Design Futures Spring 2009

Design Futures talk series

Most events at Berkeley Center for New Media Commons, located at 340 Moffitt Library, near the Free Speech Cafe (map)
6:00 - 7:30pm.

February 11

Erik Adigard (M-A-D Design)

Erik Adigard’s body of work includes numerous visual essays for Wired magazine, branding campaigns for IBM, and commissions from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennale, the Villette Numérique Biennale in Paris, Muffathalle in Munich and the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Most recently, his installation AirXY appeared at the 2008 Venice Biennale. Among his many awards, he received the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design.

He will be speaking on the history of design, current questions, and future directions for thoughtful design practitioners.

How can 21st century design move beyond simplistic processes to embrace the inherent complexity of things? How can design balance experimentation with urgent demands, and poetics with needed performance? How can design thinking enable new forms of interaction with our environment—an atmosphere that we are evolving from while destroying it?

We may well need a strategy of unmaking. One that by filtering the space that we occupy takes us away from times of impossibilities and back into an “aerotopia” of new opportunities.

February 18

101 South Hall (change in location)
UC Berkeley

Bill Buxton (Microsoft Research)

Regents’ Lecturer Bill Buxton began his career in the computer music field and early on stressed the important role of human computer interaction in musical creation and performance. His work in music spread to graphics and, in fact, to the entire field of human computer interaction design.

Currently a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, Buxton keeps his website up to date with biographical information as well as announcements of his speaking engagements. His recent book Sketching User Experiences published by Microsoft Press has received wide ranging critical acclaim. This work has been reviewed on and — the latter states that the book “has earned its spot as the best innovation book of this year.”

His many achievements include a Lifetime Achievement Award from ACM SIGCHI in 2008 and election as a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) in 2009.

March 11

Jane Pinckard (Foundation 9 Entertainment and GameGirlAdvance)
Designing for the Future of Interactive Entertainment

Video games compete for consumer attention not only with books and films, but also with the vast variety of social application across mobile and internet platforms. Designing for the future has to respond creatively to the shifts represented by the developments of social interactive spaces in digital media. What are some of the trends in consumer behavior? How can game design grow to accommodate and exploit new social media? What design principles can emerge from new social technologies, and how will they in turn influence the future of entertainment as a whole?

Jane Pinckard is a Business Development Analyst at Foundation 9 Entertainment, an independent game developer with eight studios creating games across every platform and in almost every genre. She started writing about videogames in 1997 on a Geocities page, a project which eventually evolved into the blog GameGirlAdvance, exploring games as art in a broader cultural context. She has written for a variety of publications including Theme Magazine, Xbox Nation, and Salon, and has lectured at Stanford, CCAC, and Whitman College. In 2004 she served in Lawrence Lessig’s Law in Virtual Societies class at Stanford Law School as a non-resident fellow. In 2005 she co-created The 1Up Show, a weekly video internet show about game culture for the 1Up Network. In 2006 she worked on the speaker program for the Game Developers Conference, the industry’s leading tradeshow for videogame developers. She has spoken at SXSW, PAX, GDC, and several other game and technology events. In her free time she writes and plays music.

April 29

Joseph ‘Jofish’ Kaye, Cornell University and Nokia Research
Ways of Knowing and Judging

There are two problems with solving problems, once you have figured out what the problem is. The first is solving the problem. The second is finding out if you’ve solved it.

In this talk I discuss different ways of knowing, creating knowledge, and judging if the knowledge you have created is correct.  Differences in ways of knowing become increasingly apparent in interdisciplinary situations, and particularly ones with varied stakeholders.  In particular I look at the emerging subfield of experience-focused human-computer interaction, which emphasizes the rich and situated nature of human interactions with technology.  I discuss a set of methods and guidelines for evaluating technologies, and for representing knowledge about the experiences that people with technologies.  These include asking open-ended questions, drawing analogies to color, music and other non-linear systems, and asking people to compare their families to The Simpsons.

Joseph ‘Jofish’ Kaye is a Research Scientist & Ethnographer at Nokia Research in Palo Alto, where he is currently studying family communication patterns and novel cell phone interfaces. He recently completed his Ph.D in Information Science at Cornell University, where his dissertation, “The Epistemology and Evaluation of Experience-focused HCI” used notions of epistemography drawn from science & technology studies to explore evaluation in the emerging field of experience-focused HCI. He spent six months as a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge, and has also worked with the Domestic Design & Technology Research Group at Intel and several startups. His work has included ethnographic, cultural, critical and technological studies of, among other topics, academics’ archiving practices, couples in long distance relationships, affective computing, ubiquitous computing, social networking, and smart homes and kitchens. He also has a Masters degree in Media Arts & Sciences and a B.S. in Cognitive Science, both from MIT.