Who is going to be there?
In addition to our organising and support team we have an amazing roster of guests who will be attending the Jamboree. You can find out a bit about them below. As guests confirm their attendance they will be added to the list.
Anuradha Reddy (She/Her)
I am an interdisciplinary design researcher working at the intersection of crafts, data-driven tech, and critical and playful RtD approaches. I am curious to learn if, design research, conducted as a part of free/libre communities and grassroots innovation, can be generative towards contributing to a creative critique of the data society. Presently, I'm dabbling as a femhacker with a serious crochet affliction.
In my experience, I've seen that non-design innovators (makers/hackers in particular) engage in work practices that very closely resemble RtD, and yet we don't have the vocabulary to communicate between our practices and share value systems and material/craft knowledges. The biggest challenge, I think, is the need to develop vocabularies for creative bridges between RtD and practices outside design, because we simply cannot afford to not do it!
Ben Kirman (He/Him)
Ben (Digital Creativity Labs at University of York) has over 20 years' experience as a creative technologist, working with dozens of organisations in design and prototyping playful experiences. His research uses game design and playful design to explore the complex effects of emerging technologies with a unifying theme of play.
I love RtD because it celebrates process, and especially how insight is contained in actions over words. In the week I look forward to having fun by learning with/from/about others and also gaining some confidence in this approach. I think the biggest challenge will be practical - how can we "do" more than we talk? Can we do RtD about RtD?
Arne Berger (He/Him)
Arne Berger was born in the 70s in the Eastern Bloc. He is an interaction design researcher and left handed. His background is in media arts and design, with an interdisciplinary master from Bauhaus-University Weimar. Officially a computer scientist with a doctorate in engineering from a technical university, his research takes an inter- and transdisciplinary research-through-design approach at the intersection of participatory design and interaction design. Arne is a professor of Human-Computer-Interaction at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (the second home of the Bauhaus). He is somewhat well travelled and takes local food a bit too serious.
I like people to be imaginative, it rarely happens, and if it does, it’s only innovation.
Chris Elsden (He/Him)
Dr Chris Elsden is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Service Design in the Institute for Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He is a design researcher, with a background in sociology, and expertise in the human experience of data-driven services. Using and developing innovative design research methods, his work undertakes diverse, qualitative and often speculative engagements with participants to investigate emerging relationships with technology – particularly data-driven tools, FinTech and blockchain technologies.
I love RtD because it's creative, unpredictable, applied, relatable, and publicly engaging. Ultimately, it leads to approaching problems and societal issues in new ways.
From the week I hope to:
hang out with interesting people (some known, some unknown), after a long time without conferencing
gauge how best to communicate and engage / publish with other academics in the design field beyond HCI venues
think about how RtD produces intermediary knowledge, and not just fun wacky projects
Being specific enough, without getting terribly caught up in terminology that offends one or another traditions
Ending up with practical, shared outcomes, beyond nice conversations, that are manageable when everyone goes back to the day job
Heidi Biggs (She/They)
Heidi Biggs (they/she) is a second year PhD in Human Computer Interaction at Penn State University. Their research investigates how environmental data can be critiqued and understood through embodied knowledge and critical making for radical sustainability agendas.
I'm excited about RtD because it is a material epistemological practice. In my opinion (as of today, subject to change) RtD is allows one to probe ways of being in the world which are shaped by the objective world we are surrounded by. The objects and outcomes of RtD offer a material resistance that allows for additional things to come to light. They take on a life of their own. They are ways of expressing the contingent, material, and web-like infrastructures and influences design tangles itself up with. RtD is also often critical in nature, and pushes back on mainstream UX and industrial design narratives like use, usability, and efficiency, which is ethically important for many critical agendas in HCI and design research. I think the biggest challenge is that it is still unfolding in complexity and possibility -- and perhaps should not be to closely defined just yet and we are still 'figuring it out' and finding new applications.
Disclaimer: this was written at the bidding of the attendance form directly out of my brain!
Iohanna Nicenboim (She/Her)
Iohanna Nicenboim is a PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology, investigating explainable interactions with AI through (more-than-human) design. Using design provocations, she focuses on the everyday relations between humans and artificial agents, and how that perspective proposes a shift from explanations of AI to shared understandings. Before starting her PhD, Iohanna worked for several years as a speculative designer, creating design fictions to highlight the ethics of living with smart technologies in future everyday life.
My PhD program explicitly follows a Research Through Design (RtD) process. I create provotypes, design tactics, and concepts to generate intermediate forms of knowledge. My aim is to generate multiple and inclusive knowledge, so I try to use diverse and multidisciplinary methods that allow me to engage with alternative epistemologies. I hope my research can contribute to understand feminist and more-than-human commitments that designers can take when making design knowledge.
Artefacts are key ingredients in my research and they have several roles. I use artefacts to give direction to the research and serve as a filter within a design space, and also to practice different ways of decentering humans.
For the jamboree, I would be interested in developing further the section of my dissertation that engages with RtD. I would like to focus on more-than-human (MTH) RtD practices, and reflect on my experiences of enacting AI in workshops, performances, and interviews. I would also like to take the time to reflect on the opportunities of MTH RtD to engage with multiple temporalities and perspectives in complex AI systems.
Julian Bleecker (He/Him)
Julian Bleecker is a futures designer, product innovator, engineer, entrepreneur, podcast host and creative team leader. He has a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz, and MS in Engineering from University of Washington, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.
Julian developed the practice of Design Fiction, which he outlined in the 2008 manifesto "A Short Essay on Design Fiction", and later described in depth in the forthcoming book "The Manual of Design Fiction." Design Fiction is now employed throughout many foresight, insight, and innovation agencies and teams.
Thinking and doing / making simultaneously is one of the more exciting forms of knowledge production that exercises the intuition and imagination. I only see exciting things ahead for the practice. I think the challenge may be in communicating the value effectively so that the practice is "taken up" more broadly.
Kieran Cutting (He/They)
Kieran is a designer and facilitator based in Tynemouth. They are a worker/owner of fractals co-op, who support organisations to dream and build more beautiful futures. They are currently finishing their PhD on care, austerity and speculative design, and publish the zine "LOST FUTURES" with their co-editor Christian.
Spyros Bofylatos (He/Him)
Dr. Spyros Bofylatos holds a doctorate in theory of Design from the Department of Products and System Design Engineering of the University of the Aegean. His research sprawls around Design for sustainability, craft, service design and social innovation. His work is based on creating meaningful dialogue between the theoretical framework and the sociotechnical propositional artifacts that embody different questions in a Research through Design approach. At the very core of this process lies the notion that we live in transitional times and fostering the discourse that leads to networks of artifacts that embody alternative systems of values is necessary to move away from today’s unsustainable society. My main research interests are:
Design for sustainability
Research through design
Nature centered, indigenous design
Material Driven Design
Material Design for the Circular Economy
Autoethnography in Craft
Tacit Knowledge and Design
Making and Digital Crafts
I love RtD because it is hands on and it complements theory making in a practical way complementing the blind spots of scientific methodologies. Because it is better at being future facing and inclusive of first person prespectives.
I would like to connect with more people who do this kind of work around the world and find ways to further this research programme.
Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard (She/Her)
Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard, PhD (she/her) is a designer and postdoctoral researcher at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway. She explores feminist and speculative design of technologies for menstrual care and sexual health, and the materiality of human bodies in socio-technical ecologies and imaginaries. https://www.mljuul.com
I love RtD because it allows me to do situated, embodied and generative design research, exploring and proposing what if and not only observing what is. I love the making practices -- making objects, making worlds, making theory -- and both the first-person and participatory approaches that RtD can hold.
I would like get out or walk away from the Jamboree with inspiration and deep nuanced insights on the plural ways that RtD is understood and practiced. But also come closer to a common understandings of the purpose and impact of RtD. I hope to finally meet kind curious people in person after a few weeks online. I would like to get some kind of knowledge output out of the week; maybe one or several co-authored publications, some videos to be shared online, or perhaps co-writing an edited book with chapters written by attendees on various dimensions of RtD. I hope to get lots of time to socialise and have random conversations I did not expect or knew I wanted to have.
The biggest challenge will be to make an open/fluid yet structured enough program for important conversations to be had, and for new encounters to arise. A challenge will be to make sure that everyone gets a safe and confident way to share and impact the conversations, instead of a few leading voices steering the show.
Madeline Balaam (She/Her)
I am an Associate Professor in Interaction Design and am based at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm Sweden. My design work focuses on the intimate body and intimate care. In recent years I have really enjoyed following a soma-design approach and drawing from first-person perspectives.
I love making things and putting these things out into the world to see the kinds of experiences that people have with them, and in particular how these things might change how people view their bodies, and their bodies within society. For me, the biggest challenge is understanding how to create theory through research through design in ways which will be useful and beneficial to other designers and so I would love to know more about how others approach this.
Abigail Durrant (She/Her)
I am an interaction designer and researcher with a background in fine art, design and HCI. Co-creative practice has always been at the centre of my work, as has making inquiry through practice (i.e. RtD), in dialogue with others, to critically explore possible worlds. I'm currently Co-Director of Open Lab, Newcastle University, and Steering Committee member for the RTD Conference Series.
I love the idea that RtD can describe, in a straightforward way, a broad approach to making inquiry through design; this enables practitioners to engage with it in ways that make sense to them whilst connecting with others; and as such it feels generative and supportive of creativity. Attempts to formalise RtD in some way (even inadvertently in best efforts to find common ground and transferrable insight) may be challenging and problematic. Also how to be inclusive with the conversation is a challenge – to hold it over time and across linked events could be one answer. By listening and engaging with others about RtD I hope to be inspired, learn, and make new connections with people.
Lachlan Urquhart (He/Him)
I am a Lecturer in Technology Law and Member of Design Informatics at Edinburgh; a Founding Member and Visiting Researcher at Horizon Digital Economy Research; a Turing Fellow, and Research Fellow at the University of Milan. I was a visiting scientist at Fraunhofer AICOS, Porto and Meiji University, Tokyo too. My background is in computer science (PhD) and law (LL.B; LL.M), working in HCI, IoT and privacy/security. I’ve been awarded research projects funding totalling over £6m and published over 40 interdisciplinary papers.
I am interested in the results of aligning RtD approaches with regulatory challenges posed by emerging technologies. Increasingly the law is looking to design to solve hard socio-technical problems. I am excited about how different RtD practices can enable practical engagement with regulatory issues to realise human centred and societally beneficial human machine interactions.
From the week, I hope to learn from other attendees about the distinctive ways they are approaching wider societal problems of living with technologies through design.
I think the biggest challenge, beyond finding common vocabulary, is expectation management around the outcomes for the week, and finding mechanisms to support longer term connections and network building for participants.
Paul Coulton (He/Him)
Paul Coulton is the Chair of Speculative and Game Design in the School of Design at Lancaster University. He uses a research through design approach to create fictional artefacts from future worlds in which emerging technologies have become mundane.
RtD exploration of challenges to emerge through cycles of making and thinking.
Tom Jenkins (He/Him)
Tom Jenkins is Associate Professor of Interaction Design in the Digital Design department at the IT University of Copenhagen, and is affiliated with the IxD Lab and Center for Digital Welfare. His RtD-driven community-based research produces speculative devices that engage critically with contemporary smart products and systems.
Alan Hook (He/Him)
An Educator, Researcher and Maker of oddities and experiences for Human and Non-Human Animals based on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Working between Ulster University, Advance HE and studying a part-time PhD at Lancaster University in Speculative Design and Interspecies Understanding.
Making helps me explore my ideas, and make the theory experiential for audiences to configure and re-configure.
Serena Pollastri (She/Her)
I am a Lecturer in Urban Futures at ImaginationLancaster (Lancaster University). Through my practice-based research I explore ways to design with transspecies interactions and other more-than-human dimensions of place, mostly in coastal areas threatened by environmental change. I experiment with maps, tools, visualisation processes. I tinker, draw, and knit.
As a designer, the way in which I engage in difficult challenges is by drawing, mapping, and making things. I use RtD as a way of producing and communicating knowledge developed through these practices.
After years of remote work (which does not suit me at all!) I am excited to spend some time with other design researchers, and share experiences, challenges, and ideas.
Ingi Helgason (She/Her)
Ingi is a researcher at the Creative and Social Informatics group at Edinburgh Napier University. She has worked on EU and UK funded research projects on topics including; speculative design, participatory design, grassroots computing, urban interaction design, and presence research. She has also taught innovation, user experience and interaction design.
Markéta Dolejšová (She/Her)
Markéta Dolejšová is a design researcher experimenting with embodied, relational ways of knowing and doing, often in multi-species settings. She currently serves as a postdoctoral research fellow in the CreaTures project; Aalto University and co-leads creative and research activities at the Uroboros festival and the Feeding Food Futures collective.
A consistent and consistently enjoyable element of my co-creative RtD work is the everyday spontaneity. I like my RtD to be humble and on-the-ground as well as feral, experimental and sensory-rich. For most of my academe time, I’ve been RtDing with & around various food elements (cultures, practices, materials). In the past years, I’ve moved my practice and research into a forest, following the pathways proposed by various experienced forest-guides, including my dog companion Chewie, the trees and the mycelium as well as forest scientists and data managers. I’m always happy when I realise that this work has changed something for someone in a profound, nourishing and inspiring way. The challenge here is to be patient enough to let these changes sprout and reveal themselves, which often requires slow attunements to the local surroundings and their creaturely (human or not) inhabitants. Those five days in The Lake District seem to be a good occasion to explore some of these things more in depth.
David Chatting (He/Him)
David Chatting is an experienced designer, who over the past 25 years has worked with corporate clients, start-ups, artists and in academia. He has a close technical practice, working with emerging and established technologies, being equally comfortable with software and hardware. His work often seeks critical alternatives.
RtD describes a critical, materially engaged, design; an alternative to simplistic solutionist mechanistic accounts of design.
Ron Wakkary (He/Him)
Ron Wakkary is Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University in Canada where he founded the Everyday Design Studio. He is also Professor and Chair of Design for More Than Human-Centred Worlds in Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.
Design research is a unique and material way to investigate the world. The main benefit will be to meet and discuss with others engaged in design research. Challenges include proceeding with diversity and generosity of thought and pursuit.
Tobias Revell (He/Him)
Tobias Revell is a digital artist and designer from London, he is Design Futures Lead at Arup Foresight, co-founder of design research consultancy Strange Telemetry and approximately 47.6% of research and curatorial project Haunted Machines. He lectures and exhibits internationally on design, technology, imagination and speculation as well as working with clients to imagine alternative futures.
I think it will be interesting to reflect on the state of the design reserach space in the context of its broader acceptance in industry. I'm less interested in the micro-slicing of it into academic disciplines for publishing than an hollistic sense of how design produces knowledge that contributes to global wellbeing.
Paulina Yurman (She/Her)
Paulina Yurman is an industrial designer, researcher and design lecturer. She is interested in the ambivalent relationship with designed artefacts and technologies and her work adopts critical, speculative and experimental design approaches. She uses making and drawing with watercolour and other fluid materials as forms of speculative research. Her work can be seen at www.yurman.co.uk
Design research is a critical, visual and materially engaged practice aiming to give form to ideas, make sense of them and communicate them to others. It is often ongoing, open ended and full of potential.
I look forward to meeting and discussing with others engaged in design research and to sharing experiences and ideas.
Michael B. Heidt (None/'MBH')
Recovering mathematician, part-time artist, full time systems nerd. Michael B. Heidt likes to enact research practices at the intersection of poietic system production and diffractive theory production. Has been spotted doing practice-based research informed by fields such as philosophy, empirical social research, and electronic writing. Project foci appear eclectic, ranging from software-based inquiry into microbiological populations to speculative inquiry into the potentials of distributed ledger technologies to foster post-scarcity economies.
Laura Dudek (She/Her)
Laura Dudek is a design strategist, researcher, and futurist based in London. She works in the emerging field of Futures Design, combining UX, critical, and speculative design practices with strategy, communication, and visualization techniques. Laura is currently a designer and researcher with the Royal College of Art, conducting an interdisciplinary research program that explores game-based collaboration and speculative design processes to inform discussions on net-zero energy policies.
RtD presents new ways of thinking about the relationship between design and research by positioning design as a social as well as a material practice. This approach emphasises the social consequences of design decisions as well as the importance of the efficient functioning of a design.
I’m personally interested in themes of resilience, creativity, emergence, and communication. Some questions: How might RtD help us build capacity for uncertainty? How might RtD lead to frameworks that enable more inclusive engagement with complexity? How might the notion of praxis influence approaches to RtD? If the systems upon which our future(s) depends are fundamentally unpredictable, how do we learn to participate in them appropriately? How might RtD help us facilitate the emergence of positive, salutogenic systems properties?
Bettina Nissen (She/Her)
Dr Bettina Nissen is a Lecturer in Interaction Design at the Institute for Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Her practice-based design research focuses on engaging audiences with data and complex technological concepts through data physicalisation and tangible interactions exploring topics of online values, consent, privacy, transactions and alternative economics.
I love the explorative and experimental nature of RtD, it's focus on the messy entanglements of research beyond the more solutionist traditions of design and design research. It allows for being led by material practice as well as situated engagement beyond methodologically more fixed or determined approaches, and it attempts to communicate and disseminate the complexities of such research.
Élisabeth de Bézenac (She/Her)
I am an architect, photographer, and PhD researcher in urban design at Lancaster University. I have worked internationally as an architect and photo-journalist in a range of projects, collaborating with journalists, scientists, artists and architects. My research explores the notion of darkness in visual cultures, through artworks, through my own photographs of places after dark, and through the eyes of experts in light-design and theater disciplines. It aims to develop an emerging practice of urban “Night Design,” or “Dark Design.” I am currently designing an “Atlas of Darkness” that will serve as a guide and toolkit for the design of public spaces at night.
Michelle Westerlaken (She/Her)
Michelle Westerlaken is a postdoc in the Smart Forests research project at the University of Cambridge with a PhD in Interaction Design from Malmö University. As an interdisciplinary researcher and designer her work builds on posthumanism, feminist technoscience, critical animal studies, and participatory design methods to investigate possibilities for humans and other species for more relational —multispecies— ways of living on this planet. So far, these projects have involved design negotiations together with cats, dogs, ants, penguins, forests, and various interactive technologies.
For me, RtD has been a way to cope with critical thought and large scale injustices without getting stuck in critique. Searching through practice, speculative, unfinished, and experimental, RtD helps to generate knowledge through thinking and making together with more-than-human entities.