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Iryna Kuksa

Iryna Kuksa

Senior Research Fellow

Nottingham School of Art & Design


Iryna holds a permanent Senior Research Fellowship in the School of Art and Design. Her main job responsibility is to carry out high-level research, disseminating findings through publications, presentations at key academic conferences and seminars. In addition to developing an independent line of research, Iryna works together with academics, students, practitioners and organisations to develop novel research strategies, methods, design practice and educational approaches.

Iryna aims to maximise the individual and collective impact of the early career researchers (ECRs) on advancing research culture at NTU. Since 2014, she has been a convenor of ECR group in the School of Art and Design. Under her leadership, the group has become a prominent entity in the university, prolific in raising ECRs research profiles, and crucial in providing peer support, mentoring, training, and research opportunities.

In 2015, Iryna launched and since has been overseeing the organisation and delivery of the high-profile guest seminar series ‘Creative Innovation Across Disciplines’, promoting NTU as a centre for research excellence. As a result, new national and international collaborations and research links were and continue to form.

Iryna regularly contributes to academic peer-review and internal REF review and represents the School on various committees, including Ethics Committee, School’s Research and Innovation Committee, NTU Research Integrity Policy Working Group. She is an active member of the Design Research Centre at NTU.

Iryna feels passionately about promoting diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion in academia and society as a whole.

Current projects:

  • 2014 (ongoing) – Board member of the Creative and Virtual Technologies Research Lab, NTU
  • 2014 (ongoing) – 'Design and Personalisation' in collaboration with Tom Fisher and Tony Kent
  • 2007 (ongoing) – 'Scenography Reborn in 3D: A Study of Norman Bel Geddes' in collaboration with Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

Career overview

Over the years, Iryna has developed a strong multidisciplinary background that enables her to make creative links between divergent fields of knowledge and creative practice. She has a demonstrable ability of project management, strong publication output, and a growing number of successful collaborations across disciplines and borders. She trained as a researcher at three of the UK’s top universities (Oxford, LSE, and Warwick) and has been a proud recipient of prestigious, highly competitive academic awards and visiting appointments.

Iryna made original contributions to progress in her discipline, together with a notable input to other fields, as demonstrated by her publications, including three books – ‘Making Sense of Space’ (Chandos, 2014), ‘Design and Personalisation’ (Routledge, 2017) and ‘Understanding Personalisation’ (Elsevier, forthcoming in 2022).

Iryna studied for a PhD at the University of Warwick.

Research areas

Iryna is a scholar interested in practice-based research. She carved out a distinctive niche for herself, by delineating and theorising the emerging phenomenon of personalisation. She also studies the relationship between the creator, the viewer and the artefact in the light of an on-going conflict between the ‘virtual’ and the ‘material’. She analyses such factors as credibility and intellectual transparency when constructing a digital environment, artefact or communication platform. She investigates how existing cultural forms are redefined (and sometimes reinvented) through digital technologies and offer different approaches to describing the process of adapting spaces from one medium to another.

Through her practice-based research, Iryna aspires to provide significant value to the public by improving people’s understanding of highly complex data-handling protocols and by encouraging – and enabling – users to take control of their digital footprints. Through her long-term work with a local theatre company, she has gained invaluable experience in communicating complex topics to diverse non-academic audiences.

External activity

Iryna's research in design and personalisation and digital humanities is recognised and valued by the international academic community, as demonstrated by the following achievements:

Member of the REPHRAIN College of Peer Reviewers. REPHRAIN is the UKRI endorsed National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online (from 2021)

Guest reviewer for MA Design Engineering, The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University (from 2019)

Visiting Scholar at The Graduate School of Design, Harvard University (2019-2020)

Peer-Reviewer (Elsevier, Common Ground Publishing, EPSRC)

Visiting Senior Fellow at Staffordshire University (2011-2014)

Reviews Editor for Scene (Intellect) (2013-2014)

Award of Harry Ransom Fellowship (2012)

Request to use Iryna's research outputs for the Norman Bel Geddes' permanent collection at the Harry Ransom Centre, University of Texas in Austin

Display of her 3D visualisation of Dante's The Divine Comedy designed by Norman Bel Geddes in 1921 as part of the 'I Have Seen The Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America' exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center (2012-2013)

Integration of her PhD project (Set-SPECTRUM) into the teaching curriculum of three universities (University of Warwick, University of Hull, and Edge Hill University)

Information for prospective research students

Iryna’s areas of interest are personalisation, design, new media and multimedia, immersive virtual environments, digital wellbeing, social media and health motivation technologies.

Sponsors and collaborators

Prof Martin Bechthold, Kumagai Professor of Architectural Technology and Director of the GSD's Technology Platform, The Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

Prof Helen Cassady, University of Nottingham

NTU collaborators: Prof Tom Fisher, Prof Tony Kent, Prof Peter Ford, Prof Benachir Medjdoub, Prof Amanda Briggs-Goode


Selected publications:

KUKSA,I AND FISHER,T., 2017. Design for Personalisation. Oxford: Routledge.

KUKSA,I. AND CHILDS,M., 2014. Making Sense of Space: The Design and Experience of Virtual Spaces as a Tool for Communication. Cambridge: Chandos.

KUKSA, I. and TUCK, D., 2011. 'Breaking the glass': preserving social history in virtual environments. International Journal of Arts and Technology vol 4 (4),pp. 392-407, (Doi: 10.1504/IJART.2011.043447) ISSN 1754-8861

KUKSA,I., RUMNEY,P. AND SCRIVEN,N.,2011.The Cosmos Project- A Journey To The Stars. Youth Theatre Journal,25:1, pp.87-100 (DOI:10.1080/08929092.2011.569307) ISSN 0892-9092

KUKSA, I. and CHILDS, M., 2010. But A Walking Shadow: Designing, Performing and Learning on the Virtual Stage. Learning, Media and Technology, vol 35:3, pp.275-291 (DOI:10.1080/17439884.2010.509352) ISSN 1743-989.

See all of Iryna Kuksa's publications...

Press expertise

  • Design and personalisation
  • 3D visualisation of historical artefacts
  • Use of immersive virtual environments for creative practice and education
  • Digital communication
  • Multi-modal learning