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Design as Inquiry: Tactile and Tactical Design

  • Bagley Hall, University of Washington (map)

Design as Inquiry: Tactile and Tactical Design with Daniela Rosner, PhD

In this talk, Professor Rosner describes a research approach that relies on technology design not as an end in itself, but as a way to understand social phenomena, from how artists use new technologies to foster insight and action, to how community members engage public space to produce new modes of citizenship.

To illustrate this approach, she’ll talk about a study with Trace, a mobile mapping application that generates walking routes based on digital sketches people create and annotate without a map. In addition to creating walking paths, Trace enables people to send the paths to others, thus developing a unique form of digital communication. Trace was designed to explore the possibility of emphasizing guided wandering over precise, destination-oriented navigation. Studies of sixteen peoples’ use of Trace over roughly one week reveal how walkers find Trace both delightful and disorienting, highlighting moments of surprise, frustration, and identification with GIS routing algorithms. Rosner will show how design interventions offer possibilities for understanding the work of technology development, and how it might be done differently.

About Dr. Rosner
Daniela K. Rosner is an Assistant Professor of Human-Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington, where she co-directs the Tactile and Tactical Design Lab (TAT lab). Through fieldwork and design, her research reveals and creates surprising connections between technology and creative production, whether digital fabrication or the handwork of amateur repair technicians. She has taught interaction design at the California College of the Arts (CCA) and worked in exhibition design at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum. She holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s School of Information, a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Chicago, and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Daniela is a regular columnist for Interactions Magazine, a bimonthly publication of ACM SIGCHI.


Date & Time
Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m.: Light dinner and networking
7 p.m.: Speaker presentation
8 p.m.: Q&A

Later Event: March 26
AIGA March Schmooze