K Daniela [TOP]
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K Daniela: A Rising Star in Human-Centered Design
K Daniela is an associate professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. She is also an artist-in-residence at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and a Visiting Scholar at Humboldt University. Her research and practice explore the social, cultural, and material dimensions of design, with a focus on alternative modes of production, repair, and maintenance.
K Daniela has published widely on topics such as critical fabulation, biographical prototyping, disability recognition, race representation, and craft computing. She is the author of Critical Fabulations: Reworking the Methods and Margins of Design, a book that challenges the dominant narratives of design history and proposes new ways of engaging with marginalized communities and practices. She is also the co-editor in chief of ACM interactions, a magazine that showcases the latest developments and debates in human-computer interaction.
K Daniela is a recipient of several awards and grants, including the NSF CAREER Award, the CHI Best Paper Award, and the DIS Honorable Mention Award. She is also a co-founder and co-director of the TAT Lab, a collaborative space for exploring new forms of expression and interaction with technology. She holds a PhD in Information Science from Cornell University and a BA in Computer Science from Harvard University.
K Daniela is passionate about teaching and mentoring the next generation of designers and researchers. She offers courses on design methods, critical theory, speculative design, and creative coding. She also supervises several graduate and undergraduate students who work on innovative projects that challenge the boundaries of design.
K Daniela is an inspiring figure in the field of human-centered design. She combines rigorous scholarship with artistic creativity to produce impactful work that questions the status quo and imagines new possibilities for design. She is always looking for new collaborations and opportunities to share her insights and experiences with diverse audiences.
In this interview, we asked K Daniela about her current projects, her inspirations, and her advice for aspiring designers and researchers.
Q: What are you working on right now
A: I'm working on several projects that explore the intersections of design, history, and politics. One of them is called Theaters of Alternative Industry, which is a series of installations and performances that reenact historical moments of technological resistance and innovation. For example, one of the pieces is based on the Luddite movement, which was a group of textile workers who protested against the mechanization of their craft in the early 19th century. I'm interested in how these historical episodes can inform our current debates about automation, labor, and social justice.
Q: What are some of the challenges and opportunities of working at the interface of design and science
A: I think one of the challenges is to find a common language and a common ground between different disciplines and perspectives. Design and science have different epistemologies, methods, and goals, and sometimes they can clash or contradict each other. But I also think that this is an opportunity to learn from each other and to create new forms of knowledge and practice that are more inclusive, diverse, and critical. I think design can offer science a more humanistic and creative approach to problem-solving, while science can offer design a more rigorous and empirical approach to inquiry.
Q: Who are some of the people or works that inspire you
A: There are so many people and works that inspire me, but I'll name a few. I'm inspired by the work of Donna Haraway, who is a feminist scholar and philosopher who writes about the relationships between humans, animals, machines, and nature. She coined the term cyborg, which is a hybrid creature that challenges the boundaries between natural and artificial, organic and synthetic, human and nonhuman. I'm also inspired by the work of Bruno Latour, who is a sociologist and anthropologist who studies the social construction of scientific facts and artifacts. He developed the concept of actor-network theory, which is a way of analyzing how different actors (human and nonhuman) interact and shape each other in complex networks. And I'm inspired by the work of Olafur Eliasson, who is an artist who creates immersive installations that explore perception, cognition, and emotion. He uses light, color, sound, movement, and natural elements to create sensory experiences that invite people to reflect on their relationship with themselves, others, and the environment. aa16f39245