The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) focuses on understanding a contemporary world in which digital and mobile technologies are central to everyday life.
DERC approaches this world and how we experience it through innovative, reflexive and ethical ethnographic approaches. We draw on research traditions and concepts developed in media and cultural studies, feminist studies, sociology, anthropology, design, arts and documentary practice, and games research.
Our research is incisive, interventional and internationally leading. Going beyond the call of pure academia DERC excels in both academic scholarship and in our applied work with external partners from industry and other sectors.
DERC partners with a range of institutions in Australia and globally, including other universities, companies and other organisations. This includes collaborative research projects, conferences, symposia and workshops, and international visits, fellowships and publications.
DERC was established in December 2012 by Larissa Hjorth and Heather Horst with the aim of consolidating and further developing RMIT’s strength in international digital innovation. Since 2018, the Centre has been directed by Tania Lewis who is building on the leadership of Sarah Pink (Director from 2016-18).
DERC has six core research Labs:
- Data Ethnographies Lab
- Design + Ethnography + Futures Lab
- Bio Inspired Digital Sensing Lab
- Migration and Diverse Communities Lab
- Technology, Communication and Policy Lab
- Creative Research Interventions in Methods and Practice Lab