UCL Anthropology


Emilie Glazer

Emilie Glazer

UCL Email: emilie.glazer.11@ucl.ac.uk
Year of start: 2017
Supervisors: Dr Hannah Knox, Dr Sahra Gibbon, Dr Jerome Lewis
Subject: Material Culture, Medical Anthropology, Social Anthropology
Fieldsite: Jerusalem

PhD Research

Infrastructures of water and care: examining the interface of water safety, systems of care and technoscience in the Anthropocene

My research interests are at the intersection of care, climate change, and science and technology. I’m curious about how care – from nurturing, to healing, and maintaining – manifests itself in this context of the Anthropocene – the geological age defined by human impact on the planet – through shifting relationships with nature, digital technology, and the infrastructures of contemporary life.  Across these themes, I’m drawn to questions about design and the future: How is the future imagined and created? What are the values which underpin these processes? Who is involved, and who is excluded?  

With this PhD I attempt to weave these interests together. The starting point is a study of water infrastructure and health in Jerusalem, alongside an exploration of ecological movements beyond the city. It will trace the ways in which health, healing and safety are tied to water, across a system composed of desalination plants, smart sensor networks, municipal biochemists and the land of the fertile crescent. It will also seek to experiment with collaborative methods, drawing on citizen science and participatory design. In following these paths, the aim is to offer a lens into how water scarcity and climate change intervene in the intimate and routine spaces of everyday life, and how diverse technologies and design processes play vital roles within them.

Before embarking on this project, I worked in design, digital health, and cultural programmes connecting communities, art and science (more below under Publications, Presentations & Conferences, and Additional Information).

Research interests

  • Emerging science and technology
  • Health, healing and care
  • Environmental justice and the Anthropocene
  • Anthropology of infrastructure
  • Social design, service design, speculative design
  • Citizen science
  • Temporality, the future and imagination
  • Utopias, dystopias and science fiction


  • Kunur, M., Langdon, P., Bradley, M., Bichard, J-A., Glazer, E., Doran, F., Clarkson, J., Loeillet, J.J., (2016). Reducing Exclusion in Future Cars Using Personas with Visual Narratives and Design Anthropology. Langdon, P., Lazar, J., Heylighen, A., Dong, H. (eds.) Designing Around People, Springer.
  • Kunur, M., Langdon, P., Bradley, M., Bichard, J-A., Glazer, E., Doran, F., Clarkson, J., Loeillet, J.J., (2015). Creating Inclusive HMI Concepts for Future Cars Using Visual Scenario Storyboards Through Design Ethnography, Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, 9178, 139 – 149.
  • Glazer, E., Mieczakowski, A., King, J., Fehnert, B. (2014). Digital Trust: An Analysis of Trust in the Adoption of Digital Support Services, Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, 213 – 226.
  • Glazer, E. (2009). Rephrasing the madness and creativity debate: what is the nature of the creativity construct? Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 755 – 764.

Presentations & Conferences

  • Glazer, E., (2017). Improving quality of life and wellbeing amongst people affected by dementia: the impact of citizen science and digital interventions for informal care. Frontiers of Public Health. Conference Abstract: 3rd UCL Centre for Behaviour Change Digital Health Conference 2017: Harnessing digital technology for behaviour change.
  • Cormack, F., Taptiklis, N., Curtis, J., van Shaik, T., Glazer, E., Fehnert, B., King, J., Barnett, J., (2016). High-Frequency Monitoring of Cognition, Mood and Behaviour Using Commercially Available Wearable Devices. Poster presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, 24-28 July, Toronto, Canada.
  • Michie, S., Glazer, E., DiTommaso, D., Tolvi, J., West, R., (2016). Challenges to creating sustainable, high impact interventions. Adshead, F., (Chair) Panel Discussion at the 2nd Behaviour Change Conference: Digital Health and Wellbeing, 24-25 February, London, United Kingdom.
  • Glazer, E., Bichard, J-A., Langdon, P., Bradley, M., Kunur, M., Loeillet, J.J., Wooldridge, E., (2015). A vehicle for design futures: exploring the experience of driving in the here-and-now to inform an inclusive future. Paper presented at the Design Anthropological Futures. Research Network for Design Anthropology, 12-15 August, Copenhagen, Denmark. Retrieved from https://kadk.dk/sites/default/files/emilieglazer.pdf
  • Glazer, E., Fehnert, B., (2014). Digital Trust: An Analysis of Trust in the Adoption of Digital Support Services. Paper presented at the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, 7-10 September, New York City, New York.

Teaching Experience

  • 2016-2017. Visiting Tutor, Ethnographic and design research methods. Oxford University Biodesign Programme.
  • 2013-2015. Visiting Tutor, Ethnographic methods for art and design. Across RCA workshop ‘Designing Ethnography’, Royal College of Art.

Education History

  • PhD Anthropology, University College London (2017-ongoing).
  • MSc Social and Cultural Anthropology, University College London (2012-2013).
  • BA (Hons). Psychology, Philosophy, and Physiology, Oxford University (2004-2007; First Class Degree).

Honours, Awards & Funding

  • Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship (2017)
  • UCL Grand Challenges: Behaviour Change Research Prize (2013)
  • Gibbs Prize, Department for Experimental Psychology, Oxford University (2007)
  • Academic Exhibition, Brasenose College, Oxford University (2006)

Additional Information

Departmental and University research groups

  • Member of UCL Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) research group
  • Co-organiser of Design in the Anthropocene research group
  • Participation in reading groups about data, digital culture, and UCL Media Anthropology Lab

Experience beyond academia

Over the past 10 years I have worked on projects which span digital health, inclusive design, and trans-disciplinary programmes connecting people with science, medicine and technology. I was a design researcher with Ctrl Group, ran youth development programme the UK ArtScience Prize, curated science for Shuffle Festival, volunteer with the Young Refugee and Migrants group at The Children’s Society, and have collaborated with the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art, and The Guardian.