Date: June 11, 2008
Bill Buxton — Microsoft

The number of books, articles, and conferences on innovation, creativity, and design is staggering. Yet, there is still precious little on what designers actually do, how they do it, and how they interact with the other disciplines involved in bringing concepts to fruition. This talk is based in the premise that design is a distinct discipline with specific skills and practices. Furthermore, the physical and cultural ecosystem in which designers work has a huge impact on their ability to exercise these skills.

This presentation aims to shine some light on design skills and their relationship to various aspects of this ecosystem. The purpose is not to make everyone a designer; rather, it is to help both designers and non-designers better understand how and where they fit into the larger mosaic that makes up the partnership required to go effectively from concept to practice.

About the Speaker
Bill Buxton is a designer and a researcher concerned with human aspects of technology. His work reflects a particular interest in the use of technology to support creative activities such as design, film making, and music. Bill’s research specialties include technologies, techniques and theories of input to computers, technology mediated human-human collaboration, and ubiquitous computing. In December 2005, he was appointed Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. Prior to that, he was Principal of his own Toronto-based boutique design and consulting firm, Buxton Design, where his time was split between working for clients, lecturing, and trying to finish a long-delayed book on sketching and interaction design.He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, where he still works with graduate students.

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