Design Dialogues: Lucy Suchman


Lucy Suchman, Professor and Chair in the Anthropology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology –  Lancaster, United Kingdom

See the recording of the talk here and photos of Dr. Suchman’s visit here. See the campus announcement of the talk here

Title “Relocating Innovation: Places and material practices of future making
Friday, March 3, 2017 – 11A-12P, NCSA Auditorium, 1205 W Clark St, Urbana, IL on the University of Illinois campus.  

Download poster copy here.

Abstract: This talk explores the question of how we might engage both critically and generatively with the contemporary figure of innovation.  I suggest as one resource the concept of location, as it has been articulated within anthropological, feminist, and (post)colonial research.  I take as a starting place the premise that we cannot think about innovation separately from the political, economic, and disciplinary histories that imbue that word with its currency.  More specifically, we need to attend to the ways in which the professionalisation of design in the last century, in the midst of kindred projects in modernist rationalisation, has included a legacy of hegemonic claims to the question of what and whose knowledges are relevant to our collective future making.  Only by engaging critically with that history can we extricate ourselves from what are arguably the extraordinarily repetitive terms that have been available to us for articulating processes of change.  In writing about innovation’s relocation, my argument is that design needs to acknowledge the specificities of its place, to position itself as one (albeit multiple) figure and practice of transformation.

Bio: Lucy Suchman holds a Chair in the Anthropology of Science and Technology at Lancaster University and was Principal Scientist at 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, have been recognized for providing intellectual foundations in the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI) and artificial intelligence. In 2002 she received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Sciences and the 2010 ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award.

* Breakfast reception before the talk

Co-Sponsored by:
The Recovering Prairie Futures IPRH Research Cluster
The Provost’s Office
The College of Engineering
The College of Media
The School of Information Sciences
The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications
The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

with the:
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
College of Education
College of Fine and Applied Arts
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
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
Critical Technologies Lab
Disability Resources and Educational Services
Gender and Women’s Studies
Human Dynamics and Controls Laboratory
Illinois Public Media
Illinois Informatics Institute
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
Asian American Studies
Comparative and World Literature
Latino/a Studies
Media and Cinema Studies
Allen Hall/Unit One LLC
Global Crossroads 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