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Design, Materiality and Artificial Intelligence

April 26, 2018
6:00-8:00pm CST
IIT Institute of Design
565 W Adams St 7th floor
Chicago, IL 60661

This panel celebrates the publication of two recent MIT Press books — Paul Dourish’s The Stuff of Bits and Molly Wright Steenson’s Architectural Intelligence — that are important for understanding the intertwined histories and futures of design and computing. Specifically, in contrast to many claims about the nature of digital technology, Dourish’s book illustrates the ways in which software is and always has been material while Steenson’s book grounds current digital and interaction design practices in a detailed history of four architects influenced by cybernetics and artificial intelligence.


Paul Dourish
Paul Dourish is Chancellor's Professor of Informatics and Associate Dean for Research in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and Anthropology. He also holds the position of Honorary Senior Fellow in Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses primarily on understanding information technology as a site of social and cultural production; his work combines topics in human-computer interaction, social informatics, and science and technology studies. He is the author of several books, most recently "The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information" (MIT Press, 2017). He is a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the BCS, a member of the SIGCHI Academy, and a recipient of the AMIA Diana Forsythe Award and the CSCW Lasting Impact Award.

Before coming to UCI, he was a Senior Member of Research Staff in the Computer Science Laboratory of Xerox PARC; he has also held research positions at Apple Computer and at Rank Xerox EuroPARC. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University College, London, and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh.

Molly Wright Steenson
Molly Wright Steenson is an associate professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University with a courtesy appointment in the School of Architecture. She is the author of Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscape (MIT Press, 2017), which tells the radical history of AI’s impact on design and architecture and how it poured the foundation for contemporary digital design. Prior to CMU, she was an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, an adjunct faculty member at Art Center College of Design in Media Design Practices, and an associate professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy. A web pioneer since 1994, she’s worked at groundbreaking design studios, consultancies, and Fortune 500 companies. She holds a PhD in Architecture from Princeton University and a Master’s of Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture. 

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may call Andy Dutil at 312-595-4924 in advance of the event.