Speaking + Research

Interaction Design Initiative Lecture + Workshop / Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University. St. Louis, MO / November-December, 2012.

AIGA Breakthroughs: Where Inspiration and Technology Meet / Six-part webinar series sponsored by AIGA and Adobe. Baltimore, MD / New York, NY. May-November, 2011.

Visual Literacy: Why It Matters and How to Get Some / Betascape 2011. Baltimore, MD. September 24, 2011.

I Love You, Frederick: How I Came To Love Frederick Law Olmsted / Ink Boston Design Stories. Boston, MA. July 23, 2011.

Beautiful Interactions: Codifying Aesthetics in Interaction Design / IXDA NYC: The Big Apple Redux. New York, NY. May 14, 2011.

The Ten Principles for Good Design / Guest lecture for UMBC Mechanical Engineering. Baltimore, MD. April 19, 2011.

Beautiful Interactions: Codifying Aesthetics in Interaction Design / Interaction ’11. Boulder, CO. February 12, 2011.

AIGA Seattle: Jump Start / Cornish College of the Arts. Seattle, WA. February 24, 2010.

All Things Redesigned: Visualizing NPR / SVA MFA Interaction Design Fall Lecture Series. NY, NY. November 4, 2009.


My research interests include designing for the disabled; the intersection of interaction design and the urban space; and the aesthetics of interaction design.

Fashion for the Blind
Fashion entails mostly visual feedback. In what ways can designers translate feedback into other senses to enrich the experience of fashion for the visually impaired? I am currently in the discovery phase*, researching audible interfaces via a systematic translation of typography and color to sound.
* I am advising a graduate student in UMBC’s Human-Centered Computing program. Our initial research findings to be presented at ACM ASSETS 2011.

The Aesthetics of Interaction Design
Beautiful Interactions: Codifying Aesthetics in Interaction Design
This talk given at design conferences in Boulder and New York.

In established design fields — i.e., architecture, graphic design, and industrial design — much has been written about what makes design under these classifications beautiful. Common design elements such as form, line, balance, unity, variety, rhythm, contrast, texture and color have been analyzed and presented to design students for decades, resulting in codified visual languages that constitute good design.

But as system interactions that span two or more of these older disciplines become an increasing part of our everyday lives, what of the relatively new field of interaction design, the beauty of which is not generally confined to the visual? What are the design elements that make an interaction beautiful and to what human senses do they appeal? In what ways are these beauty-forming elements similar or different from other design disciplines? Which ones are new? Which are shared?

Through cross-analysis of these related design fields and general notions of beauty throughout the world, I will define what makes an interaction beautiful and propose a theoretical framework for codifying design elements in interaction design.

UMBC Prototyping + Design Lab
Co-founded with Dr. Amy Hurst, Assistant Professor, Human-Centered Computing, UMBC Information Systems; Advisor: Dr. Anne Spence, Associate Professor, UMBC Mechanical Engineering.

Co-founder of The PaD (Prototype and Design): a design center housed in a series of collaborative lab spaces at UMBC to promote intercollegiate research and education. Our goal is to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations between faculty, students, staff, and civic organizations on applied and theoretical research projects. The PaD is topic agnostic, but is rooted in the desire to address current social problems addressing accessibility, sustainability, education, and community.