After a breakup, what happens to shared possessions is often a prickly issue. Even if one person clearly owns something or has access to it, such as copies of digital photos, those possessions still carry the legacy of the other now gone. What happens to those traces of a digital life spent together after people break up? Could the technology that supports the generation and collection of those photos, messages, and other media also support the process of two people going their separate ways? Those are in essence the questions in the thesis of Daniel Herron, who was recently interviewed by UTS Newsroom. The article, available online, focused on his position as a joint degree student supervised by Wendy Moncur in Dundee and Elise van den Hoven at UTS in Sydney.
Our project leader, Elise van den Hoven, started as a full Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and IT in January 2016. With her promotion comes a move to the School of Software within FEIT, where the work on Materialising Memories will continue. The new faculty formally announced the move last month via their newsletter in a bid to strengthen the growing number of people working on Human-Computer Interaction and interaction design. There are also plans to deepen the collaboration between FEIT and our current Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building (DAB).
The Visiting Fellows and postgraduate students will also make the move from DAB to FEIT early this year. Our current projects will remain as they are after the trek across campus. Once we have settled in we’ll give another update!
Last week, we had our third annual Making Memories day. The one day getaway from research led us to dive into the history of Cockatoo Island and explore Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. As the accompanying image shows, it was also a good opportunity to get a picture of (a large part of) our research group as we currently host several overseas visitors in our space in Sydney. Quite a few of us will also be making the trek to OzCHI in Melbourne next week, which is sure to pad our collection of group photos.
Recently, the Materialising Memories team at UTS in Sydney welcomed several new members. Among them is Daniel Herron who’s the first joint doctoral degree candidate between UTS and Dundee University. Normally residing in Scotland, he is supervised by Wendy Moncur and Elise van den Hoven. UTS International put a short article online to mark the start of this new program and reflect on Wendy’s visit to our lab half a year ago. It also hints at new collaborative projects in the pipeline titled “Diaspora” and “Designing Hybrid Keepsakes,” as well as liaisons with other academics within UTS and Dundee.
Daniel has just finished his five week visit to UTS and might give us a blog post about that soon. If not, he’s bound to return to Sydney some time in the future.
This Wednesday we kicked off our semi-regular Reúnion de Recherche meetings in the MM lab. Jan Zekveld, a visiting student from Eindhoven University, gave an introduction to his work before an audience of eleven. He will stay in Sydney until June to work on his final Master project, which concerns the design of a peripheral reminder in an office environment. With several new members starting and some visitors present, our lab was quite a busy place. These meetings are intended to bring together the team and others to foster discussion and awareness of each other’s interests and progress.
Since a few weeks Eindhoven serves at the centre of our operations, as both Annemarie and Doménique spent time at Eindhoven University of Technology. While Doménique leaves soon, Annemarie will stay around for a little longer. As we mentioned last month, Gail Kenning is also here for her collaboration with TU/e. We celebrated our fruitful workshop sessions with a nice dinner in the centre of Eindhoven.
Early next year, Dr Gail Kenning, Research Associate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) of UTS, will visit Eindhoven. She will be hosted by Dr Panos Markopoulos, Professor at TU/e and Adjunct Professor at the faculty of Design Architecture and Building (DAB) at UTS. Gail is the first Visiting Fellow, as part of the Key Technology Partnership (KTP), to visit TU/e from UTS.
She has been awarded a funded Design United Research Fellowship at the User Centered Engineering (UCE) Group in the Department of Industrial Design Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Netherlands. As part of the Visiting Fellowship Gail will engage in cross-faculty collaborative research between FASS and DAB at UTS and UCE at TU/e. Her visit will involve a small research project and investigate research and funding opportunities for ongoing collaborative work between UTS and TU/e.
As a member of the Materialising Memories research program, led by Associate Professor Elise van den Hoven and jointly located at UTS and TU/e, Gail will build on existing collaborative research with Associate Professor Roger Dunston, FASS and Dr Cathy Treadaway, Centre for Applied Research of Inclusive Art and Design (CARIAD), Cardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff Met), Wales, in relation to creative approaches to healthy ageing and living with dementia.
For further information on Gail’s work, see also handsproject.info.
Gracing the front page of the Brink section of the Sydney Morning Herald this month is a feature on the work of Elise and some of her recent projects. Brink is a monthly section included with the Sydney Morning Herald with content from UTS research efforts. The article, titled ‘Image conscious,’ follows from an interview by Fiona McGill with Elise van den Hoven. It talks about the perils of capturing many items, the consequences for remembering, as well as the role of forgetting, all within the context of Elise’s research.
“A lot of people assume that human memory is just the same as computer memory, where everything is just stored the way it was … but that’s not what our human memory was designed for. It changes in the context, it changes in the situation, and it changes because your image of yourself changes, your identity changes. As you mature, you bring a different perspective to events.”
Read the full article over at the Sydney Morning Herald, or a have a look at the printed version (PDF file). The Brink section can also be picked up around UTS campus, even though we grabbed a few for our archives 😉
In September 2014 we shall host several visitors to our lab and all four PhD candidates on the project will do their year one Doctoral Assessments. This is a great opportunity to have our guest give a talk about their interaction design research, so over the course of the month there will be four talks:
- September 2: Talk by prof.dr.ir. Berry Eggen.
- September 9: Talk by David Blezinger, MSc.
- September 16: Talk by dr. Wendy Moncur.
- September 26: Mini-symposium with Doctoral Assessments for all four PhD candidates, followed by a talk by dr. Corina Sas.
See the event page for all details and times. In due time, that page will include a brief introduction for all the presentations. You’re welcome to join us!
Past Saturday, the Sydney Morning Herald featured an article on the potential overload of photo material we collect and share nowadays. The text, which ran in last Saturday’s weekend special, includes the viewpoints of several people, including our project leader Elise van den Hoven. While some caution against collecting massive amounts, others perceive it as a boon; with such an expansive record, they’ll always know what they did at any earlier time. It’s just that they need some tool to retrieve the desired moment’s capture. The journalist, Evan Williams, also spoke with someone who deliberately cut back on her capturing and sharing habits after feeling overwhelmed. These differing viewpoints highlight the individual differences and challenges of digital media for remembering. We’ll certainly talk more about that in the future, but for now the Sydney Morning Herald has their article available online.