Lucas Colusso reports on DIS conference

Sunday, July 9, 2017

By Lucas Colusso, HCDE PhD student

In July, I attended the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) in the historic, beautiful city of Edinburgh (UK). It was my first time attending this conference, and I was excited to see how different it was from other ACM conferences. I was also a student volunteer at the conference and got to meet students from all over the world and expand my network.

Lucas Colusso presenting at the 2017 DIS conference

In the conference, I presented the first study of my dissertation work. The paper is called Translational Resources: Reducing the Gap Between Academic Research and HCI Practice. After the presentation, many attendees asked me questions and ideas for possible collaborations surged. I was also happy to find out that the paper received an Honorable Mention award! I thank my co-authors, Professors Gary Hsieh and Sean Munson, and PhD student Cynthia Bennett.

However, I wasn’t the only HCDE'er at the conference. One of my advisors, Professor Munson, attended the conference as well. Another HCDE PhD student, Andrew Berry, was an attendee and presented his work called Creating Conditions for Patients' Values to Emerge in Clinical Conversations: Perspectives of Health Care Team Members. Finally, HCDE’s professor Daniela Rosner published a paper called Beyond Hybrids: Metaphors and Margins in Design

The final keynote was very inspiring. Di Mainstone is an artist who transforms bridges into giant instruments that can be played with the whole body. For the 130th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge, she designed an intervention called Human Harp that literally turned the bridge into a harp! You can check out a video about the human harp here.

Running biennially since 1995, in 2017 DIS moved to a new era of annual conferences. This year the theme of DIS was Bridging and Connecting -- across disciplines, practices, places, and understandings. DIS 2018 will take place in Hong Kong, and the theme will be Diversity. I am excited to attend the conference again and to continue being a part of that community of designers and academics.