G.P. Li, CalIT2 Division Director, Professor in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, and Biomedical Engineering, UC-Irvine
Stephen Barker, Dean, Claire Trevor School of the Arts
Georges Van Den Abbeeele, Dean, School of Humanities
Don Norman, Professor Emeritus, Departments of Cognitive Science & Psychology, UC-San Diego
Don Norman is the director of The Design Lab at University of California, San Diego (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Norman). He is best known for his books on design, especially The Design of Everyday Things. He is widely regarded for his expertise in the fields of design, usability engineering, and cognitive science. He is also a co-founder and consultant with the Nielsen Norman Group. Much of Norman’s work involves the advocacy of user-centered design. Norman has been an active Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST). He also holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego. Don Norman is on numerous educational, private, and public sector advisory boards, including the editorial board of Encyclopædia Britannica.
Near Sensing, Moving Bodies, and the Design of Anthropogenic Space
Josh Berson: http://joshberson.net/ & https://MIWG-Berlin.MPG.DE/EN/Users/JBerson
Josh Berson is an anthropologist and author of Computable Bodies (Bloomsbury 2015). A concise exposition of its themes can be found here. Berson consults on the design of studies that explore how built space unfolds from the perspective of moving bodies. Amongst current projects, he leads the Wellcome-funded research initiative Hubbub. His interests include sound and the acoustic world, niche construction applied to registers of sensorimotor presence, meditative states, species boundaries and the deep history of sign use. If you have questions about how to observe the flow of information from body to body and between body and world at high resolution in the wild, get in touch.
ANTHROPOCENE DESIGN PANEL
Moderated by Keith Murphy| Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine
Keith Murphy : http://faculty.sites.uci.edu/keithmurphy/about/ & http://faculty.sites.uci.edu/keithmurphy/
Keith M. Murphy is an associate professor of anthropology at UC Irvine. His research explores the sociocultural and linguistic sides of design and designing, and in particular how collaborative designing unfolds in face-to-face interaction. He has worked with architects in Los Angeles and furniture designers in Stockholm, which is the focus of his recent book, Swedish Design: An Ethnography, from Cornell University Press.
Maria Bose| Doctoral Candidate, University of California, Irvine
Maria Bose : https://uci.academia.edu/MariaBose
Silicon Valley’s Anthropocenic Designs
This paper reads Apple’s 2014 Environmental Responsibility Campaign, “Better,” as well as signature green architectural projects commissioned by Silicon Valley tech giants including Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. It argues that these artifacts move beyond simple strategies of greenwashing to offer, instead, visions of “sustainability” that work to displace concern for material circumstance by seizing upon the presiding value of a given corporation’s immaterial brand assets (properties like Apple’s ethos of “innovation”). Far from offering environmental commitments, then, Silicon Valley’s green designs present extended and symptomatic meditations on the spatial and economic character of brands, modeling the reparative de- and re-materializing potential of brand equity as a species of value that exists at once beyond material reality yet retains the power to withstand — and even recuperate — material losses.
Maria Bose (BA Stanford; MA UC Irvine) is a doctoral candidate in the English department at UCI. Her dissertation, “New Media Minorities: Race Writing in the Digital Age” explores how online tools and environments are changing the form and logic of contemporary race writing. Her article, “Immaterial Thoughts: Brand Value, Environmental Sustainability, and WALL-E” will appear in Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts. Another article on Thomas Pynchon is forthcoming in Studies in American Fiction.
Elizabeth Chin | Professor, Art Center College of Design
Social Facts are a Death Trap: The Laboratory of Speculative Ethnology
The Laboratory of Speculative Ethnology uses fiction to explore social facts. Skinning speculation with Afro-ness, the Lab makes everything about race, instead of nothing. Our current speculative device under construction is the Racial Violence Documentator, or RVD. It doesn’t exist, but neither do white people, according to James Baldwin. Challenging the chronopolitical positioning of those-beyond-whiteness as forever primeval, the Lab embodies presents and futures where the aesthetics of the future, personally, politically, and technologically, step out of modernist confines to explore possibilities beyond.
Elizabeth Chin is an anthropologist and ethnographer whose practice includes performative scholarship, writing experiments, and collaborative community-based research. Her work always addresses inequality and particularly race, whether in the urban United States, or in rural Haiti. Her book Purchasing Power: Black Kids and American Consumer Culture (Minnesota 2001) was a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Prize. My Life With Things: The Consumer Diaries is an autoethnography of her consumer life, due out May 2016 from Duke University Press. She is a founding member of the MFA program Media Design Practices/Field.
Simon Penny | Professor, University of California, Irvine
Orthogonal Project: A Neo-Micronesian Approach to Naval Engineering
Micronesian communities have a long (and almost lost) tradition of fast asymmetrical multihull sailboats which are generally referred to as proa, upon which both local and long distance ocean journeys were undertaken. These boats were recognized by the early European navigators as being much faster than European designs, but the principles of their design and operation were quite orthogonal to European methods. Orthogonal is a project to build a modern proa, exploiting some of the special qualities of traditional proas – such as lateral asymmetry and shunting – while using modern materials. Orthogonal is a transdisciplinary research project involving anthropology, hydrodynamics and aerodynamics, design prototyping, experimental structures and materials science, traditional and contemporary artisanal practices, sustainability and ‘critical technical practice’ (Agre).
Simon Penny, Professor, Electronic Art and Design, University of California, Irvine, is a media artist, teacher and theorist with a longstanding concern for embodied and situated aspects of artistic practice. He explores – in both artistic and scholarly work – the intersections of computational technologies with cultural practices whose first commitment is to the engineering of persuasive perceptual immediacy and affect. Most of his artwork has involved the development of custom sensing and robotic systems. His current scholarly research centers around theories of embodied cognition. Penny was founding director Arts Computation Engineering graduate program at UCI. He was visiting professor, Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media masters, University Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, 2006-2013 and Professor of Art and Robotics Carnegie Mellon, 1993-2000. Recent honors include Labex International Professor, Paris8 and ENSAD 2014.
Elizabeth Guffey – http://openscholar.purchase.edu/eguffey/
Elizabeth Guffey teaches and writes on art and design history, theory and criticism. She is the Juanita and Joseph Leff Distinguished Professor at Purchase College, State University of New York. Founding Editor of Design and Culture (www.designstudiesforum.org/journal/), the peer-review journal of the Design Studies Forum. She is also the author of Retro: The Culture of Revival and Posters: A Global History . Her interests: Retro and contemporary culture, Disability and Design Culture; Poster design today, craft and design as gendered practice, oral histories and the digital divide, California’s secret matriarchy of design, critical wayfinding, Jim Crow, Steampunk and the rival of Victoriana, the geographies of design.
Design History in the Anthropocene: A Retro Idea ?