Research that exposes the subtleties of digital life

The Critical Digital Infrastructures and Interfaces (CDII) research group aims to scrutinise the underlying technologies that drive the digital world. CDII's work investigates how these systems are designed, governed and impact society. As these technologies increasingly mediate human interactions, our research interrogates its ethical, legal and societal implications.

We address the design and equity of how we interface with digital data and its consequences. Our research also focuses on security, privacy and data governance in digital infrastructures, given their critical role in societal functioning and individual life.

Our research areas

Our nationally recognised experts explore the power dynamics implicit in technology development, aiming to empower users and promote equitable systems. We apply a critical lens to digital realities through a twofold approach:

Norm-critical work

This work analyses the realities of ‘being digital’. It questions how our digital norms come to be and how we believe data is truth.

Norm-forming work

This work generates new ways of seeing, thinking and knowing in ‘post-digital’ life. It reconfigures what is normal, bringing equity concerns front and centre.

Our other research areas

  • design innovation
  • digital and interaction design
  • communication and media Studies
  • advertising
  • broadcast media
  • communication studies
  • conversation analysis
  • development communication
  • digital humanities
  • film
  • interactive media
  • international communication
  • journalism
  • media studies
  • organisational communications
  • social networks and social media
  • cultural studies
  • cultural theory
  • futures studies
  • popular culture
  • ethical use of technology
  • social ethics
  • computer science and informatics
  • artificial intelligence
  • adaptive systems
  • artificial life
  • computer music
  • knowledge representation
  • knowledge-based systems and learning systems
  • robotics
  • ubiquitous computing
  • informatics and big data
  • administrative big data and informatics
  • bioinformatics
  • data analysis
  • data mining
  • data visualisation
  • digital humanities
  • internet and mobile technology
  • cybersecurity
  • cyberwarfare
  • digital currencies
  • digital natives
  • interactive media
  • internet standards and governance
  • mobile devices, apps and ecosystems
  • navigation and tracking systems
  • social effects of internet
  • social networks and social media
  • telemedicine
  • telephony
  • wearable technology
  • theoretical computer science
  • arts and media education
  • globalisation and transnationalism
  • surveillance and biometrics
  • social identity
  • social infrastructure
  • social reform and social movements
  • social theory

Understand how technologies drive the digital world

When you study a PhD or postdoctoral research with Critical Digital Infrastructures and Interfaces, you'll be supported by renowned researchers.

Explore our research degrees

Featured projects

This Faculty of Arts and Education research group explores the role and effects of digital infrastructures and interfaces in our communities. We create socially impactful technology research that supports industry professionals striving to build more secure, ethical and user-centric digital technologies.

Pragmatics and semantics of emergent communication at scale

Pragmatics and semantics of emergent communication at scale

This project enhances the understanding of language by combining traditional components of language models (such as semantics, syntax, morphology) with 6G computer networks, which can provide new insights and directions. This involves handling larger datasets, complex tasks, population dynamics, refining machine learning methods and developing new metrics. Our researchers explore learning strategies for unknown semantics and pragmatics, and alternative population leveraging methods.

Immersive experiences for tertiary learning

Immersive experiences for tertiary learning

Technology is a powerful and affective platform to teach students. Drawing on two 10-minute 360° films demonstrating unit-specific threshold concepts, researchers implemented these innovations to immerse students in the units’ content, elevate learning resources and experiences, and enhance student understanding of threshold concepts. Researchers made use of the Nyaal Facility at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus for this project.

Our researchers

Our group is delivering pioneering projects across the digital infrastructures and interfaces landscape, and is led by:

Associate Professor Toija Cinque is Associate Professor in Communication (Digital Media). Cinque draws on a broad scope of theoretical and methodological approaches, with projects focused on using emerging screens and digital technologies for educational effect and change. Her research focuses on problems and affordances of digital life, particularly on media developments of digitisation, datafication and platformisation (i.e., data-driven and algorithmically steered platforms), and their cultural, social and political implications.

Dr Luke Heemsbergen is a senior lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts. His research and teaching lights fires and builds bridges between digital communication and political life, making new relations and power structures visible and knowable.

Research team

Dr Kaja Antlej, Senior Lecturer, Industrial Design

Dr Richie Barker, Senior Lecturer, Communication

Lauren Bevilaqua, Associate Lecturer, Communication

Associate Professor Toija Cinque, Associate Professor, Communication

Ben Crockett, Lecturer in Communication

Associate Professor Kristin Demetrious, Associate Professor of Communication

Gavin Duffy, Associate Research Fellow

Professor Gabrielle Fletcher, Director, NIKERI Institute

Dr Jessamy Gleeson, Senior Lecturer Indigenous Knowledges

Associate Professor Radika Gorur, Associate Professor of Education (Pedagogy and Curriculum)

Associate Professor Anna Halafoff, Associate Professor of Sociology

Dr Ashleigh Haw, DECRA Track Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr Erin Hawley, Senior Lecturer, Communication

Dr Luke Heemsbergen, Senior Lecturer, Communication

Dr Leonard Hoon, Deputy Head, Translational Research and Commercialisation

Cameron Jenyns, Lecturer in Communication

Professor Shiri Krebs, Professor, Deakin Law School

Professor Gang Li, Professor, School of Information Technology

Dr Monique Mann, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Dr Jennifer Martin, Senior Lecturer, Communication

Dr Eve Mayes, ARC DECRA Fellow

Dr Jodi McAlister, Senior Lecturer, Writing and Literature

Ross Monahan, Lecturer in Communication

Professor Julianne Moss, Alfred Deakin Professor and Director of REDI

Dr Luci Pangrazio, ARC DECRA Research Fellow

Professor Yin Paradies, Alfred Deakin Professor and Chair in Race Relations

Dr Kiran Pienaar, Senior Lecturer, Sociology

Dr Martin Potter, Senior Lecturer, Film

Deirdre Quinn-Allan, Senior Lecturer in Communication

Dr Maria Rae, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Policy Studies

Dr Imogen Richards, Lecturer in Criminology

Associate Professor Christopher Scanlon, Associate Professor

Professor Julian Sefton-Green, Professor, School of Education

Professor Andrew Singleton, Professor, Sociology and Social Research

Professor Russell Tytler, Alfred Deakin Professor and Chair in Science Education

Emily Wade, Casual Sessional Academic

Dr Ian Warren, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Associate Professor Peta White, Associate Professor, Education (Science Education)

Dr Anne Scott Wilson, Senior Lecturer, Art and Performance

Dr Mark Wood, Senior Lecturer, Criminology

Dr Jian Xu, Senior Lecturer, Communication

Professor Ishan Yilmaz, Research Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue

Dr Tyson Yunkaporta, Senior Lecturer, Indigenous Knowledges

Dr Chris Zomer, Associate Research Fellow

Our partnerships

CDII brings together individuals and groups with similar research interests both inside and outside Deakin through annual workshops and symposia, bi-annual research events and monthly programs. Our approach ensures cross-pollination of diverse perspectives on digital infrastructures and interfaces, allowing us to build a collaborative and robust research culture.

  • Victorian Department of Health
  • City of Melbourne
  • Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)
  • Meltwater
  • Digital Futures

Our publications

Take an in-depth look at our latest research, available in a variety of formats and publications. For a full list of publications visit the profile pages of our researchers.

Latest publications:

Featured publications:

Contact us

Our team is here to answer your questions and help you learn more about the CDII group. Email our group convenors:

Email Toija Cinque
+61 3 9251 7470

Email Luke Heemsbergen
+61 3 9246 8786