Robert Collins

Rob CollinsDoctoral Student


I am a curious Irishman who comes from a not-so-academic background in music, art technology and travel.

I inherited a very hands-on approach to life from my parents and grandparents. Always taking things apart and sometimes putting them back together again, and an overarching desire to deeply understand the function of things and my own orientation towards them.

My origins are in DIY and self-organisation. Beginning with playing music in bands, to running a recording studio and then moving through art scenes and event production. I have had a variety of careers and non-careers. More recently, I have run my own business in interactive art installation, production and mentoring and have spent many years producing exhibitions for the Science Gallery and others across the world.

I am happiest fabricating with wood, metal and electronics and trying to imagine and share better futures and better community.

What I do at UID     

I am a member of DCODE, a European network and PhD Program that collaborates with various associated and academic partners -of which UID is part. We will be collectively rethinking the role of design in response to the digitalisation of society.


As part of the DCODE research project, I am working on Designing for Contestable Systems, within the Trusted Interactions programme.

This project is about the challenges involved in making it possible for people to contextualise and negotiate a data-driven system's response to users' actions ("response-ability") in and through use. In this project we explore what features, mechanisms and techniques need to be designed and implemented in the front-end for users to understand, contest and possibly repair inappropriate actions by a system. 

Talk to me about  

  • Prototyping

  • Fabricating

  • Art

  • Music

  • Taking Things Apart

  • Sensors

  • Digital Hegemonies

  • Critical & Adversarial Design

  • Right to Repair

  • Anything…