Dr Monica Degen, Principal Investigator

Dr Monica Degen is a Reader in Cultural Sociology in the Political and Social Sciences Department at Brunel University London. Her research focuses on the politics of space with a particular interest in the ways sensory, temporal and emotional dimensions underpin urban culture and politics. She has been the Principal Investigator on several funded projects related to these themes, more recently www.sensorycities.com funded by the AHRC which brought together diverse urban professionals, museum curators and academics in a series of workshops across Europe to discuss how to research, represent and curate sensory experience; and a British Academy Fellowship to research ‘Timescapes of Urban Change’ (www.sensescitiescultures.com) where she explored how different perceptions of time converge or conflict in urban regeneration processes to produce a particular sense of place.


Dr Camilla Lewis, Research Fellow

Camilla Lewis is a Research Fellow at Brunel University London and the University of Manchester. Her research centres around the themes of urban change, inequalities, belonging and community with a strong methodological focus, spanning a variety of ethnographic, qualitative as well as longitudinal approaches. She has contributed to theorising on material culture and social inequalities and the impact these have on processes of urban regeneration. She has published widely in sociology and urban studies journals as well as having edited the book ‘Realising the City: Urban Ethnography in Manchester’ (with Jessica Symon, 2018).


Prof. Astrid Swenson, Co-Investigator

Astrid Swenson is Professor of History at Bath Spa University, having previously taught at the University of Cambridge and Brunel University London. Astrid’s research focuses on the history of heritage and museums in Britain and Europe since the late eighteenth century in global perspective. Her publications include The Rise of Heritage in France, Germany and England, 1789-1914 (2013), From Plunder to Preservation: Britain and the Heritage of Empire (ed. with Peter Mandler, 2013) and Art Looting and Resttution in the 20th Century (2017). Between 2015-2017 she directed the AHRC Sensory Cities network with Monica Degen.


Isobel Ward, Co-Investigator

Isobel is a PhD candidate at King’s College London in Human Geography, funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP). Her research explores the changing cultural politics of ‘home’ in London, particularly where the concept is threatened through processes of urban renewal or forced mobility. She is using her research as a lens through which to explore inequalities and the right to the city. Her previous ethnographic research focused on the fluidity of home on London’s waterways. She has worked in the architecture profession both in the UK and abroad, and brings an interest in the built environment, as well as design and photography practice to her projects.


Manuela Barz, Digital Artist

Manuela holds an MA in Architecture and an MA in Digital Art. She worked and works as freelance digital designer and lecturer and is finishing her studies for a Phd "Creative Space - Creating Space: Digital Technology in a Women's Prison". Her research concentrates on the design of educational space in a prison for female offenders, the network of actors (digital and non-digital) that shape and pre-format social interactions, but also the processes leading to women's engagement with education. Additionally, Manuela is interested in the intersections and interrelations of physical and virtual (urban) space, research visualisations, and user research for digital artefacts and spaces.