Paula Gardner, PhD, directs Pulse Lab. She is a long-time feminist, human rights and anti-oppression researcher and activist, whose writing and multimodal practice probes critical intersectional analyses of emerging digital and science technologies. Gardner is the Asper Chair in Communications in the Faculty of Communication Studies and Multimedia, at McMaster University, and Senior Adjunct Faculty at the Digital Futures program, OCAD U. Gardner’s creative practice has been supported by Canadian funders including SSHRC, Heritage Canada, and National Centres of Excellence. Her collaborative projects employ visual aesthetics, participatory design, critical feminist, disability, and mobile theory to create mobile, gesture-based and biometric platforms offering artful, embodied experiences.
Gardner participates in various trans-faculty and trans-sectoral health projects at McMaster. She directs the ABLE.Family project, creating a web-based interactive gaming platform to enhance family relations and wellness for older adults and their intergenerational family members. Gardner is a co-PI on the Age-Well-funded “M3- Monitor My Mobility Project” engaging an interdisciplinary team and stakeholders to develop an accessible, comprehensive mobility monitoring tool.
Gardner is working on a manuscript entitled Pace, the Affective Labour of Activity Trackers, which takes a critical race studies approach to the challenge the computational self movement. As past President of the ICA (International Communication Association), Gardner continues to pursued research and networking projects on the African continent, including Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. Her work has been published in Communication, Feminist, and Critical Science Studies journals and exhibited at Human Computer Interaction and various Art venues in Canada and the US.