Public Lecture: Material Speculations by Ron Wakkary

Ron Wakkary will present his recent work that researches speculative reasoning in design to open new trajectories for designing digital artifacts for everyday living. He will discuss a series of design investigations he refers to as material speculations that emphasize the actual aspects of design artifacts, the role of counterfactual thinking, and the need to engage speculative reasoning in everyday settings over time. He will show how his research aims to make more understandable the nuanced, intimate, and even unconscious ways we can relate to digital artifacts. This work leads to a discussion of new considerations for designing digital things for everyday living that include designing to fit within the relations of people and things, limitation as a design strategy, and the material aesthetics of materializing encounters and reflections through digital and non-digital qualities.

About the Speaker

Prof. Ron Wakkary
Professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT), Simon Fraser University (SFU) 

Ron Wakkary is Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University (SFU) where he established the Everyday Design Studio, a design research studio that explores interaction design. He is also Part-time Professor and Chair of the Impact of Interaction Design on Everyday Life in the Industrial Design Department at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Wakkary’s research investigates the changing nature of interaction design in response to everyday design practices like home life, DIY, amateur experts, hobbyists, and sustainability. In the spirit of design research, Wakkary’s research aims to be reflective and generative, creating new interaction design artifacts and uncovering new, emergent practices of design that help to shape both design and its relations to technologies. Wakkary publishes regularly in design, human-computer-interaction, and tangible computing journals and conferences. He is a co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM interactions, Director of the Interaction Design Research Centre at SFU, a member of the Steering Committees for Tangible Embedded/Embodied Interaction (TEI) and Designing Interactive Systems (DIS). For more information see and