I am Associate Professor of Design Research at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA) and a member of the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University. 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.

My research focus is on the experiential aspects of our shared surroundings, including the built environment and the digital world. I have published 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 seven books, most recently Atmospheres in the Experiential World: Theory and Methods (2018) (co-authored with Sarah Pink). 

A main focus in 2019 is developing an ongoing stream of research investigating how people encounter and make sense of light and lighting design in urban environments, with pilot projects in my home city of Melbourne. I am also completing a collaborative international and interdisciplinary research project on how people experienced commemorative sites and events at the end of the 2018 First World War centenary. I am extending this to focus on the experiential aspects of commemorative responses to terrorist attacks in urban public settings, across both the spatial and digital realms. A third area is concerned with healthcare environments, and how their design can contribute to forms of wellbeing. 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.