I want to see a world that is fairer, more just and more sustainable!
Meet Madeline Balaam, Associate Professor at the Division of Media Technology and Interaction Designs at KTH. Madeline is also an Associate Director for Mobility, a Member of the Executive Committee and a PI of research project Layering Trust in Intimate Digital Health Technologies at Digital Futures.
Hi Madeline, describe your role at Digital Futures?
– I organise and direct the mobility work for Digital Futures. We focus on bringing talented, inspiring and creative researchers to the Digital Futures environment in order to diversify and invigorate the work that can happen within the centre. On a week-by-week basis the work I do is really quite wide-ranging, from writing and promoting funding calls, recruiting and supporting the peer review of applications to our various calls, collaborating with HR to ensure the calls are a good fit for the various institutions involved in Digital Futures, through to supporting the growing cohort of postdoc fellows in creating a programme of activities to support their career development. In all the work I undertake for Digital Futures I take seriously my commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive research environment.
Tell us a bit about your long-time experience in research and what motivates you as a researcher?
– I have been doing research within the area of interaction design for nearly 20 years, first in the UK and now in Sweden. My work has very broadly spanned the design and development of novel digital interactions for various forms of personal healthcare, from developing technologies to support stroke rehabilitation in the home, to creating novel mobile interactions to help people understand their intimate anatomy. My research is inspired by, and gives back to feminist theories and methodologies. Key principles of care, participation, plurality and embodiment resonate strongly in the things I create and study. I am an impatient researcher, and I am driven in many of things I do because I want to see a world that is fairer, more just and more sustainable.
In your profile you state that you are driven by a desire to design technologies which better meet the needs and practices of people in their everyday lives – can you tell us a bit more? Where does this interest come from?
– Something that Digital Futures must grapple with is producing basic research on digitisation that has a use and purpose for society. For me, the only way that this can be achieved is by working deeply with society to help identify and shape the research that we do.
Finally, tell us a little bit about yourself!
– I’ve lived in Sweden for four years and am still getting used to the Swedish way of life. I still don’t know what you are supposed to do on Midsummer and why so much pickled fish is involved. I do enjoy fika, forest walks, picking mushrooms, but I am not so keen on snow or skiing.