My research interests centre on investigating human-algorithm interaction design: how can design shape the ways that interact with computational systems at scales from small and personal to societal and global. I’m most interested in where we need to develop new ways of thinking to account for human experience within digital architectures, in order to build systems that are humane and supportive. Currently, this involves looking at the interactions between humans and AI/complex information processing systems..

(Full List of Publications)

Active Grants

  • Centre for the Decentralised Digital Economy (DECaDE) (UKRI/EPSRC, £4M, 2020 - 2025) , Centre for the Decentralised Digital Economy - creativity around distributed ledgers (with Surrey, Digital Catapult)
  • DCODE (Horizon 2020 ITN, Jan 2020 - Jan 2025) , Designing human-machine relations, trusted interactions, socio-economic models for democratic futures (with Delft, Edinburgh, Umea, Copenhagen, Aarhus, TTI, Philips, AAS )
  • AI Futures Lab: Rights and Justice in Remote Work (Delft AI Initiative ) , AI Futures Lab: Rights and Justice in Remote Work - part of the Delft AI labs initiative, exploring the impact of AI on remote work, and how we can use design to support new systems that preserve rights and justice

Current PhD Students

  • Yuxi Liu (through DCODE, with Elisa Giaccardi and Johann Redstrom) is investigating the challenges of decentralized interaction with data-driven systems, and the development of novel design principles for multi-intentional interaction.
  • Mireia Yurrita Semperena (through DCODE, with Alessandro Bozzon) is developing novel methods and tools for shaping, testing and evolving machine behaviour, in particular around how to design for the human values they encode.
  • Liquan Chai (with Maria Wolters) is using conversational agents to support people engaging with medical help in a foreign language (and country).
  • Mahan Mehrvarz (through AI Futures Lab, with Elisa Giaccardi) is investigating designing justice oriented AI artefacts.
  • Sofie-Amalie Torp Dideriksen (through AI Futures Lab, with Elisa Giaccardi) is investigating critical feminist approaches to designing with AI (all PhDs)

Research Themes

AI Futures

I am director of the new AI Futures Lab: Rights and Justice in Remote Work, with Ben Wagner and Filippo Santoni de Sio. The AI Futures Lab will address the current knowledge gap by combining IDE post-industrial design research and methodologies. These will be applied to machine ethnography, to experiential AI and to in-the-wild AI prototyping using TPM methodologies of comprehensive engineering and design for values. We will explore configurations of people and AI around remote collaboration and distributed work, aiming to expand both scientific knowledge and public understanding of AI capabilities. Our goal is a tangible and vibrant set of prototypes, experiences and theories that map out ways in which design can be engaged to deploy AI and machine learning in support of new ways of working.

The lab will start with 4 PhDs in early 2022, and grow from there.

This is closely related to the work of the DCODE project, where I am co-supervising:

  • Yuxi Liu (with Elisa Giaccardi and Johann Redstrom) who is investigating the challenges of decentralized interaction with data-driven systems, and the development of novel design principles for multi-intentional interaction.
  • Mireia Yurrita Semperena (with Alessandro Bozzon) who is developing novel methods and tools for shaping, testing and evolving machine behaviour, in particular around how to design for the human values they encode.

Continuous digital ethnography and use driven design

Entangled ethnography develops ways to use continuous, realtime data to develop understanding of use and behaviour. In order to make sure inferences are valid, it includes contextual enquiry techniques to ground truth data against lived experience. We are also creating tools for exploring and annotating the data, in collaboration with machine learning, and supporting designers in asking questions of existing and yet to be collected data.

This started through the Chatty Factories, but continues within TU Delft’s design department.

  • Murray-Rust, D., Gorkovenko, K., Burnett, D., & Richards, D. (2019). Entangled Ethnography: Towards a Collective Future Understanding. Proceedings of the Halfway to the Future Symposium 2019, 1–10. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Gorkovenko, K., Burnett, D. J., Thorp, J. K., Richards, D., & Murray-Rust, D. (2020). Exploring The Future of Data-Driven Product Design. Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–14. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Gorkovenko, K., Burnett, D., Thorp, J., Richards, D., & Murray-Rust, D. (2019). Supporting Real-Time Contextual Inquiry Through Sensor Data. Ethnographic Praxis in Industry (EPIC2019). Retrieved from

Prototyping with Emerging infrastructures

New computational systems are springing up around us, shaping society as they go. This includes artificial intelligence ecosystems, smart contracts and decentralised ledgers, IoT and more. I’m interested in how we can bring design to bear in this space, offering open experiences that foster critical engagement based on a developed understanding of these technologies. This started with work on GeoCoin, prototyping interactions around geolocated currencies and continued with GeoPact - a system of intelligent objects that interact with location based smart contracts (Funded through B-IoT, IoT-Tram and BLING - BLockchain IN Government). A large part of this work spanning 5 years is captured in an annotated portfolio, that covers work from the Institute for Design Informatics.

  • Annotated portfolio: Murray-Rust, D., Elsden, C., Nissen, B., Tallyn, E., Pschetz, L., & Speed, C. (2022). Blockchain and Beyond: Understanding Blockchains through Prototypes and Public Engagement. Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. Retrieved from
  • Tallyn, E., Revans, J., Morgan, E., Fisken, K., & Murray-Rust, D. (2021). Enacting the Last Mile: Experiences of Smart Contracts in Courier Deliveries. Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–14. Yokohama Japan: ACM.
  • Tallyn, E., Revans, J., Morgan, E., & Murray-Rust, D. (2020). GeoPact: Engaging Publics in Location-Aware Smart Contracts through Technological Assemblies. Designing Interactive Systems 2020 Conference, 799–811. ACM.

  • Nissen, B., Pschetz, L., Murray-Rust, D., Mehrpouya, H., Oosthuizen, S., & Speed, C. (2018). GeoCoin: Supporting Ideation and Collaborative Design with Location-Based Smart Contracts. Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.

Experiential AI, art-science and embodied algorithms

A cruicial societal ability is the ability to debate and engage with emerging technology. Part of my work is to support this, by bringing art-science thinking to bear on AI and robotics. This is different from approaches such as Explainable AI - here I’m interested in creating experiences that help to understand and engage viscerally and critically with technologies. In the emerging Experiential AI research them, we are exploring how creative practice can shape the way publics and computer scientists understand artificial intelligence.

  • Hemment, D., Aylett, R., Belle, V., Murray-Rust, D., Luger, E., Hillston, J., … Broz, F. (2019). Experiential AI. AI Matters, 5, 25–31.
  • Hemment, D., Belle, V., Aylett, R., Murray-Rust, D., Pschetz, L., & Broz, F. (2019). Toward Fairness, Morality and Transparency in Artificial Intelligence through Experiential AI. Leonardo, 52.
  • Murray-Rust, D., & von Jungenfeld, R. (2017, March). Thinking through Robotic Imaginaries.
  • Perelló, J., Murray-Rust, D., Nowak, A., & Bishop, S. R. (2012). Linking Science and Arts: Intimate Science, Shared Spaces and Living Experiments. European Physical Journal - Special Topics, 214, 597–634.

Humane Data Interaction

Driven in part by understanding the social within social machines, I have been concerned with aspects of the ways in which people interact with data that have to do with privacy, identity and autonomy. This means opening up areas around humane data interaction – how we can live as humans within an increasingly algorithmically mediated society. Key themes are pro social deception, identity, wayfaring, personal data and developing acceptability as a lens for technical systems.

  • Rooksby, J., Morrison, A., & Murray-Rust, D. (2019). Student Perspectives on Digital Phenotyping: The Acceptability of Using Smartphone Data to Assess Mental Health. Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–14. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Gorkovenko, K., & Murray-Rust, D. (2021). User Perspectives on the Acceptability of Realtime Data Capture for Design Research by Connected Products. Reinventing Design Modes - Proceedings of the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) Conference 2021. Presented at the Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Springer Nature.
  • van Kleek, M., Murray-Rust, D., Guy, A., O’Hara, K., & Shadbolt, N. (2016). Computationally Mediated Pro-Social Deception. Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction 2016, 552–563. ACM.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Tarte, S., Hartswood, M., & Green, O. (2015). On Wayfaring in Social Machines. WWW ’15 Companion Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web, 1143–1148. ACM.
  • Kleek, M. V., Smith, D. A., Shadbolt, N. R., Murray-Rust, D., & Guy, A. (2015). Self Curation, Social Partitioning, Escaping from Prejudice and Harassment: The Many Dimensions of Lying Online. WWW 2015 Companion, 371–372.

Data Manifestation

‘How does data give rise to experiences? How does data science become the basis for communicative work?’. I’m investigating these questions through a combination of reasearch and teaching. I’m collaborating with Benjamin Bach to understand how to make and use Data Comics to communicate about data. I’m collaborating with Bettina Nissen on WallVis to explore the possibilities of a dynamic, modular data physicalisation system.

  • Wang, Z., Romat, H., Chevalier, F., Riche, N., Murray-Rust, D., & Bach, B. (2022). Interactive Data Comics. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.
  • Bach, B., Wang, Z., Farinella, M., Murray-Rust, D., & Henry Riche, N. (2018). Design Patterns for Data Comics. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). ACM.

Algorithms and Music

My PhD was in artificial intelligence and music - creating a system of musical agents that could be improvisational partners.

  • Murray-Rust, D., & Smaill, A. (2011). Towards a Model of Musical Interaction and Communication. Artificial Intelligence, 175, 1697–1721.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Smaill, A., & Edwards, M. (2006). MAMA: An Architecture for Interactive Musical Agents. In G. Brewka, S. Coraeschi, A. Perini, & P. Traverso (Eds.), ECAI 2006, PROCEEDINGS (pp. 36–40). I O S PRESS.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Smaill, A., & Maya, M. C. (2005). VirtuaLatin - Towards a Musical Multi-Agent System. In H. Selvaraj, B. Verma, & A. DeCarvalho (Eds.), ICCIMA 2005: Sixth International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Multimedia Applications, Proceedings (pp. 17–22). United States: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Engineering Social Machines

From Wikipedia to Facebook, social machines have become integral to our daily lives. Digital networked technology now routinely enables coordination of collective action, releasing the power of decentralised hybrid human-machine problem-solving at scale. Supported through the SociaM Project, summed up in The Theory and Practice of Social Machines. Within this, I’ve been working on using Process Calculus to create open interactions on the web.

  • Murray-Rust, D., Papapanagiotou, P., & Robertson, D. (2016). Softening Electronic Institutions to Support Natural Interaction. Human Computation, 2.
  • Papapanagiotou, P., Davoust, A., Murray-Rust, D., Manataki, A., van Kleek, M., Shadbolt, N., & Robertson, D. (2018). Social Machines for All. 17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, 1208–1212.
  • Murray-Rust, D., & Robertson, D. (2014). LSCitter: Building Social Machines by Augmenting Existing Social Networks with Interaction Models. Proceedings of the Companion Publication of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web Companion, 875–880. ACM.

Understanding Mathematical practice

I have a longstanding interest in the ways that digital tools can support mathematical practice, starting with developing a declarative, semantic model of mathematics that can be used both for display and calculation. Through the SociaM project, I became interested in the Social Machines of Mathematics, developing formal structures for modelling online collaboration.

  • Corneli, J., Martin, U., Murray-Rust, D., Nesin, G. R., & Pease, A. (2019). Argumentation Theory for Mathematical Argument. Argumentation, 1–42.
  • Lane, L., Martin, U., Murray-Rust, D., Pease, A., & Tanswell, F. (2018). Journeys in Mathematical Landscapes: Genius or Craft? In Mathematics Education in the Digital Era. Proof Technology in Mathematics Research and Teaching. Springer.

Completed Grants