Core Project Members

Victor Buchli

Victor is Professor of Material Culture within the Material Culture Group at UCL and works on the material culture of Low Earth Orbit, architecture, domesticity, the archaeology of the recent past, and critical understandings of materiality and new technologies. Currently he is Principal Investigator of the 5 year European Research Council funded research project: ETHNO-ISS: An Ethnography of an Extraterrestrial Society: the International Space Station (ERC Advanced Grant, no. 833135) and is one of the theme leaders of the [email protected]

UCL Staff Page

Selected Publications
  • 2020 Buchli, V. (forthcoming) ‘Extra-terrestrial methods: towards an ethnography of the ISS’,  in T. Carroll et al. Lineages and Advancements in Material Culture Studies: Perspective from UCL Anthropology, London: Bloomsbury
  • 2020 Buchli, V. (forthcoming) ‘Low Earth Orbit: A speculative ethnographer’s guide’ in W. Bracewell et al. Anti-Atlas: Towards a Critical Area Studies, London: UCL Press
  • 2018 ‘Interview’ in We all Love Your Life, George Henry Longly, Red Bull
Selected Talks
  • 2019 ETHNO-ISS: An Ethnography of an Extra-terrestrial Society: the International Space Station, Joint Departmental Seminars, Dept. of Anthropology, University College London
  • 2019 ‘To the Moon and Back’, Bloomsbury Festival, Conway Hall, October 20
Giles Bunch

Giles Bunch is a social anthropologist and PhD student at UCL. His research looks at the culture of human spaceflight at the European Space Agency (ESA), with a focus on the training and practices of Flight Controller teams supporting ESA’s Columbus project. He is currently conducting fieldwork at two fieldsites connected to ESA’s human spaceflight programme; The European Astronaut Centre, and Columbus Control Centre in Germany.

Timothy Carroll

As an Associate Scholar attached to ETHNO-ISS, Dr. Carroll’s  focus within the project is on the notions of transcendence and the discourse, especially in the Russian context, between scientific progress and discovery, and theological conceptions and religious practices – both in the official discourse of Russian Orthodox Christianity and in the folk and un-orthodox expressions seen throughout the Soviet and Russian space exploration. With a research background in clothing as a technical apparatus, Timothy is also interested in space suites and other wearable tech used within off-Earth contexts.

UCL Staff Page

Jenia Gorbanenko

Jenia is a doctoral student on the ETHNO-ISS project, with a specialism in the anthropology of religion in space. Her current research interrogates the Russian Orthodox Christian perspective on space exploration.

David Jeevendrampillai

Dr David Jeevendrampillai writes about relations between place, territory and belonging. He researches the curation, narration and use of Earth Imagery from the International Space Station, particularly in relation to the overview effect and the relation to emergent notions of humanity, utopia and the future. 

UCL Staff Page

Selected Publications
Selected Talks
  • ‘Making a Martian Feel at Home: Utopian Design in Building a Mars Habitat’, Collège de France, Summer 2019
  • Conference Convener & Chair: Towards An Anthropology of Outer Space, UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, London, 2017. 
  • ‘Building a Home on Mars: Utopian Design and making Martians’, Departmental Seminar, NTNU Anthropology
Adryon Kozel

Adryon completed her MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology from UCL in 2019, specialising in the anthropology of place, home, and identity. As a Doctoral Student and Associate Researcher with ETHNO-ISS, Adryon researches how astronauts’ and space agencies’ use of social media reinforces and constructs global and extraterrestrial culture.

Paddy Edgley

Paddy Edgley is a PhD candidate at UCL, researching the anthropology of outer space. His research follows amateur astronomers in and around London and investigates how these practices inform understandings of what it means to be ‘human’ in a cosmic context. His research is interested in how astronomy allows stargazers to engage with the cosmos, produce understandings of their place within it, and deploy those understandings to inform social, ethical, political, and ecological relations with the world and each other ‘down here’ on Earth, as well as imagine futures in space.

Makar Tereshin

Makar Tereshin is a doctoral student at UCL, focusing on the fallout zones of Russia’s Spaceports Baikonur and Plesetsk where rocket boosters are discarded after launches to orbit. He is interested in how communities in the vicinity of the ranges inhabit and negotiate the indeterminate borders, spaces and materials of the fallout zones, and what such edgework can tell us about the larger polities to which they belong.

Aliça Okumura-Zimmerlin

UCL Profile Page

Aaron Parkhusrt

UCL Profile Page

Jo Aiken

Jo’s research interests and professional work lie at the intersection of organizational and design anthropology. She has over 20 years experience at NASA working in various roles from Mission Control to human factors engineering to executive leadership consulting. With continued interests in organizational culture, user experience, innovation and the future, Jo is currently working for Google, LLC as a senior researcher.

UCL Staff Page

Selected Publications
  • Aiken, Jo (2021, forthcoming). “Outer Space.” Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Accepted 2021.
  • Aiken, Jo and Angela Ramer (2020). “From the Space Station to the Sofa: Scales of Isolation at Work.” Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings. Redmond, WA: National Association for the Practice of Anthropology. October 2020.
  • Aiken, Jo (2015). “Otherworldly Anthropology: Past, Present, and Future Contributions of Ethnographers to Space Exploration.” In Applied Anthropology: Unexpected Spaces, Topics and Methods. Sheena Nahm, Cortney Hughes Rinker, eds. Routledge.
  • Aiken, Jo (2015). “Space in Space: Designing for Privacy in the Workplace.” Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings. Redmond, WA: National Association for the Practice of Anthropology. Paper accepted May 2015.
  • Aiken, Jo (2012). “Integrating Organizational and Design Perspectives to Address Challenges of Renewal: A Case Study of NASA’s Post-Shuttle Workforce Transition.” Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings. Redmond, WA: National Association for the Practice of Anthropology.
Selected Talks
  • Space Anthropology, Course for Masters Program in Space Studies. International Space University, Strasbourg, France, 2016.
  • Privacy Needs for Long-Duration Spaceflight: An Anthropological Approach. Human Factors and Ergonomic Society Symposium, College Station, Texas, 2014.

International Advisory Board

  • Prof. Debbora Battaglia (Mount Holyoke College, USA) 
  • Prof. Alice Gorman (Flinders University, Australia) 
  • Prof. Lisa Messeri (Yale University, USA) 
  • Matthew Napoli  
  • Prof. Valerie Olson (University of California Irvine, USA) 
  • Prof. David Valentine (University of Minnesota, USA) 
  • Dr. Jack Stuster (Anacapa Sciences, USA)
  • Prof. Willi Lempert ( Bowdoin College, USA)
  • Dr. John Vernaleo (SpaceChain, USA)  
  • Prof. Grace Dillon, (Portland University, USA) 
  • Prof Lawrence Palinkas (University of Southern California, USA)
  • Prof Okada Hiroki, (Kobe University and Minpaku, Japan) 
  • Dr. Julie Patarin-Jossec, (St. Petersburg State University, Russia)
  • Piero Messina (ESA) 
  • Berti Meissinger (ESA) 

London Advisory Board

  • Prof. Susan Collins (Slade School of Fine Art) 
  • Gonzalo Herrero Delicado (Royal Academy of Arts) 
  • Irene Gallou (Foster + Partners Architects) 
  • Kate Arkless Gray (Space Journalist) 
  • Prof. Sanjeev Gupta (Imperial College London) 
  • Jonathan Irawan (Hassell Studio Architects, UK) 
  • Dr. Rob La Frenais (Curator) 
  • Anna Talvi (Royal College of Art, Microgravity-Wear Designer) 
  • Dr. Iya Whiteley (UCL) 
  • Dr. Jill Stuart (LSE)
  • Dr. David Nixon (Architect)
  • Xavier de Kestelier (Hassell Studio Architects, UK)