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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Stephen Boyd Davis <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 3 Oct 2008 14:17:17 +0100
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Stephen Boyd Davis <[log in to unmask]>
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Lansdown Lecture on 22 October: Alan Blackwell of Cambridge University on
Interdisciplinary Design

Date: Wednesday 22 October 2008
Location: Lansdown Centre, Middlesex University
              Cat Hill, Barnet EN4 8HT, UK
When: 4:45pm
Admission: free
Further info: Stephen Boyd Davis <[log in to unmask]>
Web page:

Many members of this list will be familiar with Alan's work on metaphor and
diagramming. Here he focuses on the problems and potential of
multidisciplinary work -- which I hope you will also find of interest.

The Art of Interdisciplinary Design - Academic Catalyst or Prion?

The Crucible network for research in interdisciplinary design has been
subverting the structures and traditions of Cambridge University for seven
years. At the end of this journeyman period, we're asking what it means to
be a designer in a university. Is it wise for intellectuals to aspire to
studios of thinking, workshops, apprenticeships, cultures of making, client
briefs and reflective practices? Or might design innovators, like Steerpike,
be the Machiavellian arsonists of a research Gormenghast? Current research
policy strongly favours interdisciplinary design thinking - but is this a
catalyst for innovation or a prion that destroys it? This talk will present
numerous examples of Crucible research, and reflect on public policy and
best practice for interdisciplinary design and innovation.

About the speaker

Alan Blackwell was recently appointed to a Readership in Interdisciplinary
Design at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, having prior
qualifications in professional engineering, computing and experimental
psychology. He has 20 years experience of designing industrial systems,
electronic and software products. He has taught design courses and
supervised postgraduate design research students in Computing, Architecture,
Psychology, Languages, Music and Engineering. He is a fellow of Darwin
College, a director of Living East, the cultural consortium for the East of
England, and founding co-director of the Crucible network for research in
interdisciplinary design.

Stephen Boyd Davis
Reader in Interactive Media
Head, Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts
Middlesex University, Cat Hill, Barnet, Herts  EN4 8HT
United Kingdom
Tel 44 (0)20 8411 5072
The Centre's Web Pages are at

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