Distinguished Lecture: Jeffrey Bardzell

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Ekonomikum Faculty Club (H429)
  • Lecturer: Jeffrey Bardzell, professor at Penn State University
  • Organiser: Department of Informatics and Media
  • Contact person: Annika Waern
  • Föreläsning

Aesthetic Rationality in Design Research

Abstract

Designs—whether they are products, buildings, or computational devices—physically embody the knowledge that went into their making. We understand this intuitively when we talk about “reverse-engineering” a design, which is the act of extracting technical knowledge from a finished product. Leveraging the knowledge-embedding abilities of design, the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and design communities are integrating acts designing and researching: examples include research through design, critical and speculative design, conceptual design, constructive design, etc. Yet these efforts have faced challenges: how to articulate such knowledge as research, how to demonstrate the intellectual rigor and reliability of such knowledge, and how to build on it to move the field forward. Driving these challenges are as yet unresolved conflicts between words and things, and their underlying epistemologies, in HCI. Such conflicts, I believe, are the result of insufficient understandings of the contributions of aesthetic rationality to HCI knowledge.

In this talk, I offer a theoretical account of the knowledge contributions of aesthetics to interaction design, and I demonstrate it through analyses of several design research products. I conclude by looking ahead at the implications for aesthetic rationality on emerging research agendas, such as explainable AI (XAI), that also seek to render knowledge embedded in the system available.

Biography

Jeffrey Bardzell, professor at Penn State University and associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies. Bardzell examines design theory, focusing on critical design, research through design and design criticism; and emerging social computing practices, including critical-empirical students on maker communities in the U.S. and Asia, intimate and sexual interaction, and online creative communities. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, is the co-author of “Humanistic HCI”, and serves as co-editor of “Critical Theory and Interaction Designs”.