Upcoming Tux Talk By Jay Vidyarthi on 30th, Jan 2018

 

Jay Vidyarthi:

The Role of Mindfulness in Design Activism

2018-01-30 12:30 at DGP: BCIT, 5th Floor

 

 

 

Abstract

In the past few years, we’ve witnessed powerful unintended consequences of modern technology. Researchers and journalists have been publishing about the pitfalls of an attention economy, the internet as an echo chamber, social media’s effects on mental health, a lack of inclusive design, and more. The hype around an internet utopia seems to be fading. As technologists, it’s becoming more important for us to acknowledge how our context, values and perspectives manifest in the ideas, products, systems, and services we create.

I’ve worked as a specialist in user experience and human-computer interaction in a wide range of contexts, including startups, academic research, hospitals, governments, and fortune 500 companies. 7 years ago, I realized that aligning my personal values was the key to my best work, so I quit my job as a UX mercenary and began to specialize in the intersection of mindfulness, mental health, and technology. It is in this space that I’ve not only done my best work, but I’ve also shifted my perspective about the role of human-computer interaction and user experience specialists. 

Design activism is not just a side hustle, it’s part of the job. Good design is not just about usability, engagement and instant gratification. Modern organizations with lofty missions to improve the world rely on researchers and designers to understand context, but it’s up to us to ensure a holistic approach. The commodification of human attention has enabled today’s technologies to covertly influence our identities, our politics, our relationships, and our health. This is why mindfulness – a practice which has been scientifically shown to train attention and help manage mental health – must play a role in shaping the way we design and use technology in the future.

Bio

Jay Vidyarthi is an award-winning experience designer and researcher focused on projects related to mindfulness and well-being. He guides teams through a human-centered approach to creating useful products, systems, and services.

Forbes recently named Jay in a list of “10 world renowned meditation tech experts.” He used a lean, iterative process to design Muse: the brain sensing headband, a successful consumer product experience which gives you feedback on your brain while you meditate. His related academic work on a persuasive technology for mindfulness called Sonic Cradle has been published and well-cited in the literature on human-computer interaction. Jay also leads UX projects for major international clients in a wide range of other sectors.

Jay helped launch A Mindful Society – an annual conference which attracts 500+ leaders in healthcare, education, business and government – where he takes a unique design thinking approach to co-create each event directly with the audience.

 

More information about the 2017/2018 Tux presentation series is available on the official Tux website.

Haijun Xia wins 2018 Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship

Since 2008, Microsoft has awarded research fellowships to support talented graduate students. This year, Haijun Xia was selected as one of the 2018 recipients! The fellowship will support his research in HCI and creating tools to enhance creativity.

For more information, you can read the announcement from Microsoft here . Details about applying to the 2019 fellowship are here.

Upcoming Tux Talk By Sara Diamond on 16th January, 2018

 

Sara Diamond:
Data Visualization – Fundamental 21st Century Knowledge

2018-01-16 12:30 at MaRS

 

Abstract

I side-stepped into data visualization two decades ago, as an artist trying to answer a series of related questions about IRC chat that had arisen for me as a user and through my dialogues with other users, “Why can’t IRC chat be more dynamic, less linear, relational? How can we manage flaming, lurking and other behaviors that discourage users? What strategies, like play, might resolve conflicts?” Over a number of years I led the creation of the CodeZebraOS which was a playful, non-linear visual chat environment that applied basic affective computing to text analytics. Now a decade later I lead the Visual Analytics Laboratory at OCAD University – a group of researchers who are committed to bringing together visualization design and data analytics.  Times have changed and with them the recognition that big data requires analytics tools to be usable. Visualization systems are built into many software packages and info graphics are everyday fare. The Visual Analytics Laboratory works in partnership with data owners and sources, some with their own analytics capacities, others who rely on the VAL to analyze as well as represent the data.  Over the course of the lecture I will present a glimpse of my early work and provide a history of VAL projects, addressing differing strategies for making meaning from data.  Projects include public displays of data, artistic data presentations, media analytics, urban planning, public data analytics, social media analytics, etc. Researchers in the VAL also raise questions about the use of data and the need for critical literacy regarding data sources and visualizations.

Bio

Dr. Sara Diamond is the President of OCAD University, Canada’s, “University of the Imagination”. She holds a PhD in Computing, Information Technology and Engineering, a Masters in Digital Media and Honours Bachelors of Arts in History and Communications. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada.  She is the winner of the 2013 GRAND NCE Digital Media Pioneer Award, recognized as one of Toronto Life’s Top Fifty and. she is a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. She was recently honored as one of Canada’s 150 leading women. Since her appointment in 2005 she has led OCAD University’s evolution to a full university, helping to build its transdisciplinary and research-creation research capacity and infrastructure, integrate STEM subjects, create its Digital Futures Initiative, launch the Indigenous Visual Culture Program, strengthen its approach to inclusion, and grow its undergraduate and graduate programs in studio art and design.  Diamond is a researcher in media arts history and policy, visual analytics and has created wearable technologies, mobile experiences and media art. Diamond was honoured with a 1992 retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada, represented Canada in festivals and biennials, and her works reside in collections such as the MoMA in New York City, National Gallery of Canada and Vancouver Art Gallery.

More information about the 2017/2018 Tux presentation series is available on the official Tux website