CHI 2008 Program

The Advance Program is available here.

The Print Program (PDF) is available here.

Opening Plenary

Design Transformations

The Glasgow School of Art, UK
Location: Cavaniglia Pavilion
Date: Monday, April 7th Time: 8:30AM - 10:00AM

Irene McAra-McWilliam proposes that there is an evolution of design which can be described historically, envisaging its future as a relational and transformational discipline. With the design of networked products such as iPods and mobile telephones it has become crucially important for designers to consider the dynamic of the relational sensibility as well as the aesthetics of three dimensional form. The product is not merely a useful object but, rather, a mediator of relationships and particular cultural codes. Professor McAra-McWilliam will examine changing design sensibilities, proposing that as design develops to include, for example, the relational sensibility used in interaction design, so it reinterprets and refreshes existing practice.

biography Irene McAra-McWilliam is Head of the School of Design at the Glasgow School of Art. Before starting in Glasgow in September 2005, she was Professor and Business Fellow in Innovation at The Royal College of Art in London and Head of the Interaction Design Department. As Professor of Design Research at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, she examined ways in which technology can enhance community and social sustainability. As Director of Design Research at Philips Electronics in the Netherlands, Irene McAra-McWilliam envisaged and directed global research in areas such as ambient intelligence, interaction design, brand design and user experience, and set up design teams in Philips. research laboratories world-wide to contribute to the company.s long term technology research strategy. For the European Commission, she created and coordinated the research theme Connected Community, and directed the award-winning project Living Memory. She continues to be an advisor to the EC in the strategic domain of ambient intelligence. Professor McAra-McWilliam is a frequent speaker at international conferences and works as a consultant to industry and government. She has been voted one of fifty top design leaders by the UK.s Design Week magazine. She is an expert in cultural research for social innovation, creativity, new technology and community.

Closing Plenary

From the Materialistic to the Experiential
A Changing Perspective on Design

Microsoft Research, USA
Location: Cavaniglia Pavilion
Date: Thursday, April 10th
Time: 4:30PM - 6:00PM

A Personal Mantra: Ultimately, we are deluding ourselves if we think that the products that we design are the "things" that we sell, rather than the individual, social and cultural experience that they engender, and the value and impact that they have. Design that ignores this is not worthy of the name.

I will be talking about how we are in the midst of a transition from where we view design as primarily concerned with the material object (the device, dress, home, service, etc.) to a new state where our focus is on the experience that result from those same objects and services. One of the consequences is that great design (which equates to great experience) cannot be confined to, or the sole prevue of, any one department . be it design, marketing, or engineering, for example. Rather, in this perspective, design has to be viewed in a holistic manner, and executing great design must involve every person in the food chain that produces the product. This not only has deep implications on what designers do. It also compels us to rethink who or what is a designer, and who is not. In order to do great design in the future . whatever that may mean . implies that the most important thing that we need to design is design itself. And yet, the paradox is, this is the only way to save design as a distinct and critical profession.

Bill Buxton is the author of the new book, Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, published by Morgan Kaufmann.

Trained as a musician, Bill began using computers over thirty years ago in his art. This early experience, both in the studio and on stage, helped develop a deep appreciation of both the positive and negative aspects of technology. This increasingly drew him into design and research, with a very strong emphasis on interaction and the human aspects of technology. He first came to prominence for his work at the University of Toronto on digital musical instruments and the novel interfaces that they employed. This work in the late 70s gained the attention of Xerox PARC, where Buxton participated in pioneering research in collaborative work, interaction techniques and ubiquitous computing. This work was carried on in parallel with his activities as Scientific Director of the Ontario Telepresence Project at the University of Toronto. In 1994, Buxton joined Alias Research (and in 1995 its parent company SGI, as well) where he had the opportunity to work with some of the top filmmakers and industrial designers in the world. He was Chief Scientist at Alias during the entire development of an animation package called Maya, which won an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement. He is now a principal researcher at Microsoft Corp., where he splits his time between research and helping make design a fundamental pillar of the corporate culture. In 2007, Buxton was named Doctor of Design, Honoris Causa, by the Ontario College of Art and Design.

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Evening Events

Monday, April 7th 18:30 - 22:00
Opening Reception & Exhibits Grand Opening

Tuesday, April 8th 18:00 - 20:00
Job Fair

Wednesday, April 9th 18:30 - 20:30
Hospitality Events

Thursday, April 10th 16:30 - 18:00
Closing Plenary