Critical studies in culture, design and networked communication

Main investigator:
San Cornelio Esquerdo, Gemma
Social sciences
Area of specialization:
Creativity and Digital Culture, Network society
Affiliation center:
UNESCO codes:
630707, 630101, 620301, 510112
4 - Quality education
10 - Reduced inequalities
13 - Climate action
11 - Sustainable cities and communities
16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Digital maturity
  • Digital technologies
  • Creativity
  • Design of educational spaces
  • Qualitative methodologies

he research group on digital media and culture (MEDIACCIONS) is an interdisciplinary research group at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) specializing in studies of online culture and communication.

Our research involves taking a critical look at forms of collective creation and everyday online practices as a source of transformative knowledge that enriches our understanding of present-day communication and design.

We follow a diverse, innovative methodological approach that draws from the field of ethnography and involves both digital methods and others based on action and citizen engagement. We work with groups, companies and institutions to co-create knowledge in media, storytelling, design, art, technology and social innovation projects. 

Experiential storytelling

We explore the role that stories, new narrative formats and collective forms of storytelling play in design, development and experience, as they offer a window into expressive and personal embodiments, their relationship with their audiences and their potential to shape alternative imaginaries and possible futures through fiction and non-fiction.

We look at the affective and material dimensions of digital data collection, archiving, storytelling and imagery, and how these dimensions interact with design practices to shape our memories, how we self-manage everyday life, and our future practices and expectations.

13 - Climate action

Visual culture and social media

We examine forms of expression and communication that use imagery to craft personal and collective stories on social media. We also study new forms of activism and the friction caused on these platforms over phenomena such as datafication and algorithmic bias.

5 - Gender equality

Open design. Design processes

We explore the disciplinary limits of design and its expansion into other fields of knowledge, as well as methodological changes, research processes and the political pulse of 21st-century design.


4 - Quality education

9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure