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4 April 2012: Greg Kress  [CDR] Imaginarium Tour

The Imaginarium is an artful recreation of a fixture of the Stanford Design Program from its early experimental days in the 1960s. It is a space to encourage creativity, alternative thinking and playful interaction. The interior of the dome is equipped for complete media immersion with hemispherical video projection, surround sound audio and even climate control. It is a tool for education, research and entertainment. Rich media and modular, sustainable engineering merge to create a unique space.

11 April 2012: Miriam Kolar [PhD Candidate, Stanford University] Archaeoacoustics and Psychoacoustics at Chavín de Huántar, Perú

Miriam will speak about the design and acoustics of the 3,000-year old Andean ceremonial center at Chavín de Huántar, Perú. An exemplary subject for archaeoacoustic investigation, Chavín provides well-preserved enclosed interior architecture known as "galleries", where acoustic measurements can be made and auditory perception tested. Site excavations have unearthed intact musical/sound-producing instruments, the Strombus galeatus marine shell aerophones/trumpets known as "pututus", which can be examined as ancient sound generators. On-site psychoacoustic experimentation probes the relationships between Chavín gallery acoustics and the perception of sound source location by human participants in these spaces.

18 April 2012: Brian Mathews [Vice President of Marketing at Ozmo Devices] Origins of Wi-Fi revealed

These days Wi-Fi is everywhere. It is a hugely successful technology. Wi-Fi originated in the 90’s at a few companies who envisioned this world of anytime, anywhere fast network access. One of those companies was Harris Semiconductor in Melbourne, Florida (now part of Intersil Corporation), developers of the world’s first Wi-Fi chipset known as Prism. Harris was not known for leading-edge chip technology or development of breakthrough new products. How was Harris able to be the leader in the early days of Wi-Fi? How did Harris manage to address the many obstacles and create the chipset that helped enable this Wi-Fi success story?

Development of the Prism chipset had several serious challenges. At that time 2.4GHz RF ICs were the domain of specialist companies utilizing Gallium Arsenide wafer technology vs. more common silicon wafers. Thus, there was an initial questioning of Harris’ capability to develop the required 2.4GHz RF chips. Also, there were critical power and space limitations inside the required PCMCIA form factor. All the chips and external circuitry were required to fit on a 1.5 inch by 2 inch circuit board, operate at a low voltage, and consume low battery current. Another major challenge was the digital “spread spectrum” baseband processor function. It had to comply with very tight size, power and cost constraints. These and many other development challenges were addressed by the Prism team assembled at Harris Semiconductor. Organizational advantages were leveraged (finding talent from other Harris divisions) and management support was critical. New manufacturing capabilities were developed. And ultimately, the Wi-Fi industry became a great success.

In this talk we will examine how some of the development challenges were addressed, not in a direct technical sense, but in how the organization rose to the challenges, investing in long-term technology development, leveraging expertise in other parts of the company, and creating an organization optimized to achieve success in this endeavor.

Download : Presentation

25 April 2012: Ranjitha Kumar [PhD Student, Stanford CS]  Machine learning techniques for enhancing design creativity

The Web provides an enormous repository of design knowledge: every page represents a concrete example of human creativity and aesthetics. Given the ready availability of Web data, how can we leverage it to help designers? This talk will outline three machine learning applications which enable new interaction mechanisms for Web design: structured prediction for rapid re-targeting, deep learning for design-based search, and probabilistic program induction for operationalizing design patterns.

2 May 2012: Bill Verplank [interaction design pioneer at Xerox, IDEO and Interval Research] Sketching Workshop: From Visual Thinking to Interaction Design 

Enjoy an hour of "follow-me" instruction in sketching. After learning (and teaching) Visual Thinking with Bob McKim, Bill has adapted his sketching instruction to the needs of "interaction designers". Start with some basic exercises in line, gesture, perspective, observation and expression (McKim), then move on to skills (tricks) useful in designing for human interaction: people, hands, actions, settings, sequences and satisfactions (Verplank). Finally, if there's time, we can do metaphors and paradigms - good sketching challenges.

9 May 2012: Ge Wang [Assistant Professor, CCRMA, Stanford University] Designing the Social Music Interaction 

The computer, in its many shapes and sizes, is evolving rapidly and pervading our everyday lives like never before. Mobile computing devices have become much more than simply “mobile”, increasingly serving as personal and “natural” extensions of us. Therein lies immense potential to reshape the way we think and interact, and especially in how we engage one another creatively, expressively, and socially. This talk explores interaction and social design for music through the computer, told through laptop orchestras, mobile phone orchestras, an audio programming language, designing the iPhone’s Ocarina, ecosystems for crowd-sourcing musical creation, and an emerging social dimension where computer, music, and people interact.

16 May 2012: Cabirio Cautela, Gareth Bennett, Krestine Mougaard [visiting researchers at CDR/DesignX]

Come see and listen to some of the current visiting researchers at CDR/DesignX. The presentation will take you on an insightful journey based on an interaction between all three researchers, in a shared presentation. Our visiting researchers are: 

Cabirio Cautela, Assistant professor from Politecnico di Milano
Business Narratives in Start-Ups. How business models and technical prototype narratives evolve in resource-seeking encounters with Venture Capitalists

Gareth Bennett, Assistant professor from Trinity College Dublin
An educator in Mechanical Engineering Design. I believe the job we do is important but that we can do it better! Interested in designing more beneficial learning environments, small group learning with large cohorts, Open Design in Undergraduate Curricula, Threshold Concepts, Universal and User-Centred Design at undergrad level.

Krestine Mougaard, PhD researcher from the Technical University of Denmark
On Integrated product and service development. What challenges does a integrated product and service conceptualization and operation bring a company? Research on network-based development models.


23 May 2012: Hartmut Esslinger [Founder, Frog Design] Keep It Simple

In his talk, entitled “Keep It Simple,” Hartmut will speak about creativity in design and business. He will use various first-hand examples to illustrate how businesses often call for creativity but rarely truly embrace it, often stifling or even killing innovation during the “rational” corporate process.

Hartmut will also talk about his long and fruitful collaboration with Steve Jobs. Hartmut and Frog Design were responsible for introducing Snow White, the design language used by Apple products during much of the 1980s. The firm also designed Jobs’ iconic NeXT Computer.

Download : Presentation

30 May 2012: Zann Gill [Desyn Lab] From Crowdsourcing to Collaborative Intelligence

Summary: Making sense of today’s deluge of “Big Data” is a great IT challenge, requiring Design Method. Crowdsourcing platforms are poised for a breakthrough — capacity to evolve, through use, toward Ecosystem Utility that exploits synergies across computer data processing and human pattern recognition. Beyond reliance on Predictive Analytics, collaborative intelligence emerges from Design Ecosystems — smart learning networks connecting humans and devices. 

Whereas collective intelligence identifies similarities in aggregates to improve prediction, collaborative intelligence characterizes next generation social networks as crowdsourcing ecosystems where disparities among agents strengthen the “genetic diversity” of the ecosystem. As in nature, each individual organism plays a unique role in its Design Ecosystem. Collaborative intelligence characterizes distributed, multi-agent networks where each unique agent is an autonomous contributor. Examples from current work designing a shared knowledge system for the Department of Energy and smart cities will be cited.


6 June 2012: Soren Petersen [President, ingomar&ingomar consulting] Crowdsourcing Design Research 

Studies of design performance literature show a clear disconnect between business plan content, portfolio management, design briefs and design concepts. The use of Design Quantification Criteria establishes which criteria are essential in communicating with the design team when developing concepts based on incremental and disruptive innovations. Translating user insights into actionable design criteria can be challenging, especially for breakthrough innovations. Our Design Quantification Criteria Framework aligns both users' and corporations' needs into an inspirational design brief, together with a process for using free online platforms to crowdsource insights and disseminate design research findings. 

Download: Presentation

8 June 2012: Google Visit and Dinner

End-of-school-year field trip to the Googleplex.

5:30pm -- Meet at Google for a campus tour
6:30pm -- Dinner at Yoshka's Cafe, Building 43 

13 June 2012: DesignX Introspective

Facililated by experts at Cooper

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