Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design


Martin Hendry

Post-Graduate Researcher (PhD)


Post-graduate researcher researching “The Social Camera”. Specializing in Semiotics, Innovation Studies and Design Research.


I am embarking on a course of PhD research into the evolution of camera design as of November 2012, with a focus on the attributes of contemporary consumer cameras. From this I aim to ascertain concrete insights into the nature of future devices and their impact upon society.

Research Interests

My research area analyses how examples of camera design can be seen to communicate known and unknown user demands. My particular area of focus is on what I call “the social camera”, which is ¬†a new configuration that can be found in today’s smartphones.

Here I aim to explore the effects of three cumulative technological innovations upon camera design: Firstly, the digitization of photographic media; secondly, the socialization of this through new devices that allow streamlined communication of photographic media; and thirdly through the shift towards the democratization and ubiquity of hardware.

From this I am looking to ascertain:

1/ An understanding of how the design of cameras has changed in relation to wider social and technological shifts.

2/ An understanding of how camera design has itself, affected social change and technological innovation.


3/ What insights we can take from both of these areas in order to understand the future of consumer cameras. Based upon: Emerging technologies and the shifting nature of user interaction with consumer cameras and the photographic process.

Research Projects & Grants

Leeds University School of Design Research Scholarship Award 2012

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Dr. Vien Cheung

Dr. Kishore Budha

Prof. Stephen Westland

PhD Thesis

“The Social Camera: Insights into the Design Futures of Consumer Imaging”

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