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Senior Design Lecturer, University of Westminster, MA Design for Interaction.

In 2002 and 2003, I led the modules 'Conversations on Interaction' and 'Discourses on Interaction' on the MA Design for Interaction. I also taught 'Typolinguistic Structures - level3' and 'Design Processes - level 1' on the BA Hons Graphic Information Design.

The MA Design for Interaction is concerned with the development of innovative, compelling and effective interactive artefacts which enable communication, understanding and expression between people. This is explored both theoretically and practically.

My major project consisted of a 3-month residential summer research position at IDII (Interaction Design Institute Ivrea) and resulted in an installation which was showcased as part of the 'Mixed Realities' inaugural exhibition celebrating the opening of the school.

The project, entitled 'Gateway Cafe' emerged from a desire to support human sociability, initially in the kitchen! but eventually situated in a position of transience, such as the anonimity and sometimes enforced isolation of long-distance travel.

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My fellow researcher Anna Duncan and I proposed, designed and built a working prototype of a visual chat system which offered the viewer the opportunity to concurrently take part in a public chat, private text chat or live AV chat, whilst being able to view other participants and easily swap between states. We constructed two live stations and, as we wanted our project to be inviting and accessible, our industrial design included ergonomic keyboards and trackball mice.

My academic work has offered me the opportunity to consider interaction design from a theoretical basis. This has been enormously helpful in informing my professional work. I remain personally fascinated by the perceived distortion that technologically mediated communication can experience, and the responses we are developing to address this. My current research is concerned with uncovering the essence of engagement and deeper considerations of 'meaning' within a system.

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