Ron Wakkary is Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
My research is about what we need to know to design interactive systems that will have value in our everyday lives. One thread of the research involves projects that prototype systems for play, social experiences, and learning. These include prototypes for mobile computing games, ambient intelligence physical games, and museums as responsive environments. These projects raise design issues related to social, contextual, and embodied experiences with technologies. Along another thread, I have been investigating the idea of everyday design. We all design in the course of living our lives by exploiting materials around us, such as designed artifacts by appropriating them for different and new uses. The aim of this research is to describe everyday design and how families design in the home in order to reconsider how we might design interactive technologies for the home. These two threads of research intersect in my belief that future interactive systems need to be simple, and open to ongoing design in order to weave themselves meaningfully into our lives.