BVA Griff, BInfTech PhD Qld
I am a lecturer in Interaction Design in the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology. I teach in the areas of Web Design, Programming for Visual Designers and Artists, Embodied Interaction and Tangible Media. In 2013, I am also leading a Creative Industries Project in which students will travel to the Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria to show their work in a special exhibition and participate in a project exploring new forms of documentary practice.
My main research interest is in finding better ways for interacting with computer technologies. The goal of my research is to help make computer technologies easier to use, more enjoyable and more respecting of people’s abilities for skilled physical movement. In particular, I have investigated the use of gesture as a way for people to interact with computer interfaces without the need for computers and mice. For my PhD thesis, I looked at how this idea could be applied in a Dental Surgery setting where dentists and assistants need to follow infection control procedures but also have easy access to electronic patient records. I am currently investigating how such gestural approaches input could be combined with simple haptic feedback to improve people’s overall experience of gestural interaction.
I am also keenly interested in Participatory Design approaches and finding better ways of involving stakeholders in the design process. I believe that if the people who will be affected by a design are involved in designing there is a better chance that the overall outcome will be a success. Before joining QUT, I worked for four years at the SPIRE centre for Participatory Innovation at the University of Southern Denmark. The SPIRE centre set out to establish a new field of Participatory Innovation by bringing together approaches from Participatory Design and User-Driven Innovation and included researchers from Business, Innovation, Anthropology, Interaction Analysis, and Theatre as well as Design. One of the areas of research I was involved in at the SPIRE centre concerned the use of ‘provotypes’ (provocative prototypes) as ways of sparking discussion and debate around latent tensions within a field of practice. This is another line of research I am interested in taking further.
I have also co-edited an academic volume, ‘Design and Anthropology’ with my colleague Wendy Gunn, which is one of the first books in the emerging discipline of Design Anthropology. The volume is published by Ashgate as part of a series on anthropological studies of creativity and perception. I was awarded my PhD in the field Interaction Design in 2011 from The University of Queensland, and have an educational background in Information Technology (BInfTech UQ) and Visual Arts (BVA Griffith).
Follow Jared on Twitter: @awarua