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Dr Dylan Tutt

Portrait of Dr Dylan Tutt, Lecturer in Workforce Studies in Construction at University of Reading
  • Departmental Director of Academic Tutoring (PG)
  • Module Convenor, International Construction Labour Markets: Migrant Workers and Emerging Economies (CEME02) 

Areas of interest

Dylan's qualitative research focuses on social interaction, communication and technology in complex organisational environments, although he maintains a wider interest in quite diverse areas of cultural sociology, stemming from his background in sociology and visual culture.

Dylan specialises in ethnographic and video-based studies of communication and (work) practice in diverse settings, including constructions sites, Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs), hospitals, GP clinics and the home.

Most recently, Dylan has been pursuing his strong research interest in migrant workers, construction employment patterns, and the practice and management of occupational health and safety (especially of vulnerable workers).

These topics are particularly crucial in relation to emerging economies, where the huge potential of markets for investment can be accompanied by huge resources of low-cost labour. Dylan's research has involved ethnographic methods and practice-based approaches to the study of knowing, learning and change in complex organisations.

Dylan has also explored ways to apply these ethnographic studies to the development and design of new systems and technologies, including helping to design an ethnographic research methodology to investigate and evaluate communication channels for health and safety information in the construction industry.

Dylan has recently finished co-editing a book with Sarah Pink and Andy Dainty for Routledge entitled Ethnographic Research in the Construction Industry.


Dylan joined the University of Reading as a Senior Research Fellow in October 2010, as part of a capacity building fellowship at the Innovative Construction Research Centre (ICRC). This research investigated how social science perspectives, rooted in ethnographic research on construction sites and with construction workers themselves, can help to address some of the urgent concerns raised by the nature of the industry and the conditions of working in it.

In the five years prior to this, Dylan developed his expertise in workplace studies and applied ethnographic studies in the construction and healthcare sectors during research fellow posts based at the Work, Interaction & Technology Centre (King's College London), the Centre for Practice and Service Improvement (University of Staffordshire), and the School of Civil & Building Engineering (Loughborough University).

During his time at Reading, Dylan has also enjoyed working with the Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre (HaCIRIC), including qualitative research into how the home and other existing healthcare spaces are being reconfigured and refurbished to facilitate frail elderly care, and the large sociotechnical challenges which this poses.

A second strand of ongoing research (with Dr Chris Harty) draws on Dylan's interest in digital technologies and organisational practices, and involves video-based field studies of the use of collaborative 3D immersive environments (such as the CAVE) in "real world" construction and design.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Sociology, Lancaster University (2005). Thesis title: Making Yourself at Home with Media: A Video Ethnography of Interactions with Media in the Living Room
  • MA (with distinction) in Visual Culture, Institute for Cultural Research, Lancaster University (2001)
  • BA (Hons) American Studies, Lancaster University (2000).

Selected publications

  • Tutt, Dylan and Jon Hindmarsh (2009), "The Screen Deconstructed: the Malleable Screen as an Artefact of Material Culture" in Material Culture and Technology in Everyday Life: Ethnographic Approaches. Edited by Phillip Vannini. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Tutt, Dylan (2008), "Where the Interaction Is: Collisions of the Situated and Mediated in Living Room Interactions", Qualitative Inquiry, 14: 1157-1179.
  • Tutt, Dylan (2008), "'Tactical' Living: A Situated Study of Teenagers' Negotiations around and Interactions with Living Room Media", Environment & Planning A, Volume 40: 2330- 2345.
  • Tutt, Dylan, Jon Hindmarsh, Muneeb Shaukat and Mike Fraser (2007), "The Distributed Work of Local Action: Interaction amongst virtually collocated research teams", Proceeding of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW). London: Springer-Verlag.
  • Tutt, Dylan (2005), "Mobile Performances of a Teenager: A Study of Situated Mobile Phone Activity in the Living Room", Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Vol. 11 (2): 58-75.


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