Dr Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh (formerly Corrigan-Doyle)

Surrey Future Fellow in Designing AI for Home Wellbeing, Surrey AI Fellow
BA (Distinction), MA (Distinction), PhD, FHEA


Areas of specialism

Creative research methods; Technology for social good; Design for happiness and wellbeing; Participatory approaches

My qualifications

BA Visual Communication with Distinction
Dublin Institute of Technology, School of Creative Arts
MA Design: Critical Practice with Distinction
Goldsmiths, University of London
PhD in Creative Research Methods and Designing for Home Happiness
Loughborough University
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Loughborough University
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
University of Surrey


Research interests

Research projects



Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Frohlich, D., Yuan, H. and Bober, M. (2021) ‘‘Designing the Next Generation of Augmented Books’J. of Design Research, pp.356–374.

Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Scarles, C., Frohlich, D. et al. (2020) 'Exploring the Future of the Book from the Next Generation Paper Project', Publishing History, pp. 35–53.

Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Scarles, and M. Beynon (2020) 'Augmenting Photobooks for Enhancing Travel Performances', in Proceedings of CAUTHE2020, Auckland, New Zealand, 10–13 February. Auckland: Auckland University of Technology, pp. 60–64. 

Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Scarles, C. and Revill, G. (2020). 'Augmenting Travel Guides for Enriching Travel Experiences', in Proceedings of ENTER2020 International eTourism Conference,The 27th Annual Conference Organized by IFITT, Guildford, UK, 8–10 January. Guildford: E-review of Tourism, pp. 334–348.

Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Fernandes, A. and Plumbley, M. (2022) ‘Envisioning Sound Sensing Technologies for Enhancing Urban Living’, in Proceedings of Environments by Design, Online, 1­–3 December. (in press)

EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, DAVID MARK FROHLICH, HAIYUE YUAN, MIROSLAW Z BOBER (2021)Designing for the Next Generation of Augmented Books, In: Journal of design research : JDR18(Nos. 5/6)pp. 356-374 Inderscience

This paper presents an advanced process for designing “a-books”; augmented printed books with multimedia links presented on a nearby device. Although augmented paper is not new, our solution facilitates mass market use through industry standard publishing software that generates the a-book, and regular smartphones that play related digital media by optically recognising its ordinary paper pages through the phone’s built-in camera. This augmented paper strategy informs new classifications of digital content within publication design, enabling new immersive reading possibilities. Complementary affordances of print and digital, and how these are combined and harnessed by a-books in comparison to previous augmented paper concepts are first discussed. Subsequently, an explanation of the workflow for designing a-books is described. The final discussion includes implications for content creators of paper-based publishing, and future research plans.

David M. Frohlich, Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, Sarah Campbell, Theopisti Chrysanthaki, Paula Castro, Isabela Zaine, Maria da Graça Campos Pimentel (2020)Assistive media for wellbeing, In: HCI and design in the context of dementiapp. 189-205 Springer International Publishing

Personal digital media such as photos, music and films play a pervasive part in contemporary life by helping us to remember the past, communicate with each other and represent our identity to others. In this chapter we explore the value of such media for supporting wellbeing in older age, drawing on concepts from literatures on art, reminiscence and music therapy. Theoretically we argue for a new category of assistive technologies involving media creation and consumption to enhance wellbeing. We propose a framework for understanding and designing such assistive media systems which highlights the interaction between media item, author and audience. This framework is then illustrated through early attempts to explore a new kind of digital story therapy for people with dementia in a residential care setting. We conclude with recommendations for the design of future ‘assistive media’ systems and experiences that might enhance not only the lives of people with dementia, but also those around them.

Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, Carolina Escboar-Tello (2019)Creative methods for sustainable design for happiness and wellbeing, In: Design for Wellbeing: An Applied Approachpp. 124-137 Routledge

This chapter presents the Design for Happiness Framework (DfH) and the Designing for Home Happiness Framework as applicable specific creative methods for this purpose; they provide relevant processes and tools to design for happiness and wellbeing. It also presents a short summary of prevalent creative methods available to designers, such as probes, toolkits and prototypes. The most common creative methods used by designers can be consolidated under the headings: probes, toolkits and prototypes. The chapter also presents a comprehensive review of relevant aspects for designing for happiness and wellbeing to demonstrate a need to specialise methods in this area. The unique design process of DfH combines for the first time elements of holistic sustainable design plus happiness characteristics. However, for the purposes of explaining DfH in a clear manner, the following sections split it into three separate foundations: design approach; design process; and the toolkit.

Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, Carolina Escobar-Tello (2019)Art therapy techniques as a novel creative method for exploring design for home happiness, In: Journal of Design Research16(3/4) Inderscience

Home can play a central role in influencing societal practices, being, among other conceptualisations, a social system supportive of basic and psychological needs. Art therapy techniques can be used for exploring home happiness from this perspective. They appear to enable the identification of systemic facilitators of happy home moments, informing design opportunities. This paper discusses art therapy techniques as a new tailored creative method for exploring this within design research. It begins by describing relevant home and happiness concepts, art therapy techniques and similar creative methods. This is followed by an explanation of how art therapy approaches were used to examine practices for home happiness. Subsequently, research results are highlighted, such as how 'design for home happiness' can create applicable design products and services. Finally, implications of employing art therapy techniques in 'designing for home happiness' are suggested.

EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, David M. Frohlich, CAROLINE ELIZABETH SCARLES (2022)Re-invigorating the Photo Album: Augmenting Printed Photobooks with Digital Media, In: Personal and ubiquitous computing Springer

The photo album emerged in the late 1800s as place to collect portrait photos of visitors to a home, and was later appropriated by Kodak as a visual chronology of family history. With digital photography the album has largely been replaced by online repositories of images shared on social media, and the selective printing of photobooks. In this paper we present a ‘next generation paper’ authoring system for annotating photobooks with multimedia content viewed on a nearby smartphone. We also report the results of a trial of this system, by nine travellers who used it to make augmented photobooks following a trip. These findings show that the augmented physical-and-digital photobook can heighten awareness of the multisensory aspects of travel, enrich memories, and enhance social interaction around photos. The social and technical implications for the future of the photo album are discussed.

David M. Frohlich, Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, Mirek Bober, Haiyue Yuan, Radu Sporea, Brice Le Borgne, Caroline Scarles, George Revill, Jan Van Duppen, Alan W. Brown, Megan Beynon (2019)The Cornwall a-book: An Augmented Travel Guide Using Next Generation Paper, In: The Journal of Electronic Publishing22(1) Michigan Publishing

Electronic publishing usually presents readers with book or e-book options for reading on paper or screen. In this paper, we introduce a third method of reading on paper-and-screen through the use of an augmented book (‘a-book’) with printed hotlinks than can be viewed on a nearby smartphone or other device. Two experimental versions of an augmented guide to Cornwall are shown using either optically recognised pages or embedded electronics making the book sensitive to light and touch. We refer to these as second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) paper respectively. A common architectural framework, authoring workflow and interaction model is used for both technologies, enabling the creation of two future generations of augmented books with interactive features and content. In the travel domain we use these features creatively to illustrate the printed book with local multimedia and updatable web media, to point to the printed pages from the digital content, and to record personal and web media into the book.

Georgios Bairaktaris, Brice Le Borgne, Vikram Turkani, Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, David M. Frohlich, Radu A. Sporea (2022)Augmented Books: Hybrid Electronics Bring Paper to Life, In: IEEE pervasive computing IEEE

In today's digital world, paper's reason of being is challenged. Yet, studies suggest that books and paper-based objects have advantages ranging from the tactile sensation to information retention and indexing. We have developed a hybrid electronic device, the "a-book," that offers access to up-to-date and pertinent multimedia content as part of the ordinary interaction with a typical hardcover book. The device maintains the look and feel of a conventional book and is connected to the web through an adjunct smart device. Here, we provide a technical project summary of the electronic system for book augmentation. We outline the system's functionality and discuss its manufacturability, prospects, and limitations in the context of current and emerging flexible electronics technologies.

EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH (2019)Next Generation Paper, In: The Writing Platform
Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, Caroline Scarles, David Frohlich, George Revill, Megan Beynon, Jan Van Duppen (2019)Explorations on the future of the book from the Next Generation Paper Project, In: Publishing History
Emily Corrigan-Doyle, Carolina Escobar-Tello, Kathy Pui Ying Lo (2016)Alternative pathways to understanding and designing for happiness in the home, In: Iterations4pp. 16-23 University of Limerick

This article considers the value of making long-term happiness a key priority in designing for the home and how creative methods, art therapy techniques in particular, can be fundamental in this process. It presents different approaches for investigating home happiness by offering an overview of happiness, design and home literature informing the research process, and techniques employed so far. Accordingly, photo elicitation and art therapy techniques are used at different stages of the research to investigate home happiness and locate design directions. This article therefore discusses how these approaches could assist designers in the creation of happy home design interventions, including commercial products, product-service-systems and/or public/community services, and, through this, potentially lead to happier future homes and more sustainable lifestyles.

EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, Carolina Escobar-Tello, Kathy Pui Ying Lo (2015)Taking a Softer Approach: Using Photo Elicitation to Explore the Home as a System for Sustainability and Happiness
Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, Caroline Scarles, George Revill (2020)Augmenting Travel Guides for Enriching Travel Experiences, In: e-Review of Tourism Research17pp. 344-348 Texas A&M Agrilife

Paper and digital media, smartphone apps and travel guides for example, are commonly used together by travellers for reliable and up-to-date information. This paper examines how the a-book, an augmented travel guide with complementary multimedia could enrich travel experiences. Using a tailored app, travellers can access, play, and add their own videos, audio, weblinks and digital images to the guide. Results of 14 evaluations studies with UK travellers suggest that it advances concepts of co-creation, facilitates a new reading paradigm, consequently enriching travel performances. This paper provides an initial introductory to these emerging theoretical themes and suggests implications for future research.

EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, Carolina Escobar-Tello, Kathy Pui Ying Lo (2015)Creating a Service Design for Happy Sustainable Homes Using Art Therapy
EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, Carolina Escobar-Tello, Kathy Pui Ying Lo (2016)Using Art therapy techniques to Explore Home Life Happiness

The home plays many roles in our daily lives. It provides shelter and a place to rest. It can be viewed as an extension of the self, portraying our hopes and ideals, and where we create our identity within society1. However, contemporary homes are filled with modern appliances that offer few opportunities for creative output or experience, reducing potential for self-reflection and psychological growth. This lifestyle of high consumption and productivity does not correlate with long-term happiness2 but engagement in creativity does3. Furthermore, art creation engages the emotional centres of the brain4 so can potentially be used to investigate and enhance happiness in the home. In particular, art therapy techniques (for example, art making in silence) can be used to trigger and explore positive emotions. Also, service design approaches (for example, experience journey maps) can facilitate the conceptualisation of new experiences, including happier ones. Based in the UK, this research will therefore explore how creativity can contribute to happiness in the domestic space by using approaches from art therapy and service design. A series of workshops, comprising family homeowners and later service designers, guided by the researchers, will use techniques from these fields to investigate how home happiness might be developed/facilitated. The first of these workshops tested the use of art therapy techniques. This paper will present initial findings from this, such as creating the right context for reflective art making, facilitating emotional expression and art making with a focus on positive family time.

EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, MARK DAVID PLUMBLEY, MARC GREEN, ANDRES FERNANDEZ (2021)Exploring Sound Sensing to Improve Quality of Life in Urban Living

Following the successful application of AI and machine learning technologies to the recognition of speech and images, computer systems can now automatically analyse and recognise everyday real-world sound scenes and events. This new technology presents promising potential applications in environmental sensing and urban living. Specifically, urban soundscape analysis could be used to monitor and improve soundscapes experienced for people in towns and cities, helping to identify and formulate strategies for enhancing quality of life through future urban planning and development.

EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, Carolina Escobar-Tello, Kathy Pui Ying Lo (2018)Exploring Art Therapy Techniques within Service Design as a Means to Greater Home Life Happiness.
EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, Carolina Escobar-Tello, Kathy Pui Ying Lo (2016)Exploring Design for Happiness in the Home and Future Implications for Domestic Living

Home can influence our happiness through the activities it affords. Furthermore, previous research has indicated commonalities between happy, and sustainable societies but many of current home practices are unsustainable. This research aims to explore design for happiness as a means to future sustainable, and happier domestic lifestyles. This paper discusses the first study in which photo elicitation method was used with home-­owning families to locate home happiness triggers. This method elicited photography of two representative days of the participants’ home life. Participants were then questioned in follow-­up semi-­structured interviews. From this, happiness home needs were conceptualised and connections were drawn to happy sustainable societies. This paper discusses these results and identifies that strong family bonds, facilitated by time relaxing, socialising and pursuing interests together, are core contributors to happier, and sustainable homes. The implications for design for happiness in the home are also discussed and proposed for future work.

Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, David Frohlich, Miroslaw Bober, Radu Sporea, Alan Brown, George Revill, Haiyue Yuan, Megan Brown, Jan Van Duppen, Caroline Scarles (2020)A-photobooks: Bridging the Gap between Virtual and Material Worlds

Despite the rise of digital photography, physical photos remain significant. They support social practices for maintaining social bonds, particularly in family contexts as their handling can trigger emotions associated with the individuals and themes depicted. Also, digital media can be used to strengthen the meaning of physical objects and environments represented in the material world through augmented reality, where such are overlaid with additional digital information that provide supplementary sensory context to topics conveyed. This poster therefore presents initial findings from the development of augmented photobooks to create ‘a-photobooks’, printed photobooks that are augmented by travellers with additional multimedia of their trip using a smartphone-based authoring tool. Results suggest a-photobooks could support more immersive engagement and reminiscing of holidays encounters, increasing cognitive, and emotional effects of associated experiences.

EMILY MARY CORRIGAN-KAVANAGH, CAROLINE ELIZABETH SCARLES, Megan Beynon (2020)Augmenting photobooks for enhancing travel performances

Additional publications