Department of Engineering and Design

photo of Kat Braybrooke

Dr Kat Braybrooke

Post:Research Fellow (Engineering and Design)
Other posts:Associate (Sussex Humanities Lab)
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Kat is a digital anthropologist, curator and maker [] whose work examines the effects and implications of digital making practices, in particular the tensions between grassroots communities and institutions; she is a co-founder of the Open Design and Hardware Network and for the past decade worked for a variety of cause-based organisations including Mozilla, the Open Knowledge Foundation and Open Media to empower marginalized users of the web.

In 2011, Kat received a MSc Digital Anthropology (Distinction) at UCL for an ethnography of gender identity issues for 30 Millennial-aged hackers in Europe. Her doctoral research, funded by the Sussex Humanities Lab, in collaboration with the Tate and supervised by Dr Tim JordanDr Caroline Bassett and Dr Rebecca Sinker, builds on this work.

Weaving together genealogies of hacker- and makerspaces and museum transformations with empirical analysis, Kat's thesis works from critical geographer Doreen Massey's theory of space as a form of power-geometry to explore the new phenomenon of collections makerspaces, or sites for digital making and learning with a cultural collection, that have opened within museums in the U.K in the last 5 years. Working from a researcher-in-residence model, a multi-site ethnography was conducted at three field sites in London within the Tate Britain, the British Museum and the Wellcome Collection. By building a political economy of each site's user imaginaries and dynamics, the thesis asks whether the introduction of collections makerspaces disrupts, reframes or reinforces the cultural hegemony of heritage institutions.

To get in touch, find Kat on Twitter or email

art of web curation image

Selected talks

Paper presentation: Temporary techno-social gatherings?, Electronic Visual Arts (EVA) 2018, London 
Panel discussant: 
那些创造世界的人 | Those who ‘make’ the world, ALLAB, China

Guest lecture x 4: Critical making as... series, Kings College London 
Panel presentation:Power geometries in new territories, AoIR 2017, Estonia 
Panel presentation: Who is the digital revolution for?, Brighton Digital Festival
Guest lecture: From theory to making, Royal College of Art
Panel presentation: Whose industrial revolution? 4S/EASST Barcelona
Talk: Two of many futures of making, Maker Assembly Northern Ireland
Guest lecture: Open source in the gallery, University of the Arts London
Panel presentation: From mechanical arts to making, SHOT Singapore
Guest lecture: Hacking the gallery, University of Victoria Canada 
Roundtable: Digital/ physical spaces, SPRU, University of Sussex


Doctoral Researcher, Sussex Humanities Lab Scholarship | University of Sussex | 2015-current
Editorial Board, Journal of Peer Production | 2017-current
Visiting Lecturer (Project Course Convener), RCA | Design Products | Food + Code | 2015-2017
Researcher in Residence, Digital Studio | Tate Britain | 2016-2017


2015-2019: PhD Media and Cultural Studies (In Progress), University of Sussex, UK.
2010-2011: MSc Digital Anthropology (Distinction), University College London, UK.
2008-2009: Next Up Leadership Fellow, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada. 
2004-2009: BA Political Science, University of British Columbia, Canada.
2005-2007: AA Peace and Conflict Studies, Langara College, Canada.