Laurel Swan has various degrees in History, English, Psychology and Computer Science. For her phd, which examined mundane behaviours in the interests of informing new technology, she spent several years thinking about the everyday practices and routines of family life, and what makes a home a home. Since 2004, she has worked on a number of projects with the Computer Mediated Living group at Microsoft Research, Cambridge. Her research interests have included lists, fridges, clutter, photos and more recently robots and design practice.
For the past two years, she has been the Microsoft Industry fellow at the Royal College of Art, watching how design gets done in the department of Design Interactions and pondering how the department’s and students’ work could more directly impact design within the larger technology community. To this end she has been experimenting with collaborations to bring the department’s work in various forms to venues in technology research and design.