dConstruct 2015: Chris Noessel

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  1. Gorgeous Catastrophic

    Through the book Make it So (Rosenfeld Media, 2012) and scifiinterfaces.com, Chris has spent years meticulously tracing the lines of influence between designs in sci-fi and the real world. And yes, there are clearly influences. But that does not mean that design in the real world should take its marching orders from sci-fi. Sure, a lot of it is jaw-droppingly beautiful. But some of those same, lovely designs—if implemented—would quickly result in the “usability problems” of severed limbs, munitions craters, mangled bodies, and even the plain old end of the world. Join Chris as he deconstructs enough examples to make us deeply, deeply wary of fetishizing them, and approach sci-fi interfaces with a critical (and still intact) eye.


    In his day job at Cooper, Christopher designs products and services for a variety of domains, including health, financial, and consumer; as well as teaching, speaking, and evangelising design internationally. Prior experience includes developing kiosks for museums, helping to visualise the future of counter-terrorism, building prototypes of coming technologies for Microsoft, and designing telehealth.

    His spidey-sense goes off semi-randomly, leading him to speak about a range of things including interactive narrative, ethnographic user research, interaction design, sex-related technologies, free-range learning, generative randomness, and designing for the future.

    He is co-author of Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction (Rosenfeld Media 2012), and the force behind the blog scifiinterfaces.com.

    —Huffduffed by dConstruct

  2. Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction with Nathan Shedroff & Chris Noessel » UIE Brain Sparks

    Science fiction films often take liberties with the technology that they display. After all, it is fiction. Though they can make up essentially whatever they want, technologies still need to be somewhat realistic to the audience. This influences the way that sci-fi technology is presented in film, but in turn, it’s how sci-fi influences technological advances in the real world.

    Nathan Shedroff, Chair of the MBA in Design Strategy Program at California College of the Arts, and Chris Noessel, Managing Director at Cooper, took it upon themselves to study the lessons that can be learned from science fiction. They analyzed a variety of interfaces from all different time periods of film and television. They discovered that when new technologies are developed and released to the market, people already have expectations of how it should work. This is based upon having already seen a similar, fictional technology.

    Of course, there are instances where the technology in film is all but an impossibility, or at least impractical in real life. This changes as gestural and voice recognition technologies become more advanced, but a lot of interfaces in sci-fi are developed simply for the “cool” factor. Even then, looking to these interfaces as a reference point can help focus a design.

    Nathan and Chris join Jared Spool to discuss their Rosenfeld Media book, Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction in this podcast.


    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Star Wars: C3PO’s Story

    In the mid-1970s, English classical actor Anthony Daniels was asked to audition for a role as a droid in a new science fiction film by a little-known Hollywood director. The film turned out to be Star Wars and the director, George Lucas. Star Wars went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time; while Anthony Daniels turned C3PO into one of the most famous robots in cinema history.


    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. 1977

    It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire … Before those words crawled up movie screens in May 1977, what did people think the future was going to look like? What did pop culture sound like on the eve of Star Wars? With Kurt Andersen, Annalee Newitz, Alyssa Rosenberg, and Chris Taylor. This is part I of a V part series. 


    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. Movie Banter Episode Passenger 57

    Golden Globes, The Book of Eli, The Road, Exam, Nine, Sherlock Holmes, and ways an agent could annoy Colin Salmon all come up for discussion from Jon, Paul and Jen this episode, plus In This Week In Movie History, your emails and tweets, and Desert Island Flicks looks at the best post-apocalyptic movies of all time.


    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. The Last Jedi: A Lock-In at The Crate and Crowbar

    There is another. In this two-hour one-off, Chris is reunited with his sister Rebecca to discuss everything that worked and didn’t in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Needless to say, this episode includes heavy spoilers from the outset. Seriously! There are spoilers.

    So much so that I’m not going to add much in this description, nor will this MP3 be available as part of the regular podcast feed (not least because we’re not a film podcast. Yet.) Instead, you can listen by downloading the MP3 directly or by watching on YouTube.

    I hope you enjoy this rare alignment of Thurstens!


    —Huffduffed by adactio