researching

 

CURRENT PROJECTS

reshaping-domestic-nexus-logo

Reshaping the Domestic Nexus is a project bringing together academics from leading research groups with policy partners in BEIS, Defra, FSA and Waterwise. The researchers are from research groups which have been at the forefront of new ways of understanding how householders’ routine activities end up demanding resources, including of energy, food and water. This project’s purpose is to make that understanding useful for informing actual policy processes with our policy partners. Find out more at nexusathome.wordpress.com

 

https://sites.google.com/a/sheffield.ac.uk/matthewatson/research/demand-centre.gifDEMAND: Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand
The DEMAND centre set out to advance understanding of the processes and dynamics through which energy demand is constituted, and identify the opportunities for tackling it. The centre is a collaboration across of 9 academic institutions, led by Lancaster University, with non-academic partners including the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research, the International Energy Agency and Transport for London. It has funding from the Research Councils UK Energy Programme for 5 years from summer 2013. I am co-investigator in the centre, and leading the University of Sheffield’s contribution to it, during which I worked with postdoc Dr Lenneke Kuijer.

 

COMPLETED PROJECTS

The Domestic Nexus: interrogating the interlinked practices of water, energy and food consumption  I was lead for this collaborative network across the Universities of Sheffield (Prof Peter Jackson and Dr Liz Sharpe) and Manchester (Prof Dale Southerton, Prof Alan Warde, Dr David Evans and Dr Alison Browne). It received £20k of funding from the Economic and Social Research Council Nexus Network+, through which I will led a programme of workshops and other activities involving academics and non-academics through late 2015, to develop a full research proposal early in 2016. It brought together prominent researchers taking a practice theory approach to understanding domestic resource consumption, to consider the implications of the ‘nexus’ concept currently apparent in research funding priorities across UK councils. The final report is available here.

Solar energy for future societies was a four-year interdisciplinary project on which I was Co-Investigator. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council the project brings together academics from Physics (including the Principal Investigator, Dr Alastair Buckley), Electrical Engineering, Architecture and Human Geography. Working across disciplinary boundaries and institutions (Durham University) and with communities in South Yorkshire and in Bangladesh, the project set out to develop new insights for the development and effective implementation of novel sustainable technologies. This project ran from late 2011 to 2015.

 

CONANX – Consumer culture in an age of anxiety 
A four-year research programme led by Professor Peter Jackson and funded by the European Research Council. As co-investigator on the programme, I led a three-year work package, working with Dr Angela Meah to explore negotiations of anxiety in mundane domestic food provisioning practices. Through exploring the uncertain relations between official messages around food and the routinised coordination of what goes on in the kitchen, this research illuminated key issues in the relations between governing and everyday practice. Publications from the programme include four articles in print (Watson and Meah, 2013; Meah and Watson, 2013; Jackson, Watson and Piper, 2013; Meah and Watson, 2011), as well as a multiply authored book published by Bloomsbury (Jackson et al, 2013).

 

Waste Prevention
A research project undertaken by Dr Ana Paula Bortoleto under a European Commission funded Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship, for which I was Scientist in Charge. The project explored commonalities and contrasts in domestic waste minimisation practices between Sheffield and Sao Paulo.

 

Geographies of reuse 
was a British Academy funded International Collaboration, on which I was PI, working with Dr Ruth Lane, now at Monash. In comparing processes enabling reuse of household goods across the different political, cultural and practical contexts of Sheffield and Melbourne this project reveals critical aspects of the interface between infrastructure and everyday practice. Key outputs include a book chapter and an article in Geoforum.

 

Designing and Consuming
I was co-investigator and researcher, with Prof Elizabeth Shove, on this project funded by ESRC and AHRC as part of the Cultures of Consumption research programme. We exploited the potential for development of theoretical understanding of consumer products in shaping the patterns of everyday life. The project resulted in a book, The Design of Everyday Life, and a number of journal publications (Watson 2008, Watson and Shove 2008) . Outputs are listed on the project web site here.