27 Feb 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm Seminar room SG1, Alison Richard Building


Free and open to all but Online Registration is required. Limited places

Maria Hanson (Sheffield Hallam University)
Dr Karen Vernon-Parry (Sheffield Hallam University)


In today’s developed societies we all own an unprecedented amount of “stuff” and nothing is more representative of this than our consumption of mobile phones. The increasing demand for smart-phones in developed societies and the huge market for mobile phones in the developing countries have led us to ask the following questions:

• Do you know what’s in the stuff you use every day? • Do you know where the chemical elements in your things come from, how they’re extracted and how much is left on our planet? • How often do you discard something rare and precious without even realising it?

What’s In My Stuff? sets out to explore and to try and answer some of the above questions. The project seeks to engage with the public and explore the relationship between people and their gadgets. In doing so it hopes to raise public awareness of some of the emerging issues around critical materials supply, recycling and sustainability. It uses an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together scientists and artists in order to explore effective ways of engaging with the users of everyday technology to both seek their views and inform them of the key issues.

What’s in my Stuff? Is a Sheffield Hallam University, Engineering for Life research network project, sponsored by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council) and Harsco Metals. It is a collaborative project between Dr Hywel Jones and Dr Karen Vernon-Parry from the Material and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) and Maria Hanson, Reader in Metalwork and Jewellery in the Art and Design Research Centre (ARDC)


Dr Karen Vernon Parry studied Materials Science at Oxford University. After post-doctoral positions at Oxford and the University of Manchester, she joined Sheffield Hallam University in 2004. She is currently Deputy Head of the Department of Engineering and Mathematics. Her research interests lie in Public Engagement with Science and in the correlation between the structure and the physical properties of materials at the atomic scale.

Maria Hanson is Reader in Metalwork and Jewellery and Programme Leader for MA/MFA Design at Sheffield Hallam University. She studied at the Royal College of Art in Goldsmithing and Silversmithing and has 25 years experience of making, lecturing and research. She has participated in many national and international exhibitions and was in the shortlist for the Jerwood prize for Jewellery in 2000. Her work is represented in many public collections including the Crafts Council, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Goldsmiths’ Company. Research interests include how craft objects can be used to explore issues connected to material sustainability and product durability through an understanding of the emotional attachments formed between people and objects



Part of the Ethics of Big Data Research Group, series
Organised by Ethics of Big Data Research Group in collaboration with The Work Foundation and InformAll.

Administrative assistance: gradfac@crassh.cam.ac.uk

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