Greetings! I’m Dr. Kat Braybrooke. I’m a digital anthropologist🧞♀️ and creative practitioner who works at the intersection of design, geography & feminist STS to explore the possibilities of public spaces for material participation across digital and physical terrains. I've studied the dynamics of local libraries, hacker collectives, museum makerspaces, and arts centres across the UK, Canada and China. As director of the global design studio Wê & Üs, I also co-design care-based digital encounters that challenge structural inequalities in close collaboration with communities and institutions. My current projects examine how creative practices can foster ecological sustainability, and how museums can co-develop alternative cultural experiences with vulnerable publics in times of crisis through uses of repurposed technologies.
Other than ✨cyberspace, I have lived and worked around the world, including Las Vegas🌵, Vancouver🌲, London💸, Oxford 🏰, and Berlin 🚀. I have spent the last decade leading co-design and curatorial projects for technology and cultural organisations including Mozilla, the Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Media, Oxfam, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Liu Centre for Global Issues to combat digital marginalisation through peer production, critical making and collective action. As Wê & Üs, I advise public institutions on how to engage their communities creatively, with a focus on accessibility, ethics and inclusion. My work has been featured in media outlets like BBC, Guardian, DAZED, Furtherfield & The Tyee, and I am a member of RMIT’s Care-full Design Lab and an editor of the Journal of Peer Production.
I am currently a Research Fellow on the H2020-funded project CreaTures, and a Visiting Researcher at the King’s College London Department of Digital Humanities. I completed my PhD in Media & Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex on scholarship from the Digital Humanities Lab, which combined ethnographic and design research to explore user experiences of power, agency and access at the UK’s first makerspaces in museums like Tate, the British Museum & the Wellcome Collection. In 2019, I was Visiting Scholar in human-environment relations at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin IRI-THESys, where I examined how circular economy policy was articulated by makers in China as a delegate of the British Council. I have a MSc Digital Anthropology (Distinction) from University College London for “She-Hackers”, an ethnographic study of the subjectivities of female hackers in free software movements.
I am always happy to discuss new collaborations. You can get in touch via email or Twitter. 🎏