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Microsoft Research Design Day

July 17, 2013 | Redmond, Washington, United States

This event is by invitation only.

Dropout Bear

Bear helmet prototype built using Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer. Designed by Christina Xu


Tony DunneTalk title to come

Anthony Dunne, Professor and Head of Programme
Design Interactions, Royal College of Art, London

Abstract: Design theorist Bjorn Franke has suggested that one of the main differences between science research and design research is that science focusses on existing reality while design explores realities that do not exist yet, and maybe never will. While the reasons for studying existing reality are clear, the benefits of studying non-existing realities are not always so obvious.

In my talk I will use research projects from the Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art to discuss the value of designing for imaginary realities and how the project outcomes can serve as ‘useful fictions’ for developing new perspectives on existing situations; as platforms for discussing preferable futures with both experts and non-experts; as catalysts for interdisciplinary imagining; and as a way of inventing new products.

Biography: “Anthony Dunne studied Industrial Design at the RCA before working at Sony Design in Tokyo. On returning to London he completed a PhD in Computer Related Design at the RCA. He was a founding member of the CRD Research Studio where he worked as a Senior Research Fellow leading industry and EU funded research projects. Anthony’s work with Fiona Raby uses design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies. Dunne & Raby’s projects have been exhibited and published internationally and are in the permanent collections of MoMA, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Dunne & Raby have worked with Sony UK, Panasonic, France Telecom and the Science Museum. Anthony and Fiona have written several books including Design Noir and Hertzian Tales (The MIT Press). Anthony was awarded the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education in 2009.”

Caroline HummelsThe importance of craftsmanship and cooperation for designing interactive system, product and services

Caroline Hummels, Professor in Design Theory
Industrial Design Department, Eindhoven University of Technology

Abstract: What kind of society do we want technology to support and how to design for this society? In this presentation I'm going to elucidate our answer to this question. Starting with our theoretical foundation of phenomenology, I zoom in on two concepts that are introduced by Sennett about skills to sustain in everyday life: craftsmanship and cooperation. Regarding craftsmanship, we explore the quest to make physical things well. We consider making experienceable prototypes quintessential for design. But how can designers use new technological materials in an intuitive way to evoke experiences? And what kind of frameworks, methods and tools do designers need to design for interactive/intelligent systems, products and services? Regarding cooperation, we address how diversity of expertise can bring a society into existence. What are the consequences for cooperation with the shift from a knowledge to a transformation economy? And how does this shift shape the relationship between academia, more specifically design research, and industry, more specifically Microsoft Research? I will show with examples from education and design research our quest to answer these questions.

Biography: “Caroline Hummels is full professor of Design Theory at the department of Industrial Design, TU/e, as well as head of the Designing Quality in Interaction group. She studied Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology (cum laude) and also obtained her PhD (cum laude) there. Her current activities concentrate on designing for personal, social and societal transformation, with a special focus on health and well-being. She designs for transformation based on the aesthetics of interaction with open, disruptive innovative systems within a societal context. Moreover, she is a designer-researcher with extensive experience in (interaction) design, education and research-trough design. She has developed various (research) prototypes and installations next to design methods, techniques and processes. She is a member of the steering committee of the Tangible Embedded, and Embodied Interaction Conference (TEI) as well as editorial board member of the International Journal of Design.”

Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher
Microsoft Research (Canada)

Related Links


  • Richard Banks, Microsoft Research Cambridge
  • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research Cambridge
  • Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche, Microsoft Research Connections
  • Stewart Tansley, Microsoft Research Connections