Picture of Dr Joseph Langley

Dr Joseph Langley

Dr Joseph Langley PhD, MEng

Engineering Design Research Fellow
Art & Design Research Centre
E-mail: j.langley@shu.ac.uk
Phone: 0114 225 6753
Fax: 0114 225 6931

I am part of the Lab4Living strategic management team helping to define its direction, collaborations and initiatives

My own research has elements of both social and environmental sustainability, incorporating issues such as usability or accessibility participation, implementation, impact and mobilisation of research into everyday practice.

As an engineer based in an Art and Design Research Centre, I have worked on many interdisciplinary and even transdisciplinary teams and even on projects aimed at promoting interdisciplinary research. I am a firm believer in the benefits, strengths and richness of interdisciplinarity work and hence I am always looking to facilitate the breakdown of any barriers to such work be they infrastructure, communication or motivation. What inspires and motivates me? A black and white photo of the Peak District from Higger Tor The area and setting in which I live and work – Sheffield, the Peak District and Yorkshire. I am inspired by the beauty of the hills, valleys and moors of this region, the variation between gentle, rolling and rugged, gritty landscapes in both rural and urban areas. I am inspired by the aesthetical beauty and strength, both structural and architectural, of the work of the great Victorian engineers – their bridges and buildings, from terraced housing to city halls, old factory works and majestic rail viaducts.

Baby hand in an adult handIn my work I am inspired by hands – their use and ability to communicate or express emotions, thoughts and stories. Their use in daily activities, their creativity and subtlety, their strength and gentleness. Our hands are the cutting edge of our minds, not merely sensing data but having the ability to change that data too, forming a cognitive interaction loop with our minds that allows us to learn and think through our hands.

Old, knurled, weathered hands that have ‘seen’, communicated, touched and felt so much. Small, young, soft hands that are so busy investigating everything, feeding information, communicating, seeking, grasping and gripping. Hands are a part of our front line for communication and expression, action and activity, support and comfort.

Finally, I am inspired by my children. The words don’t exist to express this fully but being able to observe the growth, learning and development process at close quarters is a constant source of amazement, inspiration and joy. My eldest daughter faces all her challenges with such a cheerful, inquisitive and indomitable spirit, that I, albeit through rose tinted spectacles, can only admire and smile. The relationship with her younger siblings is a fair ground of variety yet underpinned by a desire to care and help, although sometimes, without the knowledge of relative strength, robustly delivered! My youngest daughter and child has a self-awareness  beyond her years with an absolute surety of mind. I cannot recall her ever changing her mind about anything!

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
Furnival Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
Phone 0114 225 6753 | Fax 0114 225 6931