Suchman to deliver Design Dialogues Speakers Series lecture March 3

Lucy Suchman

Lucy Suchman will deliver the third lecture in the Design Dialogues Speakers Series on Friday, March 3, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), 1205 W. Clark Street, Urbana. A breakfast reception will be held at 10:15 a.m.

Suchman is professor of anthropology of science and technology at Lancaster University in the UK. She previously served as principal scientist for Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, where she spent twenty years and was manager of the Work Practice and Technology research group. Her books, Human-Machine Reconfigurations (2007) and Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication (1987), both published by Cambridge University Press, provide intellectual foundations for the field of human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. Her honors include the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Sciences, the Lifetime Research Award from the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, and the John Desmond Bernal Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science.

The upcoming lecture, "Relocating Innovation: Places and Material Practices of Future Making," will explore the question of how we might engage critically with the contemporary figure of design, starting with the premise that one cannot separate design from its inherent political, economic, and disciplinary histories.

The Design Dialogues Speakers Series was developed by a multidisciplinary team of scholars engaged in joint research through the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH). "Recovering Prairie Futures: Midwestern Innovation and Inter-disciplinary Digital Developments" is coordinated by Anita Say Chan, associate professor in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies and Institute of Communications Research, and Michael Twidale, iSchool professor. In total, the Prairie Futures team includes more than twenty faculty from eight campus units and three external design sites.

The overarching lecture themes emphasize innovation, inclusivity, collaboration, and interdisciplinary knowledge creation:

At Illinois, thinking about design, talking about design, and doing design is a central part of what we do. It is in our history. The University of Illinois was established 150 years ago, under a land-grant mission that transformed education, and today, we continue to develop new initiatives that push for more inclusive, interdisciplinary design. This speaker series contributes to this exciting set of activities by highlighting a number of aspects of the design process that may sometimes be marginalized or overlooked. Our invited speakers will help us all—designers, users, and the broader campus community alike—think about how to make the design process more inclusive in terms of its products, process, and practice. Inclusive design is not achieved by simply saying "we are inclusive;" explicit design interventions are required. As the University of Illinois' own investments in design enter into an expanded phase to foster a new generation of multi-disciplinary twenty-first century design thinkers, this speakers series invites cross-campus engagements and dialogues to think through the potential for designing distinctly, inclusively, and purposefully.

The Design Dialogues Speakers Series is funded by the Recovering Prairie Futures IPRH Research Cluster, Office of the Provost, College of Engineering, College of Media, School of Information Sciences, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, NCSA, and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Other co-sponsors include:

  • College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College of Fine and Applied Arts
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Critical Technologies Lab
  • School of Social Work
  • Center for Advanced Study
  • Center for Digital Inclusion
  • Center for Global Studies
  • Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
  • Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Center for People and Infrastructures
  • Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Disability Resources and Educational Services
  • Gender & Women's Studies
  • Global Crossroads LLC
  • Human Dynamics and Controls Laboratory
  • Illinois Informatics Institute
  • Illinois Public Media
  • Institute of Communications Research
  • Product Design Laboratory, Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering Department
  • Social Innovation at Illinois
  • Spurlock Museum
  • Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative, College of Business
  • African American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Asian American Studies
  • Comparative and World Literature
  • History
  • Latino/a Studies
  • Media and Cinema Studies
  • Sociology
  • Allen Hall/Unit One LLC
  • Innovation LLC
  • Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
  • Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access
  • Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Office of Undergraduate Research
  • University Library
  • Makerspace Urbana