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As Yet Impossible Lecture Series: Steve Benford

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (GMT)

As Yet Impossible Lecture Series: Steve Benford

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Continuing the As Yet Impossible public series, the University of Salford is pleased to welcome Professor Steve Benford to MediaCityUK


Uncomfortable Interactions for Entertainment, 

Enlightenment and Sociality


Cultural and artistic uses of computers raise new challenges for the design of interactive user experiences. Steve will explore one key and emerging challenge – the deliberate use of discomfort to create intense and memorable interactive experiences. He will argue that deliberately designing uncomfortable interactions can yield benefits in terms of entertainment, enlightenment and social bonding. 

By drawing on recent examples from both interactive art and mainstream entertainment, including mobile performances and interactive amusement rides, he will articulate a suite of tactics for designing four different aspects of discomfort – visceral, cultural, control and intimacy. Steve will consider how moments of discomfort need to be embedded into, and ultimately resolved during, an overall trajectory of experience. Finally, he will consider the ethical challenges of deliberately creating uncomfortable interactions.


More about Steve...

Steve Benford is Professor of Collaborative Computing in the Mixed Reality Laboratory at Nottingham where he explores future cultural and entertainment technologies. He is currently an EPSRC Dream Fellow and a Visiting Professor at the BBC. His collaborations with artists and entertainment companies over the past fifteen years have produced a series of unusual interactive experiences alongside academic writing that articulates emerging issues in Human Computer Interaction.  He has received best paper awards at CHI 2005, CHI 2009, CHI 2011, CHI 2012, won the 2003 Prix Ars Electronica for Interactive Art, the 2007 Nokia Mindtrek award for innovative applications of ubiquitous computing, and has received four BAFTA nominations. His book Performing Mixed Reality was published by MIT Press in 2011.

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