Helen Manchester

University of Bristol

Reader in Digital Inequalities and Urban Futures

Dr Helen Manchester is a Reader in Digital Inequalities and Urban Futures at the University of Bristol. She started out as a teacher in secondary schools, and a community media practitioner, before entering academia. She works at the intersection of education and cultural studies. Helen works on topics including urban futures, generational divides, care and inequality in community settings, and has an interest in  the role of digital and material cultures and technologies for social justice in cultural and everyday spaces. 

In the last six years she has led a number of funded research projects leading interdisciplinary and cross sectoral partnerships to tackle urban challenges, particularly concerning learning in cities and demographic ageing. Helen specializes in conducting participatory, arts-based research and is currently working on a variety of projects around the theme of urban learning and smart technologies, in the UK and in Mexico. She is currently leading the innovative Bristol City Fellows project (with McDermont), working alongside communities at the margins to co-design city futures. Her research is methodologically innovate and involves collaboration with artists, technologists, young and older people, community organizations and policy-makers. Recent publications include: Learning to be a Smart Citizen (Oxford Review of Education), and Co-designing technologies for care: spaces of co-habitation (Interdisciplinary critical studies of age and technology).