Shanti Sumartojo is Associate Professor of Design Research in the Department of Design and a member of the Emerging Technologies Lab at Monash. In this role, Shanti leads an emerging stream of research that focuses on how technology helps constitute the experience of public space. Her focus is how people experience their spatial surroundings, including both material and immaterial aspects, with a particular focus on the built environment, design and technology, using ethnographic methodologies.
Shanti has a PhD in Sociology from the Australian National University, an MSc in Nationalism Studies from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Sociology/Anthropology from Carleton College. She held a post-doctoral research position at ANU and a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship at RMIT University. Shanti is currently a full time member of Monash University's Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.
Shanti has written or edited seven books and almost 50 journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent includes Atmospheres and the Experiential World: Theory and Methods (with Sarah Pink, 2018) that provided a new agenda for researching how people understand their surroundings by way of how they ‘feel’. She has also published on digital/visual methodologies and on bringing sensory ethnography into memory sites.
Shanti’s current projects include ongoing work on memorials and commemorative sites, the experience of urban public space and design for wellbeing. A major current project is Commemoration Reframed, a coordinated set of projects across 12 countries investigating the experience of events marking the end of the First World War centenary. Other recent research investigated the role and impact of digital technologies in state-sponsored commemorative sites, and public commemorative responses to recent urban terror attacks.
In addition to collaborating internationally, Shanti also works with industry and the public sector on research projects, most recently in Australia with Exemplar Health, the City of Melbourne and Lendlease.