Please join us for the Information Science colloquium with guest, Audrey Desjardins a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University, School of Interactive Arts + Technology and I conduct research in the Everyday Design Studio. I hold a Masters of Arts in interaction design from Simon Fraser University and a bachelor degree in industrial design from Université de Montréal. I have been a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Graduate Scholar from 2011-2015. As an interaction design researcher, my interests revolve around understanding how people live with and reconfigure everyday artifacts, technologies, and spaces. My research has explored the ethos and practices of making in expert amateur, do-it-yourself (DIY) and Maker cultures, DIY tutorial authorship and consumption, as well as the design of interactive technologies for the home.

Title: Investigating practices of making and living with interactive artifacts through design ethnography and research-through-design

Abstract: In this talk, I provide an overview of my research in the fields of interaction design and human-computer interaction as well as directions for my future research. As interactive artifacts and technologies are entering and populating various spheres of the everyday, people’s relationship to those artifacts is growing in complexity. A nuanced and careful understanding of how people engage and live with those artifacts is crucial for creating meaningful, sustainable, and durable future interactive artifacts and technologies. My research interests lie in how people not only ‘use’ those artifacts, but also in how they might make and remake them as well as in how they live and coexist with them in an everyday context. 

Firstly, I discuss how I used design ethnography to investigate the multiple practices of making of expert amateurs (including family members, hobbyist jewellers, steampunk enthusiasts, green do-it-yourself enthusiasts, and backcountry skiing recreationists).

Secondly, I show how the insights from this ethnographic work inspired my research-through-design inquiries on how to design interactive technologies that can fit expert amateur practices, and to imagine how people might live with those interactive technologies over time. I present the projects of the table-non-table, the hook, and the tilting bowl as well as an autobiographical design project of converting a cargo van into a camper van called ‘Living in a Prototype’.