Lighting Talks Virtual Graduate Symposium

Lighting Talks Virtual Graduate Symposium
Friday, October 18, 2013 - 1:00pm

OCAD University, Toronto + Goldsmiths, University of London

The Goldsmiths Digital Studios and the Department of Design, University of London, and the Graduate Programs at OCAD University, represent vibrant international centres of interdisciplinary research and practice, experimentation, and scholarly creation.
Inspired by our Memorandum of Agreement, Goldsmiths and OCAD U Graduate faculty and students are invited to share their research and research-creation practices in a virtual symposium, featuring short panel presentations and discussions from PhD and Masters students, participating remotely from both universities.

This virtual conference is being organized jointly by faculty at Goldsmiths and OCAD University: Professor Janis Jefferies, artist, writer, and curator, and Professor of Visual Arts in the Department of Computing, Goldsmiths University of London; William Gaver, Director of the Interaction Research Studio and Professor of Design at Goldsmiths, University of London; Dr. Martha Ladly, interdisciplinary artist, Professor of Design and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, OCAD University; and Dr. Kate Sellen, Professor of Design, OCAD University.

A special guest will be visiting Goldsmiths Fellow Dr. Ernest Edmonds, of the School of Engineering and Information Technology, UTS Sydney. Professor Edmonds has a PhD in logic from Nottingham University, is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a Charted Engineer. He is a practicing artist in the constructivist tradition with a worldwide exhibition record, and has used computers in his art practice since 1968.

We look forward to your participation in this important international graduate research encounter and opportunity for international educational exchange, cooperation and collaboration.

Lighting Talks Aims, Goals and Thematics:
The goal is to both renew and revitalise the MOA between Goldsmiths and OCAD U, and for us to get to know each other, through the talks and discussions with students and faculty about each other's research and scholarship. The general thematics are research creation and scholarly practices of making in the arts, cultural, humanities, sciences, and technology fields, as exemplified by the presentations of graduate practice and models of collaboration and supervision, from students and faculty at both Universities.

Format: Panelists will make a 10-minute presentation to include visuals, in a panel format with a moderator. A moderated discussion with both groups will then follow.

Lighting Talks Schedule (EST / GMT):
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST

8:00 – 8:45 Tech check in for all presenters

9:00 – 9:15 Brief introductions from the organisers and moderators

9:15 – 10:15 Panel 1: Future / Values / Inclusivity / Translations
Moderator: Bill Gaver / Janis Jefferies
Trevor Haldenby (OCAD U) Bringing the Future to Life
Melissa Coleman (Goldsmiths) Religious Tools for a Secular World
Sarah Crosskey (OCAD U)Appropriate technologies for
communication support for seniors with memory loss

Tobie Kerridge(Goldsmiths)Designing Debate – Speculative
Design and Public Engagement with Science and Technology

Discussion: Panelists and audience

10:15 – 10:30 Break and change over

10:30 - 11:00 Panel 2: Artistic Evaluation / Typographic Accessibility
Moderators: Janis Jefferies / Martha Ladly
Participants: Ernest Edmonds (UTS Sydney)Evaluation in Public Art: an Artist’s

Kate Sellen (OCAD U)Design Strategies for Misreadings:
interdisciplinary opportunity from theory to practice

Discussion: Panelists and audience

11:00 - 11:15 Break and change over

11:15 - 12:15 Panel 3: Urban Frontiers
Moderator: Kate Sellen / Martha Ladly
Bianca Elzenbaumer (Goldsmiths)Designing Economic Cultures -
cultivating socially and politically engaged design practices against procedures of precarisation

Marc de Pape (OCAD U)The Chime
Bill Psarras (Goldsmiths)Emotive Terrains: A practice-based
research on flaneur, senses and city of 21st century city

12:15 - 12:30 Final Discussion and Moderator’s summaries

12:30 Close

Participant Bios and Abstracts

Trevor Haldenby (OCAD U)
Trevor is an imaginative thinker who focuses emerging technologies on exciting ideas. He is a graduate of the CFC Media Lab (Interactive Art and Entertainment Program, 2005) and OCAD University (MDes, Strategic Foresight & Innovation, 2013). As interactive producer and design consultant he has overseen innovative projects and programs including the popular virtual world Habbo Hotel, Earth Rangers’ Bring Back the Wild campaign, the open-source record label Snakes+Ladders, and the TELUS Innovation Fund.

In 2012 Trevor co-founded The Mission Business, a Toronto-based transmedia design firm that brings stories about the future to life. Award-winning projects include ZED.TO: ByoLogyc, a pervasive simulation of a biotechnological apocalypse, and Visitations, a ghost story for the internet of things set within Toronto’s Drake Hotel.

Bringing the Future to Life

A hybrid technique is described for applying design processes associated with transmedia storytelling to the materialization of speculative future scenarios.

How could this technique could be used to engage mass audiences in experiences and decision-making processes simulating different possible futures? How could interactive and immersive storytelling make critical engagement with speculative futures an activity for non-specialists? What new business models does this technique offer that could increase the sustainability of strategic foresight practice?

A case study demonstrates how an interdisciplinary team led by Trevor Haldenby called The Mission Business used this hybrid technique to create an engaging nine-month dystopian story about the future of the biotechnology industry called ZED.TO: ByoLogyc. This pervasive transmedia scenario spread across numerous narrative channels, engaged thousands of active participants from the general public, and won diverse awards and acclaim. The performance of ZED.TO: ByoLogyc is explored in qualitative and quantitative terms, and the project’s form and content are contrasted against the practices of contemporary designers, futurists, and storytellers.

Melissa Coleman (Goldsmiths)

Melissa Coleman is a new media artist, lecturer, blogger and curator of smart textiles exhibitions. Melissa’s works are critical explorations of the body in relation to technology. She writes for Fashioning Technology and has taught at art and design schools in The Hague, Rotterdam, Tilburg and Eindhoven. Together with Piem Wirtz she founded the V2_ E-Textile Workspace, a monthly expert meeting for artists and designers working with textiles and electronics. The travelling exhibition Pretty Smart Textiles has been on show in The Netherlands, Denmark, Vienna and Belgium. Her current fashiontech exhibition Hybrid Skins will be on display until 24 November at Tetem in Enschede, The Netherlands. She's currently based in London where she teaches with Codasign and creates connected toys at Made By Many. She conducts her PhD research at Goldsmiths at the computational arts department with Janis Jefferies and Bill Gaver.

Religious Tools for a Secular World

In this research I intend to design for user groups, environments and purposes that are commonly underexposed in Human Computer Interaction research. Rather than focusing on systems that improve productivity I plan to design intelligent systems and services that support reflection on value systems (i.e. the values that a person would use to evaluate if his life was meaningful).

Traditionally religions have provided people with a structure for meaning making. Some research has been done on how ICT can be used to create tools for religious activities but little research has been done on how ICT can create tools to support meaning making in contexts in which religion has become obsolete. Alain de Botton’s concept of Atheism 2.0 suggests that society has secularised badly and could benefit from a re-examination of the relevance of religions after the dismissal of the central dogmas. By extension: research into ICT tools for religious life could potentially support research into meaning making tools for secular society.

strong>Sarah Crosskey (OCAD U)
Sarah Crosskey is a second year graduate student in the Inclusive Design program at OCAD University. Before moving to Toronto she worked for the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour as an Executive Assistant advocating for International Disability Rights. As a Fine Arts undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University, she created multi-media sculpture and installation that evoked community conversation around social and environmental issues.
Since beginning her Masters program, Sarah has gained experience in designing and conducting inclusive usability testing, prototyping, and data analysis. Her primary research focus at OCAD University is working with seniors who are living with chronic pain and other complex health conditions, as well as their family and caregivers, to develop online tools that improve wellbeing. Her most recent research utilizes co-design and inclusive research methods to develop tangible objects that interface with mobile computing devices for communication.

Appropriate technologies for communication support for seniors with memory loss

Currently, there is a lack of appropriate technology that supports communication for seniors with memory loss and other complex health conditions. The design of current communication technology is fairly complex and requires a person’s ability to rely on their memory. Very little is being developed to address the specific needs of the aging population, in particular, seniors with early stage memory loss and complex health conditions.
In my Masters research, I will explore communication and connection for this particular group of seniors, as well as their friends and family. Through interviews, observations, and co-creation exercises I will prototype tangible objects that could offer another means of interfacing with communication technology, specifically mobile communication devices.
Incorporating the participatory and interactive aspects utilized in my art practice, I will invite seniors with early stage memory loss and complex health conditions to engage in a series of co-design activities in which they will play a major role in the exploration and design of these communication tools. The co-design process may uncover latent knowledge about this unique group of seniors’ communication habits and behaviours. This may or may not provide insight into what is appropriate for or desired by this group of people to enhance their connections with friends and family. If insight is offered, it could allow for the maximum opportunity to create multiple modalities that aim to meet the diverse needs of this particular group.

Tobie Kerridge (Goldsmiths)

Tobie is a Lecturer in Design and a Research Fellow associated with the Interaction Research Studio. Over the past ten years Tobie has been developing an innovative and mixed method approach to practice-led design research, with a recent focus on community and energy-demand reduction. Previously, Tobie has taught design at Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, and the Industrial Design faculty at Technical University Eindhoven. Here, his teaching focused on practice-based research notably featuring modes of collaboration between designers, scientists and technologists. Tobie’s design research has been exhibited internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the Design Triennial in Beijing.

Designing Debate – Speculative Design and Public Engagement with Science and

This thesis takes a design project called Material Beliefs as a case for discussing the mixing of speculative design and upstream forms of public engagement with science and technology (PEST). Initially I discuss labs as sites where designers, scientists, and non-experts come together to discuss and problematize accounts of biotechnology research. Next, I discuss the process of making speculative designs, and here I emphasise the ways in which issues, materials and practices become compiled as prototypes. Finally I discuss the circulation and reception of these designs in public settings, including exhibitions, workshops, and online formats. I argue that speculative designs’ move into upstream PEST leads to an entanglement of the practice and accountability of the designer with a broad and contested set of interests from researchers, policymakers, educators, curators and promoters. Ultimately, I argue such mixings are an opportunity not only for speculative designers to foster reflexive accounts of their practice, but also for designers to engage in a critical discussion of the organisations that support their approach.

Ernest Edmonds (UTS Sydney)

Ernest Edmonds is a pioneering Digital Artist and international expert on creative human-computer interaction, currently working both in the UK and Australia. He has exhibited computer-based art around the world since 1970. He has published extensively and been an invited speaker at many international events. His recent books include On New Constructs in Art, Artists Bookworks, UK, 2005 and (edited with Linda Candy) Interacting: Art, Research and the Creative Practitioner, Libri Press, UK, 2011. He co-founded the ACM Creativity and Cognition conference series. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Transactions, the fast track section of the leading MIT Press journal Leonardo.

Evaluation in Public Art: an Artist’s Perspective

The presentation provides an artist’s perspective on evaluation with a particular focus on Light Logic at Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK, an exhibition of my drawings, paintings and interactive digital works. The evaluation exercise was conducted partly as a response to a requirement set down by the Arts Council of England, which supported the work. Evaluation can be viewed as a structured way of thinking about what has happened during the process of making works and after completion and the exhibition of them. It is a consciously reflective way of working that can help make choices, shape future activities and show what happens as a result of taking certain actions.

Kate Sellen (OCAD U)

Kate Sellen is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCADU. Her research interests address understanding human factors in innovation and ways to support positive change in healthcare. She works on a number of topics that includes social connection as a health intervention, adaptation to and appropriation of new technology, design strategies and methodologies for risk reduction and cognitive support, and developing tools for practitioners of human computer interaction design and evaluation. She completed her Master’s degree in Information Design (now Digital Media) from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999 and holds a Masters of Research and a Bachelor’s of Science from University College London. She has also been a practitioner of Human Computer Interaction since 1998 working in many different industry and government settings.

Design Strategies for Misreadings: interdisciplinary opportunity from theory to practice

Many opportunities exist for design to positively address challenges associated with ageing populations, chronic and complex disease, increasing costs of healthcare, and the growth of distributed care and self-care. Safefont is an interdisciplinary design research project that aims to create a real time dynamic ‘safefont’ to reduce misreadings. The project illustrates a collaboration between interaction design, typography, human factors, evaluation and implementation science, and computer science. Interdisciplinarity comes with unique challenges but also provides insight into the intersection between the structure and characteristics of scientific evidence, the role of the designer, and the role of aesthetics in interdisciplinary design projects.

Bianca Elzenbaumer (Goldsmiths)

Bianca Elzenbaumer has been collaborating with Fabio Franz under the name Brave New Alps since 2005. Brave New Alps’ practice is focused upon developing an evaluation of the cultural, social, political and economic conditions surrounding a given project. Their resulting design process aims at creating a situation or a product, which sets off a change in modes of thinking about, and operating within the identified conditions. Bianca holds an MA in Communication Art and Design from the Royal College of Art and an MA in Mediation and International Peacebuilding from the University of Bologna. Since 2011, she is working on her PhD in Design at Goldsmiths College.

Designing Economic Cultures - cultivating socially and politically engaged design practices against procedures of precarisation

This practice-based research sets out to investigate and intervene in the tense relation between the production of socially as well as politically relevant design works and the socio-economic precariousness many designers experience. The aim of the research is to contribute a series of conceptual and practical tools to contemporary design practice that support designers when wanting to intervene in the creation of economic cultures that defy procedures of precarisation within and beyond the field of their own profession. The research moves forward through collective inhabitations of experimental support structures for socially and politically engaged design practitioners. By drawing on Foucauldian, autonomist Marxist and feminist Marxist theory, the research attempts not only to overcome the blockages encountered in these settings, but also to strengthen the openings for other ways of doing that these settings generate.

Marc de Pape (OCAD U)

Marc De Pape is a creative technologist, an artist/designer/thinker with a Master’s in Design in Digital Futures from OCADU and a BFA in Digital Image and Sound in the Fine Arts from Concordia University. Between his undergrad and his Master’s, he worked at the Royal Ontario Museum as an Audio/Video Producer while also freelancing as a director/editor, primarily for music videos. His Master’s thesis project, titled The Chime, was an assemblage of sensors that translated environmental data into music. The project - featured on Mashable, IQ by Intel, PopSci, Designboom and Creative Applications, among others - attempts to harmoniously address his current interests in the intersection of technology and creativity, the cultural significance of code and data, and the embedding of situated technologies in the routines of everyday life.

The Chime

With the majority of the world now living in cities, the intersecting and interdependent systems that converge upon the metropolis are only gaining in complexity. Technology, it seems, is increasingly responsible for helping facilitate the navigation of these urban networks, be it spatially, socially, politically or financially. While network technologies have effectively reduced perceived and real distances and reshaped notions of time, they have done so predominantly in the name of modern efficiency and at the expense of individuality. Of course standards ensure the whole network is reliable and routine, yet on street level, no citizen directly experiences standards and protocols in the everyday. The city is built to work for its citizens, but why must its technology, embedded and mobile, personal and public, merely function? Can it not generate delight? I will argue it can through a process of poetic translation, where discrete digital sensing meets the environment of the everyday. Inspired by Georg Simmel’s notion of the blasé and Mark Weiser’s vision for calm technology, The Chime is an instrument for sensing environmental difference that poetically translates data collected from its 18 inherently agnostic sensors into a musical sonification. A generative instrument, such as The Chime, takes external impulses and translates them into a form that naturally casts attention back upon the initial gust. In the built environment such treatment of discrete sensing could help engender a greater awareness of one’s environment by using data to draw attention away from abstract didactic information and towards more experience based representations.

Calliope Gazetas (OCAD U)

Originally from Vancouver, I relocated from San Francisco to Toronto in 2011 to attend OCADU's Interdisciplinary Master's of Art, Media & Design. I have a BFA from UBC (photography & printmaking) and a BDes (interaction & typography) from Emily Carr University. I bring with me an unceasing curiosity and desire for learning. Combined with my broad experiences in publishing, project management, print and digital design, my intent with my studies at OCAD U is to explore current and future connections between design and natural sciences to further our interactions with the natural world.

Design, Technology and Urban Wildlife

My thesis work examines our relationship to wildlife within urban Canadian environments. Through different research methodologies of observation and inquiry, I am investigating the emotional stories behind our interactions with the animals that share our urban neighbourhoods. Specifically, I am looking at how we relate to coyotes, as human/coyote conflicts tend to be deeply emotional and seem to embody our own personal understanding of our roles and responsibilities as humans. By reviewing post-humanism writings and working with human-centred design theory as a starting point, I am testing new ways of using compassionate design to encourage co-existence between ourselves and our wild neighbours. At the same time, I seek to acknowledging our desire for connection with our natural world, and give space for both humans and non-humans to be heard and hopefully be understood.

Bill Psarras (Goldsmiths)

Bill Psarras is a Greek artist and musician. After BA (Greece) and MA studies in audiovisual & digital arts (University of the Arts London), he is a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths University of London, doing research on the urban emotional geographies through walking as art and media arts. He works on different media forms including installations, walking, video art, soundscapes and music; mainly inspired by the emotional and sensorial experience of the city, in-between spaces and the notions of flaneur and psychogeography. He has exhibited in international festivals (Europe, USA, Australia) and group exhibitions highlighted by the ROOMS 2013, Visual Dialogues 2013 of Onassis Cultural Centre and Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2010. Goethe Institut has also selected his work for the database of Greek artists in the media art project Art Up. Bill also contributes in international conferences (ISEA 19th, Hybrid City, Emotional Geographies etc.)

Emotive Terrains: A practice-based research on flaneur, senses and city of 21st century city

The city throughout 20th century has been an ever-changing terrain of multiple social, cultural, spatial and even emotional qualities. Such richness of the city in stimuli, situations and data seems to form a potential palette for the artist. This talk will present a personal background, the main reasons that impacted on the decision to initiate such research as well as a brief trajectory of my art practice and research during my PhD.

The presentation will touch on three main theoretical pylons of this research: i) the urban walking, ii) senses and iii) public space. Special focus will be given on key concepts and fields that had an impact on both research and practice such as the ones of ‘flaneur’ (Benjamin, 1920’s), ‘non-place’ (Augé, 1992) and ‘emotional geographies’ (Anderson & Smith, 2001). Through selected practical steps during this research, this talk will also describe how a personal methodological framework of actions, metaphors and senses was gradually shaped. Finally, the talk will draw connections between this research and contemporary artists who use urban walking and different media and technological elements in their practice.

Venue & Address: 
Room 7220, 2nd Floor 205 Richmond Street West Toronto, Ontario