Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tent Pegs

I am hoping to resuscitate this blog — back from the dead after a couple of years.

For the last year or so I have been a PhD student studying HCI-D. My area of focus has been design methods — how they are created, adapted, evolved and employed. I have at least two side interests that I have managed to cultivate a little. I am often contemplating ways that I might weave them together. These side interests are board game design and the model of evolutionary biology. Using all three of these together in some way may not be as strange as it sounds at first.

The evolution thing is an analogy that I have been reflecting on for several years and I have specifically been interested in mutation and how viruses work. Designs carry ideas like a virus carries a genetic code. The code moves from design to mind and back to design in much that same way that the code of a virus moves from virus to host cell and back to virus. It replicates through this process and mutates and evolves. I am currently writing a paper about this with Erik Stolterman and I'm very exited about it.

Boardgames are a recent passion. I am mostly enamored with eurogames — I love almost everything about them. For over a year now I have been studying them and how they are designed. I wrote a paper comparing board game design to the development of design methods that was publish for the AIGA design educators conference in March. I was able to present it at the conference and it was a lot of fun. If you are interested you can find it as part of this document here.

My interest in design methods, the evolution model and boardgames may or may not come together at some point. But, I certainly do not foresee any one of them waning any time soon. In some ideal and perhaps alternate version of my life in the near future, these three interests form the tent pegs of some unified canvas that makes up my research.

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