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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a critical design practitioner who works with technology, Professor of Digital Transformation Design and Academic Lead for Connected Futures that includes Digital Economy, Immersive Media, Digital Health and Transport, Mobilities & Smart Cities. With a background in experimental electronic arts and design, then experiential marketing, I have 25 years in digital and am now an internationally recognised expert in human centred R&D of ‘Next Generation’. I am a Women In Games Ambassador, sponsored by Google Women Tech Makers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. I work as a digital transformation design consultant and clients have included PlayStation, Diesel, ITV, Which?, Top Shop & EY. 


For the last 14 years, my teaching has been focused upon innovative post graduate curriculum design and delivery, integrating knowledge transfer, work based learning and CPD into industry focused provision and since 1998, using various types of eLearning technologies. In 2009, I lead a 100k HEFCE funded project on the digital transformation of PG teaching, research and enterprise across four faculties at Kingston University, integrating provision from The Design School, Technological Science, Media & Communications and Computer Science into a converged suite of six Masters courses that I devised in consultation with a cross faculty team and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Samsung Design Europe and Dreamworks. I ran ‘Digital Media Kingston’ as a micro-studio, with R&D embedded in the curriculum, students worked under NDA to Sony Worldwide 3D, Playstation and many SMEs; alumni destinations included IBM, BSkyB, Framestore, Extra Mile Studios, Colossal Games and Criterion http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/projects/networks/issue-17-april-2012/changing-the-university-genome-a-case-study-of-digital-media-kingston 

My expertise is in designing for human/machine convergence in the context of complexity; specifically leveraging PET (persuasion, emotion & trust) in the User Experience (UX) as agency, nudging transformation & large scale change digital first. I have worked in e-commerce, games, health, e-learning, heritage & the arts and military & defence with iOS, Android, Windows, Cloud, Xbox, Playstation & Drones; used digital audio and video, MIDI, haptics, holography, stereoscopy and AR/VR; applied sensor tech, biometrics (inc. eye tracking, facial recognition, EEG, EMG, GSR), computer vision, machine learning, predictive analytics, big data and automatic signal recognition. I been designing A.I.s. since 1997.

My research has always been into closing the semantic gap between people and machines via novel methods in human factors. I have spent the last ten years working with EEG and other biometrics to perfect the art of Cognitive UXD (User Experience Design) for full for stack, human centred, digital transformation, that is, the automation and migration of values of all kinds, from the real to the virtual and back again. I have made work that acceleratated the smoking cessation user journey by increasing engagement; provided mental health self-monitoring for teenagers in the wak of the London riots; nudged critical thinking skills by design in a global MOOC and prototyped various neurogames towards defining ‘nudge mechanics’, ‘neuro-navigation’ & ‘neuro-transformation'; that is quantifying PET mechanics towards deep learning of the role of symbolic capital in nudging human motives; developing a GUI paradigm for navigating by emotional engagement in virtual environments and developing ‘regenerative’ media content that aims to reverse engineer neurological states. All of which will help guide valuable & ethical singularities in IoT, robotics & immersive environments. 

I co-lead Digital Catapult Centre Brighton’s '5G Brighton' Testbed project, that is in partnership with 5GIC as part of the Govts 5G Strategy and am P.I on ESIFs £1.1m ‘Digital Research & Innovation Value Accelerator’ based in the LGF funded Digital Catapult Centre Brighton’s B2B Data Research & Innovation Lab that I established.   





  • QA76 Computer software
  • media
  • design
  • business
  • digital economy
  • organisational studies
  • complexity
  • cognition
  • augmentation
  • singularity
  • ethics
  • Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Karen Cham is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Mechanics Engineering & Materials Science
art Social Sciences
digital media Social Sciences
Semantics Engineering & Materials Science
Brain computer interface Engineering & Materials Science
Human computer interaction Engineering & Materials Science
media event Social Sciences
Semiotics Engineering & Materials Science

Research Output 1994 2019

5G Accelerated Complexity, Human Centred Networks & Data Driven Transformation ​

Cham, K., 15 May 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherResearchpeer-review

value chain

Closing Keynote: UXD 4.0: Designing the Human Experience of Data Rich Complexity in Pervasive XR

Cham, K., 4 Apr 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherResearchpeer-review

Cloud computing
Artificial intelligence
Learning systems

Designing Change: NeuroMedia As A Metanoic Practice

Cham, K., 26 Oct 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

User Experience

Neurogaming & Emotional Singularities

Cham, K., 10 Jul 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

Brain computer interface
Human computer interaction

Bankrupting Gamification – When a Method Becomes Mythologised

Cham, K., 30 Nov 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherResearchpeer-review


Activities 1992 2019

HM Government (External organisation)

Karen Cham (Member)
1 Jul 201930 Jun 2024

Activity: External boards and professional/academic bodiesPersonal board membership of professional/academic bodies

Designing Digital First Behaviour Change: Full Stack Cognitive UXD Process

Karen Cham (Presenter)
20 Jun 2019

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

Emotional UX and Designing for PET (Persuasion, Emotion & Trust)

Karen Cham (Presenter)
19 Apr 2019

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

Full Stack Cognitive UXD

Karen Cham (Invited presenter)
26 Mar 2019

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

Chair : Complexity and Creative Industry: Grip on Transitions and Resilience

Karen Cham (Panel Chair)
15 Feb 201920 Jun 2019

Activity: External funding peer-review