I am Associate Professor of Design Research at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA) at Monash University and a member of the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash. I have a PhD in Sociology from the Australian National University, an MSc from the University of Edinburgh and a BA from Carleton College. I have held postdoctoral research fellowships in the Department of Sociology at ANU (2011-2013) and in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT (2013-2015), and a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship at RMIT University (2017-2018). In 2016 I was an Aix-Marseille Université Fondation Visiting Fellow.

I have published research in several areas: public memorials and commemoration; spatial experience understood through the conceptual frame of ‘atmosphere’; how data helps shape our experience of our surroundings; and art in public space, including collaborating on performance and installation artworks. I am an author or editor of six books, most recently Commemorating Race and Empire in the Great War Centenary (2017) (co-edited with Ben Wellings) and Atmospheres in the Experiential World: Theory and Methods (2018) (co-authored with Sarah Pink). 

A main focus in 2019 is completing an international and interdisciplinary research project on how people experienced commemorative sites and events at the end of the First World War centenary. I have also extended this focus on the experiential to explore commemorative responses to terrorist attacks in urban public settings, in both the spatial and digital realms. Another ongoing stream of research investigates how people encounter and make sense of designed environments, with a focus on instances of urban spatial transformation - these projects are chiefly located in her home city of Melbourne. A third area is concerned with healthcare environments, and how their design can contribute to forms of wellbeing, particularly in public hospitals. All three areas are linked by methodologies that include sensory and design ethnography, and research projects are often funded by and conducted in collaboration with external industry partners.

The Publications and Projects pages have more details, including publicly available reports. My contact email is shanti.sumartojo@monash.edu.