Dr Anastasia Loukianov

Postgraduate Research Student


My research project

My qualifications

BA(Hons) Sociology (first class)
University of Manchester


Lindley, S., Smyth, G., Corish, R., Loukianov, A., Golembewski, M., Luger, A., and Sellen, A. (2018) Exploring new metaphors for a networked world through the file biography.
We present a body of work undertaken in response to the challenge outlined by Harper et al. in their paper, 'What is a File?'. Through a conceptual and design-led exploration of new file metaphors, we developed the 'file biography', a digital entity that encompasses the provenance of a file and allows the user to keep track of how it propagates. We explored this through prototyping and utilised it in two user studies. In the studies, we (i) asked people to sketch out file biographies for their own content, and (ii) deployed a tool enabling users to build their own simple file biographies across multiple versions of Word documents. We conclude that new file metaphors may need to play different roles for different types of digital content, with a distinction being drawn between content that is 'in production' and virtual possessions that are, in a sense, a 'finished' artefact.
Loukianov, A., Burningham, K., and Jackson, T. (2019) Living the good life on Instagram. An exploration of lay understandings of what it means to live well.
While the consumerist approach to what living well can mean permeates traditional media, the extent to which it appears in people’s own depictions of the good life is unclear. As the unsustainability of the consumerist approach is increasingly evidenced, both in terms of environmental and social im-pacts, looking into which understandings of the good life resonate with people becomes essential. This article uses a sample of posts tagged #goodlife and variants originally collected in 2014-2015 on Instagram (a popular image sharing platform) to explore which understandings of the good life can be found on the platform. Using multimodal discourse analysis, it highlights two different user-generated understandings of the good life: ‘working on future goals’ and ‘appreciating the present moment’. We argue that neither approach is directly or necessarily congruent with the traditional consumer good life. Yet their shared photographic codes with advertisements can contribute to their framing into the consumer good life. Additionally, the temporalities afforded by the platform and currently in place through social conventions may affect the type of narratives that are mediated. While the understandings derived from the analysis are not straightforward reflections of people’s beliefs about the meaning of the good life, they constitute conversations that at once inform, and are informed by, users’ beliefs about living well. The popularity of the platform makes these conversations crucial for anyone interested in desired lifestyles and their sustainability.