Following a career in media technology I now divide my time between design research and photography.
My design work focuses on methods of human-centred innovation and the application of design thinking and methods in healthcare. There is more on the latter on the website of User-centred Healthcare Design, where I principally work. Also see the research section of this site for the innovation material and a list of publications. Or my Academia.edu profile page. And there’s my LinkedIn page, too. (Phew, all these sites!)
I am also a published photographer and my work includes landscape, architecture and travel. See the photography section of this site for a selected portfolio, galleries and information on picture sales.
Finally, I’m a terrible blogger, but I occasionally post the odd piece of news or share some idle musings below.
I’m pleased to say that I can now offer photographic prints, greetings cards and posters of my images for sale. As much as I like sharing my images on the web, they really come into their own as large prints (something I was reminded about recently when we had my panoramic image of Castlerigg Stone Circle printed 1 metre wide and framed for our living room wall).
The two Yorkshire galleries where I used to sell my prints have long since closed but I’ve recently joined Red Bubble, which means that I can offer images in a variety of formats. Prices start from £1.51 for greetings cards, £6.80 for photographic prints, and £57.60 for framed prints (in a choice of styles) – prices in other currencies available on the site.
I’ll be adding more images to Red Bubble soon but, if you have any particular favourites that aren’t there at the moment, let me know and I’ll put them at the top of the “to do” list.
I’ve been invited to participate in a live discussion on the Design Research Network website entitled Before and After Critical Design. For more information and to contribute to the discussion, see their website.
I’ve had an article published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies on the work I did on digital mementos during my PhD. It’s part of a special issue on designing for reflection on personal experience and describes the work I did with my colleague Daniela Petrelli (who is the second author) where I used critical artefact methods to design ideas for the digital equivalent of mementos with groups of would-be users. See my publications page for bibliographic details and a link to download the paper from ScienceDirect.
I gave a guest lecture on my use of critical artefacts for participatory innovation in Belgium last week. The nice people at Social Spaces have kindly made the slides available online and there is a short teaser interview with me available online through YouTube.
Thanks to everyone in Hasselt for making me feel so welcome, especially Liesbeth Huybrechts and Helena Bijnens.
I’m going to join the throng and make a prediction about the much-hyped forthcoming Apple tablet computer (variously the iPad, or iSlate, or iTab etc.). Not whether it will have an OLED screen, or an E-Ink screen, or a new form of gestural interface, or a virtual keyboard, or be an e-book and e-newspaper reader, or be for a family to share and for use in classrooms. Plenty of others are discussing these possibilities with eager anticipation. My prediction is a very simple one: it will be successful. We will buy it, use it and find that it answers needs we never knew we had.
But tablet computers are not a new idea, so why will this device succeed where the others failed? In short, because we’re ready for it. We’re now familiar with touch-screen interfaces and multi-touch gestures due to using devices like the iPhone and watching films like Minority Report (and engaging with many other objects and media, and the ideas expressed in them, before that). Technology isn’t primarily what determines the success of this, or any other, product. The technologies that Apple’s new device will employ, whilst innovative, aren’t enough to get any but the ardent gadget fans and early adopters to use it. People’s practices, perceptions and expectations provide the acid test for any new product. Is it something we can understand the purpose of, envisage ourselves using, and see a role for in our lives? We develop this understanding from the ways we live our everyday lives and the artefacts that we employ to do so, it reflects our culture (to put it in larger terms).
Apple will have a hit with their new device, but only because the iPhone and Tom Cruise got us ready for it.
I will be giving a guest lecture on my use of critical artefacts within participatory design in Hasselt, Belgium on 9th February 2010. I will present examples from the projects where I have employed critical artefacts to foster innovation and discuss the rationale for my methods (the subject of my PhD research). This lecture is part of the A-Z series of lectures presented by the Z33 Centre for Contemporary Art and Design, more details on the Z33 website and the A-Z lectures website.
Aside from this site, I’ve set up a WordPress site for my research colleagues and I to share references, events, ideas, project progress and so on. We use a combination of posts and pages with numerous comments on each. So, we generate a lot of new content that we all need to keep on top of. I’ve installed the Subscribe 2 plug-in, which enables the site to send daily emails of updates, however it does not include amends to pages and some of our team would prefer to see a summary of the recent items on the site rather than via email (already having bulging in boxes). A search for plug-ins or widgets to display “recent updates” or similar on the WordPress site was proving fruitless and I thought the task impossible without resorting to coding my own solution, until I dug a little deeper on using RSS.
WordPress produces two RSS feeds out of the box, one for entries (‘blog posts) and one for comments (on both posts and pages). However the entries feed does not include new pages and page updates. Step forward another handy plug-in RSS Includes Pages which does exactly what it says on the tin. The team could now use their favourite RSS reader to view the feeds, including web-based tools such as Google Reader*. However it’s possible to go one step further and include the feeds on their source WordPress site itself. By adding RSS Widgets to the sidebar of the site with the URLs of the site’s own feeds. (WordPress eats itself?)
*Google reader isn’t without its limitations. In particular it cannot read feeds from password protected websites (as ours is). No problem as another useful and free web application, Free My Feed, will generate new URLs given the feed URL and password details (which aren’t stored and are encrypted in the new feed URL).
Last week I was back in Oslo at the first Nordic Service Design Conference (which we heard about when I was in Oslo in August). This was a great opportunity to immerse myself in an area of design that I am now more involved in – service design. The conference had a useful mix of presentations from industry and academia and the most memorable conference dinner I have ever attended. Following the theme of “co-production” we visited Oslo’s catering school and made our conference dinner. Or rather groups of 6-8 delegates were helped to cook one of the 12 tapas dishes we later ate by the able chefs of the school. There was perhaps slightly more socialising and drinking of wine than actual cooking, but the more eager delegates (self included) got to play in a professional kitchen. I even learned to make aioli properly.