Rob Comber | Faculty

Rob Comber

I am a Human-Computer Interaction researcher and Lecturer in Computer Mediated Communication. Having completed my PhD at University College Cork on Digital Connections in online social network sites, I joined Open Lab in 2011 to research household practices around food and health on the EU FP7 funded Balance@Home project. Since that time, my research has continued to expand and currently examines topics such as activism, citizen science, community education, and food and technology, all through a lens of designing for community. My research is broadly technologically agnostic, and explores methods and tools to promote citizen participation across a range of social and civic issues, including education, health and well-being, and democratic practices - collectively Digital Civics.

I teach Research Methods for Digital Civics and Introduction to Digital Civics as part of the MSc in Digital Civics. I am actively involved in supervision for doctoral trainees on topics including political participation, sustainability, politics of space, citizen-led planning, homelessness, community-driven innovation, and intimate care.

[myimpact author=66]

Associated Projects

  • App Movement - Community Commissioning of Mobile Technologies
    App Movement is a platform that was developed at Open Lab which enables any individual, community or organisation to propose, design and automatically generate a multi-platform mobile application. The platform raises research questions around...
    August 30, 2011
  • School in the Cloud web platform
    The School in the Cloud combines SOLEs and the Granny Cloud together through seven experimental facilities funded by the TED prize. In addition, countless teachers around the world are using SOLEs in various forms. Made by Many developed the first vers...
    August 30, 2011
  • Friends of Tynemouth Outdoor Pool
    This project investigated the appropriation of a Facebook page by a group of residents as site for discussion and where a campaign to save a derelict outdoor swimming pool developed. Through in-depth analysis of Facebook data, the project explores the ...
    August 30, 2011
  • MyPlace: Mobility and PLace for the Age-friendly City Environment
    The aim of MyPlace is to develop and test through real-world research a digital platform and toolkit that will enable members of the public to engage with local councils and other organisations more effectively in the research, planning and design of t...
    August 30, 2011
  • React!
    React! is a web app designed and developed to support teenagers who are at risk of anaphylaxis (severe food allergies) and their friends in learning about the signs of different types of reactions and what to do in such circumstances. The app itsel...
    August 30, 2011
  • Telematic Dinner Party
    In collaboration with Pollie Barden at Queen Mary, University of London, we explored how internet technology can help two remote groups in casual settings to interact with each other. We used a dinner party as the setting, as many people use meals as a...
    August 30, 2011
  • Portion Size Estimation
    Malnutrition is a widespread problem in hospitals, especially amongst people aged 65 and above. One contributing factor is a lack of accuracy when monitoring how much patients are eating and the nutritional value of the food they consume. Methods that ...
    August 30, 2011
  • BinCam
    BinCam was a personal informatics system intended to raise awareness among young people about what they throw away and how they might decrease the amount of waste they create. A camera phone was attached to the inside of a bin lid and, using the phone'...
    August 30, 2011
  • Ambient Kitchen
    The Ambient Kitchen is a platform for research in pervasive computing that was installed at Culture Lab in 2007. It is a proof-of-concept context-aware computing environment, originally designed to demonstrate the potential for technology to support ol...
    August 30, 2011
  • SiDE: Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy
    SiDE is an interdisciplinary research project aimed at realising the potential for digital technologies to transform the lives of people who are socially excluded. Poor health, disability, family breakdown, poverty and unemployment are just some of the...
    August 30, 2011
  • Balance@Home
    The aim of this project is to help European citizens to obtain consumer solutions for hassle-free guidance towards a balanced lifestyle regarding meal planning and preparation and personal choice. We explore methods for inferring eating habits in a...
    August 30, 2011
  • MappMal: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Prevention of Malnutrition
    Four in ten people over the age of 65 are at risk of becoming malnourished or of their condition worsening in hospital. This leads to an increased risk of complications and longer hospital stays. Furthermore, the toll of the high rate of malnutrition o...
    August 30, 2011
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