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.
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.
Last month our PhD students signed their joint degree contacts, one step in the process of bringing together University of Technology, Sydney and Eindhoven University of Technology. Both universities have now signed a Key Technology Partnership, which means there are increased opportunities for academic exchange and collaboration between the two distant places. Our project is one of the ways such collaboration can take place and in all modesty we hope to be a poster child for others interested in developing relations. Today UTS Newsroom gave us front page attention with the photo (by Clare Donald) shown on top, although the actual signing of the contracts took place last month. The article further discusses the reasons for both universities to agree on this partnership, both citing a shared research focus and mutual benefits.
In practice, having these contracts in place means that nearly all pieces of the puzzle are in place to complete the PhD projects with a shared degree from both universities. Of course, what we haven’t yet discussed on these pages is the actual work to feature in those projects, but a new year brings new promises and hopefully interesting blog posts.
Eindhoven’s university newspaper confirms that our project will be the first to have a joint PhD programme to mark the newly signed agreement between TU/e and UTS. Project leader Elise van den Hoven has held positions at both universities for some time now, and Berry Eggen will become adjunct professor at UTS to further support the partnership. Each university will be home to two of our PhD candidates. From the article:
De TU/e wordt ‘Key Technology Partner’ van de University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Het voornemen tot een verbond met de Australische universiteit werd dinsdag bekrachtigd met het ondertekenen van een Memorandum of Agreement. Als onderdeel van de samenwerking komt er een gezamenlijk ‘PhD programme’, dat per direct invulling krijgt in de vorm van het Vidi-project rond persoonlijke herinneringen dat dr. Elise van den Hoven op beide locaties zal leiden.
The complete article by Cursor’s Tom Jeltes can be found online (in Dutch). Both photos by Bart van Overbeeke.
Today the project got its official start in front of a small audience, consisting of all the team members, plus a delegation from UTS and others who showed interest. Each of us introduced her or himself by explaining why we chose to bring a specific artefact that triggered memories for us. Elise then explained the core reasoning behind the project; no one brought a hard disk or other digital storage device, while many of us have valuable memories attached to media stored on such devices. Here the Materialising Memories project can make a difference and we hope to show our work to the community in the next few years!
The top image shows the group of people related to the project. Standing, left to right: Innes Ireland (UTS), prof. Attila Brungs (UTS), prof. Panos Markopoulos (TU/e), Mendel Broekhuijsen (PhD candidate, TU/e), Annemarie Zijlema (PhD candidate, UTS), Ine Mols (PhD candidate, TU/e), Doménique van Gennip (PhD candidate, UTS), prof. Berry Eggen (TU/e). Sitting: Elise van den Hoven (UTS & TU/e), prof. Lawrence Wallen (UTS). Photo by Iris Soute.