and made into real enrichment experiences for proboscidean friends.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Animal-Computer Interaction 2021

Enjoyed this year's ACI conference, held virtually at Indiana University Bloomington!

screenshots from gathertown and miro
Screenshots from Reptile Archipelago in Gathertown and ReptileJam design board in Miro.

ReptileJam was a great success on Monday, with participants focusing on tortoises, ambush snakes and iguanas in the afternoon session (Indy Zoo time). All the videos outputs are live and available from the website, and it looks as if we'll be running some more workshops to take concepts to a development stage!

Briefs for iguanas and ambush snakes.

On Tuesday, I attended the Digital Technologies in Nature workshop ( which involved some great discussions and really interesting presentations.

The rest of the conference was awesome, as usual, with Indy Zoo colleague and ReptileJam organiser Chris Martin giving us a wonderful talk about primate cognition on Thursday morning.

Friday, 3 September 2021

ReptileJam 2021


I'm running another ZooJam workshop at this year's ACI conference, with Leah Williams, Lead Conservation Scientist at Chester Zoo (met through the ASAB workshop earlier in year), Jon Coe (Australian enrichment and habitat designer), his colleague Eduardo Fernandez from the School of Animal and Vet Sciences at University of Adelaide, and two members of the Indy Zoo community - Lewis Single, Deserts Area Manager, and Chris Martin, Research Scientist.

Our website is here:

The workshop focuses on reptiles and will explore what kinds of enrichment are appropriate for meeting key behavioural goals. Bringing together knowledge and skills from the animal expert, computer science and interaction design communities, we hope to co-create some novel experiences for these animals, using technology as an enabler.

Here's where to register if you'd like to take part: