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I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in Digital Archaeology and Heritage at Bournemouth University (BU). My research and expertise are in designing and studying of interactive technology to enhance the cross-cultural experience and appreciation of cultural heritage. My research interests include: human-computer interaction, digital heritage, intangible cultural heritage, design ethnography, UX design.
I am an interdisciplinary researcher with a background including fine art, product design, human-computer-interaction and cultural heritage. I am also a traditional Chinese painter and calligrapher with exhibited work. My approach is informed by ethnographic and ethnomethodological traditions supported by the theoretical framework of Research through Design. I have considerable experience of how research can be integrated with practice.
My research masters focused on the user experience of product design, and how Chinese traditional art could be integrated with technology. Research at the International Design Institute (Zhejiang University) enabled me to explore these themes with global companies (Casio, Philips, and Alibaba). My doctoral research (in partnership with the Shanghai Theatre Academy) explored the design of interactive technologies to support the cultural appreciation and experience of an important class of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage, Chinese puppetry. I developed a practical method of deconstructing elements from performances (dialect and gestures), and then created a foundational framework to assist non-Chinese communities better understand the cultural significance of these components. My work demonstrated the potential for digital technology to enhance cross-cultural appreciation of, and engagement with cultural heritage.
I have continued to pursue these themes, most recently using novel mobile and gesture-based interactive technology installations to capture non-verbal emotion and storytelling from the act of producing Chinese painting and calligraphy... I am currently exploring how technology might be used to enhance the cross-cultural experience in the city of Suzhou with the Government of Jiangsu Province, China.more
- Merritt, K. and Zhao, S., 2020. An Investigation of What Factors Determine the Way in Which Customer Satisfaction Is Increased through Omni-Channel Marketing in Retail. Administrative Sciences, 10 (4).
- Zhao, S., Kirk, D., Bowen, S., Chatting, D. and Wright, P., 2019. Supporting the Cross-cultural Appreciation of Traditional Chinese Puppetry Through a Digital Gesture Library. Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH), 12 (4), 1-19.
- Zhao, S., 2019. An Analysis of Interactive Technology’s Effect on the Appreciation of Traditional Chinese Painting: A Review of Case Studies. The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, 14 (3), 1-12.
- Zhao, S., Kirk, D., Bowen, S. and Wright, P., 2019. Cross-cultural Understanding of Chinese Traditional Puppetry: Integrating Digital Technology to Enhance Audience Engagement. International Journal of Intangible Heritage, 14 (1), 139-145.
- Zhao, S., 2019. Exploring How Interactive Technology Enhances Gesture-Based Expression and Engagement: A Design Study. Multimodal Technologies Interact, 3 (1), 1-13.
- Zhao, S., Kirk, D., Bowen, S. and Wright, P., 2018. Enhancing the Appreciation of Traditional Chinese Painting Using Interactive Technology. Multimodal Technologies Interact, 2 (2), 1-16.
- Zhao, S., 2020. An Analysis of How Interactive Technology Supports the Appreciation of Traditional Chinese Puppetry: A Review of Case Studies. In: Brooks, A. and Brooks, E.I., eds. Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation (Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series). Cham: Springer, 496-505.
- Zhao, S., 2020. A Methodological Reflection: Deconstructing Cultural Elements for Enhancing Cross-cultural Appreciation of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage. In: Rauterberg, M., ed. Culture and Computing (Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series). Cham: Springer Nature, 450-459.
- Digital Asia - Cultural, Socio-Economic, and Political Transformations, Designing interactive technology to enhance the cross- cultural appreciation of Chinese intangible cultures heritage, 02 Dec 2019, Lund University
- Puppetry Research Conference in Newcastle Puppetry Festival, • Exploring Transcultural Understanding Through Stakeholder Analysis and Digital Interactive Technologies, 06 Apr 2017, Newcastle, UK
- Supervisory Development Training for New Supervisors, 13 Oct 2020
- PhD in Human Computer Interaction (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2020)
- MEng in Interactive Media Design (Zhejiang University, 2014)
- BA (Hons) in Fine Arts (Zhejiang University, 2011)