Dr Shanti Sumartojo is a Senior Research Fellow and Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University and a core member of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre. She has a PhD in Sociology from the Australian National University, an MSc from the University of Edinburgh and a BA from Carleton College. She has 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). In 2016 she was an Aix-Marseille Université Fondation Visiting Fellow.
Shanti has 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. She is 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).
Currently, her main focus is ongoing research on how people experience commemorative sites and events in the context of the First World War centenary, but also in response to terrorist attacks in urban public settings. Another 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. 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.