Friday, April 03, 2009

Quick Hit: Upcoming Experiments and Workshops

I’m traveling for half of April. The bad news is that I don’t get much face time with the dog. The good news is that I get to see all of you who inspire and energize me.

I hope you will join me for…

StrangeMuse Experiment—this Sunday, April 5. You can participate in this experiment from anywhere in the world (I’ll be in Seattle at the zoo with a group of grad students). The experiment is a multi-step activity in which you talk to strangers, get strangers talking to each other, and then build a social object that mediates conversation among strangers (more here). We tried this at the Denver Art Museum last week, and it is incredibly challenging—you can’t just put out a box of chocolates and expect people to talk. I encourage you to take part and document your triumphs and spectacular failures on this site. I will aggregate the results for later discussion on the blog.

Virtual-to-real design workshop at Museums and the Web—Friday, April 17 in Indianapolis. We’ll be tackling tough questions around how to design elegant, physical substantiations of virtual functions like tagging and personalization. If you can’t attend the conference, you can read my paper on this topic and play along at home. There are also lots of other great papers from the conference; my favorites so far are the evaluation report on the impact of the Wolfquest game and conversational learning on the Science Buzz blog.

Free workshop on topic of your choosing—Friday, April 24 in Seattle (UPDATE: FULL, BUT THERE IS A WAIT LIST). I’m teaching a course on social technology at the University of Washington Museology program this spring, and we’ve decided to open up a FREE workshop on participatory design for museum practitioners and other students on the afternoon of the 24th (thank you, UW). It’s a two-hour workshop to be held at the university and space is limited—go here to register. Since we don’t know who will sign up and what your needs will be, you can vote on the workshop topic that would be of most value to you. Please feel free to comment or ask questions about topics on the forum, but I'd prefer if only those who think they might actually attend vote. There will also be a reception at 4pm in the mezzanine of the UW tower if you just want to shmooze and (bonus!) meet my husband and parents-in-law. But not the dog. He doesn't do workshops.

And if any of you want to try some acroyoga (shown in the photo at top), consider coming to the Creativity and Collaboration retreat or cornering me at a carpeted moment at a conference.

4 comments, add yours!:

elia said...

Serendipity in my RSS feed led me to read this post right before I read the latest from the xkcd blog. And so I discovered Omegle just as you are about to network the StrangeMuse occurred to me that you and your readers may not have had similar RSS-serendipity, and an experience on Omegle (a chat client that connects random strangers) might add to the StrangeMuse conversation.

To my chagrin (or, actually, relief, since I get pretty anxious about talking to strangers without a "magic vest" or similar purposive context), I won't be participating in StrangeMuse due to an overlap with a workshop on DIY at the Computer-Human Interactions conference in Boston this Sunday. So many fascinations, so little time.

(Long-time lurker officially de-lurked.)

Nina Simon said...

Thanks for sharing Omegle - what a strange and intriguing experience. Would love to hear more about DIY at CHI (impressive rhyming acronyms)... is that about self-initiated interactions with computers, or super simple ways to program interactions?

elia said...

I was remiss in not posting the relevant link to DIY@CHI. Not so much on the self-initiated interactions, more along the lines of relatively simple ways to construct/deconstruct/program interactions. In essence, it was about things we might not normally associate with computers, including wearable electronics, reusable and unexpected materials, and (especially) encouraging and supporting amateur and social participation in DIY networks and in design in general: do-it-yourself as an alternative design strategy, or, as we noted at the workshop, sometimes do-it-together as an alternative design strategy.

Nina Simon said...

Wow Elia--that looks awesome. Would love to see pics and discuss more. Email me sometime--let's talk about a guest post?