Sarah PinkLab Leader - Data Ethnographies

Sarah Pink is a Distinguished Professor of Design and Media Ethnography at RMIT University and from 2016 -2017 DERC’s Director. Sarah’s approach brings together digital ethnography and design to engage with contemporary issues and challenges through a dialogue between applied and academic research and practice. She works with academic and industry research partners internationally and has collaborated across different fields including design, engineering and arts and documentary practice. Her core research expertise is in: digital technologies in everyday life; environmental sustainability; consumer improvisation; safety; and human experience and perception. Sarah is also an international leader in innovative digital, visual and sensory research and dissemination methodologies.

Recent methodological books include Digital Ethnography: principles and practice (2016), Doing Sensory Ethnography (2015), and Doing Visual Ethnography (2013). Public dissemination projects include the Energy and Digital Living web site (2014) and co-authored Un/Certainty iBook. New books for include Future Anthropologies (2017), Making Homes (2017) and Theoretical Scholarship and Applied Practice (2017).

In 2016-17 Sarah is a Knowledge Foundation funded Visiting Professor at Halmstad University, Sweden. She is also Visiting Professor in Social Sciences at the Schools of Design and School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University, UK, and Guest Professor at Free University, Berlin, Germany.

Her research has been funded by national research councils in Australia, UK, Sweden and Spain, and the EU, and through industry partnerships and other organisations.



Sensing, Shaping, Sharing: Imagining the body in a mediatized world. Funded by:Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences) (2015 to 2017)

Unlocking Digital Assets. Funded by a partnership with Suncorp (2015 to 2017).

Human Expectations and Experiences of Autonomous Driving. Funded by Vinnova, Sweden (2016-18)

Acoustic design innovations for managing motorway traffic noise by cancellation and transformation’ Funded by Transurban (2016-7)

Design for Wellbeing, Bendigo Hospital, funded by Exemplar Health Consortium (2015-18)

Prácticas de futuro, espacios de creación digital e innovación social en la cultura digital (D-FUTURE)’ Proyectos I+D – Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia Subprograma Estatal de Generación de Conocimiento. (2015-17)

Transmedia literacy: exploiting transmedia skills and informal learning strategies to improve formal education. Funded by: Horizon 2020 – Research & Innovation Action (2015 to 2018)

Locating the Mobile: Intergenerational locative media practices in Tokyo, Melbourne and Shanghai. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project 2013 (2013 to 2016)



‘Even self driving cars can be tinkered with’ 




Research Repository



2016 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence

2016 RMIT Award for Research Excellence (Design)  


Research Interests

Communication and Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Design Practice and Management, Building

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