Thesis Title
Workers in transition to the supermarket of the future

Research Description
Paulina’s project aims to understand how workers – engaged in the support and maintenance of supermarket technologies such as robots and self-checkouts- carry out their current practices and what ties they generate with technological materialities in the context of brick-and-mortar supermarket chains.

Challenging the retail industry narrative that in the future supermarkets will be fully automated and consequently reduce the number of human workers in the physical stores, it is relevant to focus on the role of labor who assist in the maintenance and repair of technological machines. Understanding the ties to the technologies they must attend to in the present and how they aspire to them in an uncertain future is paramount to creating sustainable relationships.

Her research plan consists of applying ethnographic methods and speculative design interventions to understand the current reality and the desired future of these practices with technologies to gives them participation and meaning in their future work.

Paulina is a design researcher, creative strategist and educator with more than 10 years of experience in the retail industry, specialising in product development, retail technologies and visual merchandising.

Prof Sarah Pink, Monash University
Dr Debora Lanzeni, Monash University
Dr Aneta Podkalicka, Monash University