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Natalie Bamford

About me

Natalie is an interdisciplinary researcher who draws from her varied background to develop research that sits outside disciplinary boundaries. She has a particular interest in the development of methodological approaches and engages widely with creative practitioners to support this. Natalie has submitted her thesis for examination and is starting work as a research associate on the Design HOPES project with Strathclyde University.

Research Interest

Natalie is interested in how an embodied relationship with place cultivates understanding of it. She is currently exploring how cities can be conceptualised as palimpsest to provide approaches to engaging with the traces we all leave in place, and therefore access the embodied knowledge others hold.


Project Title

Accessing Embodied Knowledge to Understand Place: Developing and Evaluating a New Method.

Project Description

The value of embodied knowledge is well argued in relation to understanding place; as is the discussion that this knowledge should be considered when working with places. But how we do this, in a way that this knowledge can contribute towards not only understanding but decision making, is lacking. This knowledge is difficult to access, represent, and analyse with its rootedness in the lived experience of the individual. Thus, developing approaches to access this knowledge must work within this complexity. This research designed, and implemented a method that can access, represent, and synthesise embodied knowledge of place, and through this process has engaged with the theoretical concepts that underpin why a method like this is necessary and inherently difficult to implement.

The method, Direct Me, draws from an interdisciplinary foundation to form a methodological approach that enables researchers to access embodied knowledge of place in others and synthesise this across participants. Direct Me brings together both the philosophy and methodological tools from hermeneutic phenomenology, with inspiration taken from artistic walking prompts. Direct Me was successful in accessing embodied knowledge of place and highlights the benefits of a hermeneutic phenomenological approach while extending the methodological possibilities of a philosophical school that is constantly evolving. Direct Me also has the benefit of placing limited burdens on those that contribute to it. This method and the in-depth theoretical foundation upon which it sits, fills a gap for all those researching place. As with all methods Direct Me has limitations. It’s an approach that requires a certain sensibility to undertake, and by focusing on knowledge gathering it’s less suited to answering specific questions, despite this Direct Me holds value to all disciplines that are interested in spatial knowledge.


Geoff Vigar

Ed Wainwright


BA Architectural Venue Design, University of Derby

MA Creative Arts Practice, Newcastle University

MA Planning and Environment Research, Newcastle University

Conference Papers and Publications

Bamford, N. and King, S. (2023) 'Bringing into conversation two walking practices to explore the palimpsest of space', Soapbox Journal, (Walking as Research Practice (WARP x SB)), pp. 186-221.


Nine DTP, Cross Council AHRC and ESRC