September talks and mini-symposium

MM lectures poster_small

In September 2014 we hosted several visitors to our lab and all four PhD candidates on the project did their year one Doctoral Assessments. This was a great opportunity to have our guest give a talk about their interaction design research, so over the course of the month there were four talks.

  • September 2: Talk by 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.

The first three talks will be hosted at the DAB Interactivation Studio located on the Building 6, Level 4 courtyard. You’re invited to join from 5.30PM with drinks & nibbles for a 6PM start.

September 26 will be a mini-symposium with four PhD Doctoral Assessment presentations throughout the day (10AM until 4PM), followed by a talk by dr. Corina Sas at 4.30PM. This event will be held in the postgraduate wing of UTS, DAB, in Building 6, Level 6.

Visitors who travel by car are advised to use the UTS car park below the Peter Johnson Building (CB06), using the entry on Harris Street.

Below you’ll find extra information on our guest speakers.

02/09 – Berry Eggen

Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology: Designing for the User Experience.

In this lecture, I will briefly introduce the Eindhoven University of Technology, one of the Key Technology Partner universities of UTS, and its department of Industrial Design. Within this department the focus is on the design of intelligent systems, products and related services in a societal context. The core of my presentation addresses three big challenges that modern designers (need to) face when designing for smart environments: (1) What makes a worthwhile user experience? (2) How to design for user experience? (3) How to design for user experiences that can be seamlessly integrated in everyday life? These challenges are linked to existing and future design paradigms.

Berry Eggen is a design researcher with an interest in information ergonomics, multimodal interaction (including light and sound) and intelligent user interfaces; he is a full professor at the Industrial Design department of the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands and an adjunct professor at the  Design, Architecture & Building faculty of the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Berry is currently a Visiting Fellow at UTS as part of the Key Technology Partnership between TU/e and UTS. Next to that he supervises two of our PhD candidates.

09/09 – David Blezinger, MSc

The way in which objects are configured in the spatial environment that surrounds us can give a cue to what needs to be done, how to do it, what has happened or what will happen. A cup on the table top reminds me that I was about to prepare coffee when I was distracted by a conversation, the tools I have arranged on the workbench remind me of how I was planning to fix the chair, the drinks and nibbles on the sideboard remind me of the occasion and of the imminent arrival of the guests. In this talk I will give examples of how we configure our environments in the course of everyday activities and how learnings from this could inform Interaction Design.

David has a MSc degree in Adaptive Architecture and Computation, and a BA in Industrial Design. The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College of London. He is currently in Sydney to work on a user study. – Portfolio / LinkedIn

16/09 – dr. Wendy Moncur, FRSA

Living Digitally

In this seminar, I will briefly introduce the technology-based research in my department (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design) at the University of Dundee, which is one of the Key Technology Partner universities of UTS.

I will then give an overview of my own technology-based research across transition points in the human lifespan – emerging adulthood, becoming a parent, retiring, death and bereavement. Reflecting the focus of the Materialising Memories group, I will focus in on my recent work in devising and testing a framework for digital memorials. The framework is grounded in examples of current memorialization practice, and situated within a contextual understanding of memorials as an emergent digital phenomenon within a networked society. In detailing the framework, I will highlight features of the design space that can be exploited in the development of bespoke memorial technologies, and identify potential areas of future interest that this framework brings to the fore, such as HCI’s engagement with critical concepts of the postself and temporality.

Dr Wendy Moncur is a Reader in Socio-Digital Interaction at the University of Dundee. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, and a Key Technology Partner at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Intrinsically interdisciplinary, yet grounded in Computing, Wendy’s research program focuses on the design of technology to support being human in a Digital Age.

Wendy is Principal Investigator on the EPSRC-funded Charting the Digital Lifespan, which unites internationally leading researchers at five UK institutions across the social and computer sciences. The research program investigates how the digital is woven into the fabric of people’s lives across three life transition points – emerging adulthood, becoming a parent, retiring – both now and in a future where citizens have lived entirely in a Digital Age. The research is conducted through ethnographic and design studies, facilitated through novel social data mining technology. Concurrently, Wendy holds an EPSRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Digital Inheritance. This research explores the bequest, inheritance and repurposing of personal data (such as emails, photos and social network site interactions) in the context of the death of technology users

She is actively involved in public engagement as an invited speaker at a range of venues, including the Edinburgh Turing Festival 2012, the Cheltenham Literature Festival 2013 and the Royal Society. Her research has also informed policy-making – e.g. through provision of written evidence to the 2014 UK Commons Committee on Social Media Data and Real Time Analytics.

26/09 – dr. Corina Sas

Rituals of disposal

This talk provides an overview of my work on technologies for the self,
with an emphasis on the value of the human body and significant objects
in scaffolding personally relevant memories. Objects – as extensions of
self – gain significance not only for defining the self, but also for
reconstructing it. Therefore disposal becomes critical during life
transitions, when people are required to re-evaluate their possessions
which continue to evoke an old, undesired self. This presentation
described an ongoing study where we interviewed 10 grief psychotherapists
about their work on rituals of letting go. Our preliminary findings
indicate that the symbolic objects to be disposed of weren¹t limited to
the bereaved¹s personal artefacts, they also included new natural objects
such as stones and seeds. We also discovered two aspects of disposal
practices, with possessions and natural objects being either passively,
or actively disposed of, and three qualities highlighting the value of
speed, visibility and embodiment in rituals of letting go. The
presentation concludes with some theoretical and practical implications
of this work.

Senior Lecturer in HCI, School of Computing and Communications, Lancaster University.

“My research interests include human-computer interaction, interaction design, user experience, designing tools and interactive systems to support high level skill acquisition and training such as creative and reflective thinking in design, autobiographical reasoning, emotional processing and spatial cognition. This work explores and integrates wearable bio sensors, lifelogging technologies and virtual reality. Analytical orientations: ethnographic and experimental studies, design thinking and design rationale.” – (via

26/09 – Doctoral Assessment presentations

10 AM – Ine Mols

Designing for reflective remembering through media creation in everyday life 

We often collect mementoes of special occasions in our live, items that were given, created or kept with the intention to remember such as souvenirs, photos or trophies. Besides special events, our everyday life also has potential value as a memory, even though we might be less inclined to create mementoes of these more mundane experiences. I argue that it is worthwhile to create media to remember everyday life experiences. One of the potential values of these everyday life mementoes is to support a specific form of remembering: reflective remembering. Through reflection we gain self insight, form an identity, see growth and make decisions. Creating media of our everyday life experience can support this process of reflection. I will discuss how I address these topics in the research-through-design process of my PhD. 

11.30 AM – Annemarie Zijlema

Exploring external memory cuing and the Self

Items may trigger memories from experiences of our past, which can relate to how we like to view ourselves. For example, photos of one’s travels might remind him or her of being an adventurous person, and diplomas may remind one of his achievements. In this project cuing and the remembering experience are studied that are evoked by external memory cues. This PhD research investigates the interaction between personal items people have collected (over time) and the remembering of personal experiences. In my talk I will present my research plans and progress made so far. 

1.30 PM – Mendel Broekhuijsen

Digital media curation

My research focuses on personal digital media, which can provide people with detailed cues for autobiographical remembering. However, digital media are in many occasions badly organised, because people lack the time, the tools, the skills and the patience to organise, select and even view their collection. I am interested in the personal value of digital media, and the role technology can play to enhance that value. As part of this research I will develop and evaluate intelligent systems to support meaningful use of personal digital media for remembering experiences. The challenge is to provide a future proof solution to deal with the increase of possible relevant autobiographical media. Intelligent systems will be developed to support curation, selective retrieval and selective (re)presentation of these media, with the goal to provide people with intuitive tools that enable them to relive and share previous experiences the way they desire.

3 PM – Doménique van Gennip

Materialising digital memory cues

Some things in our surroundings can bring back memories of past events without our conscious effort. Those things could for example be objects such as souvenirs, songs, or digital photos. However, such digital items tend to be overlooked for purposes of reminiscing and reflection. In this project two questions are central: first, how people use and relate to external memories cues, and whether this differs for digital media cues. Second is how interaction design can support the use of digital memory cues for remembering our personal past. In my talk, I shall discuss the theoretical background, research focus and approach, as well as findings accumulated so far.


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