My research explores the perception of the South Downs landscapes for people who have impaired vision, investigating sensory techniques through which people engage with these environments and their sense of these landscapes. These techniques includes activities of listening, memory, looking, particular styles of walking, touching and the imagination. This research demonstrates the richness of human sensory experience and inspires a multi-sensory understanding of environments. I have become interested in notions and experiences of ‘wellbeing’ associated with particular landscapes.
Anthropological investigation of people who have impaired vision is presently very limited, but offers unique opportunities to address theoretical challenges within anthropology regarding sensory perception, particularly regarding occularcentric and counter-occularcentric approaches to studying perception. This account is also significant in contributing to our understandings of how landscapes are experienced by people who have impaired vision, relevant to planning and design of urban greenspaces. I am now contributing this knowledge to the discipline through presentations and publications, which you can read about here.
I am passionately engaged with designing and conducting sensory research methodologies, critically assessing the kinds of knowledge that specific methodologies produce analytically. I draw on a range of qualitative methodologies in my work, including ethnography, apprenticeship, audio-visual methodologies, case study, semi and non-structured interviews, field diaries, sensorial logs, ethnography through the body, walking interviews, questionnaires, and experimental sensorially focused methodologies.
For information about publications, reports, community engagement and presentations related to this research, please see the impact page here. For more information about my research and developments, check out my blog here.