Making Curious Things for Curious People

Prof. Bill Gaver
Interaction Research Studio
Goldsmiths, University of London

The things we make make us in their turn. This is nowhere more true than in the world of digital technologies. Smart phones, pads, glasses, streams, likes and tweets don’t just fulfil our desires, they bring them into being – they bring us into being.  They also make some people very rich. In the process, some human values get emphasised, others neglected. Do we trust the big technology companies to steer this responsibly?

In this talk, I describe some of the strange devices that my studio has designed and deployed outside the marketplace – from a device that supports the prayers of cloistered nuns to a set of indoor weatherstations that reveal the microclimate of the home. Playful but not frivolous, serious but not sanctimonious, they treat people as grown-ups, able to find their own meaning in the real world, rather consumers of screen-based diversions. Our aim is to provoke thought about where we are all heading in our new technological world, and other directions we might explore.

Bill Gaver is Professor of Design and leads the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, University of London. He pursues research on design-led methodologies and innovative technologies for everyday life in a studio that brings the skills of designers together with expertise in ubiquitous computing and sociology. With the Studio, he has developed produced a series of highly-finished research products that have been deployed for long-term field trials and exhibited internationally at venues such as the V&A Museum, Tate Britain, and New York’s MOMA.

Date: 10.10.2013
Time: 18.30
Place: Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations-Beyoğlu

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