Professor Sandra Kemp combines Senior Research Fellowships at the Imperial College London and the V&A. As an academic and curator, she has previously worked at the Universities of Oxford and Glasgow, the Royal College of Art, the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, as well as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
Sandra’s research is located within futures studies in relation to visual and material cultures. Temporality is a key focus of this work: both the historical dynamics behind the construction of futures knowledge, and the methods of current futures construction in a range of institutions. Her major exhibition, Future Face: Image, Identity, Innovation, was funded by the Wellcome Trust at the London Science Museum. This explored the long intellectual union of science, art, design and technology in the analysis of the face as a 3-D bar-code of identity, and explored what faces might be like in the future.
Sandra’s current research and teaching at Imperial College include cross-disciplinary investigation of futures thinking and visualisation, in partnership with science-based industries, government agencies, and the creative and cultural industries. In particular, she focuses on how expertise in predicting and shaping the future is mobilised and materialised; how fundamental notions of agency and risk create a platform for debate about ethical issues; and how we might engage wider publics in debates and policies concerning the future. This research builds on collaborative industry-related research and public engagement in areas including design, material science and computer science, developed as part of her Royal College of Art (RCA) role as Research Director from 2000-2008.