other academic icon

Digital Methods for Sensory Ethnography

Location: ITESO (Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara)
Date: October 15th 2015

About the event

One of the key events organised as part of a successful funding application to the Newton Mobility Grants Scheme, this workshop with academic staff and students on PhD and MA programmes was designed to explore sensory ways of knowing space and place. Following presentations by Helen Thornham, Edgar Gómez Cruz and myself, the participants were divided into teams, allocated a research method (such as sound recording, online research, mapping/locative data, 'embodied interventions' etc.) and then asked to interrogate a space around the campus.

After the results had been presented, we asked each group to reflect upon the following question:

What did your allocated research method reveal and what did it hide?

We suggested that the question should be addressed with regards to what it reveals about methods, the space and place, the participants' relationships with space and place and the utility of technologies/automation as a way of ‘knowing’.


This workshop was undoubtedly the highlight of this research exchange. The participants very quickly understood and embraced the intentions of the activities and demonstrated great enthusiasm for the concept of using digital methods to interrogate the sensory experience of space and place. The discussions which followed the activities demonstrated that the participants were critically engaged with key questions regarding methods, presence and 'visibility'.