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Michael Shea

Michael Shea  

Year of start: 2010
Subject: Material Culture

Research Topic

Visions of the Future at the Japanese Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation


Dr Victor Buchli,
Prof Susanne Kuechler


Michael Shea is a doctoral candidate in Material Culture at UCL. He studied Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies before going on to further research at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. His work aims to address various issues relating to technology, media and public engagement. In 2013 he received the Sutasoma Award from the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in recognition of the outstanding merit of this research. Current and forthcoming articles include: ‘Karakuri: Subtle Trickery in Device Art and Robotics Demonstrations at Miraikan’ (Leonardo, MIT), ‘User-Friendly: Anthropomorphic Devices and Mechanical Behaviour in Japan’ (Advances in Anthropology) and ‘The Hands-on Model of the Internet: Engaging Diverse Groups of Visitors’ (Journal of Museum Education).

Research interests

  • Technology
  • Design
  • Public Engagement


UCL Graduate School
Sutasoma Award, RAI

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