REMINDER: PhillyCHI - iSchool Panel, Wednesday, November 28, 2007

26 Nov 2007 - 9:39am
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* Apologies for cross posting. *

Event: PhillyCHI – iSchool Panel: "The Role of Failure in Design"
Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Time: 6 - 8PM
Refreshments will be served from 6 – 6:30PM
Location: Bossone Center, Drexel University
31st & Market Streets Philadelphia, PA 19103
RSVP: phillyCHI at

Please join PhillyCHI and the iSchool at Drexel University for a panel
discussion on the different perspectives of how failure can inform
design. The iSchool has gathered a panel of researchers and
practitioners to discuss in theoretical and practical terms what and
how we can learn from failure in the design process. The panel will
begin with a brief introduction of the topic by the moderator, Dr.
Michael Atwood. Panelists will then present brief statements relating
their background and experience on the topic. The remainder of the
session will be a moderated discussion among the panelists and the


"In the case of a real design problem, even our conviction that there
is such a thing as fit to be achieved is curiously flimsy and
insubstantial. We are searching for some kind of harmony between two
intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed, and a context
which we cannot properly describe. The only reason that we have for
thinking that there must be some kind of fit to be achieved between
them is that we can detect incongruities, or negative instances of it.
The incongruities in an ensemble are the primary data of experience."

- Christopher Alexander, the originator of the concept of design
patterns. 'Notes on the Synthesis of Form' (1964)

"Success and failure in design are intertwined. Though a focus on
failure can lead to success, too great a reliance on successful
precedents can lead to failure. Success is not simply the absence of
failure; it also masks potential modes of failure. Emulating success
may be efficacious in the short term, but such behavior invariably and
surprisingly leads to failure itself."

- Henry Petroski. 'Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design' (2006)


Michael Atwood, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Research, The iSchool at Drexel

Dr. Atwood's major teaching interests include human-computer
interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, and artificial
intelligence. His research focuses on human-computer interaction,
supporting communication and collaboration among groups involved in
system design activities, and on organizational memory. His
professional experience includes research and development of
interactive systems and expert systems, software engineering process
improvement, software project management, and software product


Liza Potts, PhD
Director of Human Factors, Electronic Ink

As Director of Human Factors, a leadership role at Electronic Ink,
Liza Potts heads up the team of cognitive psychologists,
anthropologists, quantitative analysts, and user experience architects
who are dedicated to bringing the understanding of target audiences to
new levels. At Liza's direction, leading-edge research is conducted
at Electronic Ink's Usability Lab at company headquarters, or on-site
with the company's Mobile Usability Lab. The lab's technology includes
state-of-the-art eye tracking equipment that pinpoints visual response
to discover key findings that drive the functionality of custom
applications for Electronic Ink's clients.

Tom Hewett, PhD
Professor of Psychology and Professor of Computer Science, Drexel

Tom's teaching includes the Psychology of Human Computer Interaction
Design and the Psychology of Problem Solving and Creativity. Tom is a
published software author and has written on the use of computers in
teaching. His current research focuses on understanding the computing
support needs of expert knowledge workers.

Mathieu Turpault
Senior Designer, Bresslergroup

Mathieu has more than eleven years of experience in the field of
industrial design and has won numerous awards including IDEAs, ID
magazine and AM awards. Mathieu is currently client manager and lead
industrial designer in addition to his role as production manager for
Bresslergroup, an award winning product development consultancy, with
a 35 year history of design excellence and long term client relationships.


The iSchool at Drexel University – empowering society by uniting
people, technology, and knowledge through innovative education and

Founded in 1892, the iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science
and Technology educates students in information science and technology
at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels and features Drexel
University's Cooperative Education program. The College is a founding
member of the iSchools Caucus of 19 prominent schools dedicated to
teaching and learning about information use and management.

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