My research is concerned with social futures, sustainability and infrastructure development. I am currently engaged in two key strands of work:

1. Everyday Futures explores how the future of practices, places and biographies can be conceptualised, researched and have impact on infrastructural decisions in the present and near future. Initial ideas were explored in an externally funded co-creation project Mobile Utopias: 1851-2051I subsequently established an international everyday futures research network and website with funding from the Institute for Social Futures and Design United, Netherlands with Dr Lenneke Kuijer, Eindhoven University of Technology. A Book of Essays on Everyday Futures is available on the website. I am currently working on a journal paper to consolidate these ideas.

2. Dormant Matters focuses on the materiality of past, present and future lives, specifically accumulations of material in-between use (e.g. cars between trips, data between uses). How does dormant matter come to exist, how is it planned for, and how is it changing? and with what implications for people, places and the planet? To date this work has developed through archival work in Stevenage new town which looked at how parking space became part of neighbourhood and house design between 1950 and 1970;  an International Symposium ‘The Role of Parking in Future Cities’ which I organised and chaired in September 2017 and Parking in Utopia a public social science event which formed part of the Mobile Utopia Conference, Lancaster 2017.

These interests develop my previous research on how working lives, daily lives, mobility and energy demand have changed since the 1950s.

I am a Lecturer at Lancaster University, UK, based in the Institute for Social Futures and the Department of Sociology. Previously I worked in the DEMAND Centre at Lancaster University and the Sustainable Practices Research Group at the University of Manchester. I have an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Masters & PhD in Sociology.

If you are interested in finding out more then take a look at my Research, Writing, Talks and Engagement pages. If you would like to discuss anything, or find opportunities to work together, please get in touch n.spurling@lancaster.ac.uk


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