About Will Odom

I am a human-computer interaction design researcher interested in designing and studying technology that positively shapes the human condition in terms of (i) supporting personal growth, enjoyment, and meaning making (ii) as well as facilitating change capable of crafting viable human and environmental futures. My background spans interaction design, informatics, and anthropology. I currently hold the Banting Fellowship--one of the world's most prestigious and competitive international research fellowships at the postdoctoral level. My Banting fellow research is based in the fantastic School of Interactive Arts + Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. I am also a 2015 Design United Visiting Researcher where I collaborate with top researchers in industrial design departments at universities in the Netherlands, such as TU/Eindhoven and TU/Delft.

I hold a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University where I was advised by John Zimmerman and Jodi Forlizzi. I have completed two wonderful internships at Microsoft Research Cambridge in the Socio-Digital Systems group (now Human Experience & Design). Before my PhD research, I was a Fulbright Scholar in the design department at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia where I helped develop the Design Futures curriculum under the supervision of Dr. Tony Fry. I also studied interaction design at Indiana University where I was advised by Eli Blevis and Erik Stolterman.

My work has been published in over 35 peer-reviewed publications at many top-tier venues including ACM CHI, DIS, Ubicomp, CSCW, and Creativity and Cognition, where it has garnered four best paper awards (CHI'11, Ubicomp'11, DIS'12, CHI'14) and two best paper honorable mentions (CHI'10, CHI'13). Please see my CV page and/or Google Scholar page for more details. I am also the winner of the Imagine Cup 2008 international design competition, the CHI 2008 graduate student research competition, and co-recipient of the 2011 Silver International Design Excellence Award for Design Research from the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Events

27 April - 27 May 2015 Design United Visiting Researcher

I will be based at the industrial design department of TU/Eindhoven in the Netherlands for one month, where I'll be teaching an intensive graduate-level design studio module course on slow interaction and beginning work on some new projects!


19 -23 April 2015 CHI 2015

At the 2015 Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) conference, I'm (i) presenting a paper investigating long-term interactions with slow technology in the Reflecting on Design Reflection session, (ii) judging the Student Design Competition, (iii) supporting my co-authors Audrey Desjardins and Ron Wakkary when they present our paper on HCI research on the home which surprisingly takes place in the 'HCI in the Home' session, (iv) chairing the Digital Content and Collections session, and (v) eating as much Korean food as possible.


15 April 2015 Special Lecture at Keio School of Media Design in Tokyo

I'll be giving a special invited research colloquium presentation in the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. This talk draws on a portion of my design research projects that were part of my dissertation research and highlights my more recent research.


12 March 2015 Invited Remote Presentation at University of Michigan School of Information

I'll be giving an presentation to Dr. Tawanna Dillahunt's pervasive computing graduate class in the School of Information at University of Michigan on best practices for doing the User Enactments design method. .


16 February 2015 Invited Talk at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

I'll be giving an invited presentation in the Critical Making Studio at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, British Columbia. This talk draws on a portion of my design research projects that were part of my dissertation research. It is from 1-2:30pm on Granville Island. .


5 November 2014 Invited Talk at Simon Fraser University

I'll be giving an invited graduate research colloquium presentation in the School of Interactive Arts + Technology at Simon Fraser University in Surrey, British Columbia. This talk draws on a portion of my design research projects that were part of my dissertation research. It is from 12:30-2:20pm on the SFU Surrey campus in SUR 5380..


31 October 2014 Invited Talk at UC Irvine

I'll be giving an invited research colloquium presentation at the University of California Irvine on Halloween! Spooky! This talk draws on a portion of my design research projects that were part of my dissertation research. It is from 3-4pm in the Don Bren School of Informatics..


28 October 2014 Invited Talk at UC Berkeley

I'll be giving an invited research colloquium presentation at the University of California Berkeley. This talk draws on a portion of my design research projects that were part of my dissertation research. It is from 12-1pm In the Berkeley Institute of Design..


15 July 2014 Dissertation Defense

I am defending my dissertation research at 10am EST in the Gates-Hillman Center room 6115 on Carnegie Mellon campus. My defense will give an overview of many projects I have done over the past several years that combine qualitative fieldwork in sites around the world as well as new methods to help explore what people's future practices could be with their virtual possessions. My esteemed committee members are John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Sara Kiesler, and Abigail Sellen. Woohoo!


10 March 2014 Invited Remote Presentation at University of Michigan School of Information

I'll be giving an presentation to Dr. Mark Neuman's pervasive computing graduate class in the School of Information at the University of Michigan on best practices for doing the User Enactments design method. .


19 February 2014 Invited Talk at Georgia Tech

I'll be giving a lecture on the slow technology design space in human-computer interaction research as a part of the Nokia Invited Lecture Series on Mobile and Future Technologies. This talk draws on a two design projects I've been working on, including a fourteen month deployment of slow technology prototypes in people's homes. It is from 1-2pm in the School of Literature, Media and Communication.


15 October 2013 Exhibit at IDEATE at Carnegie Mellon

I have an invited exhibit at the curated IDEATE event held at Carnegie Mellon this year. IDEATE is a new integrative design, art and technology collective at CMU. This event is being held in conjunction with the Remaking Cities Institute (RCI)'s international congress. 300 of the top urbanists in North America and Europe are attending! It is in the Center for Fine Art's Great Hall at 7pm. Stop by if you are in town!


2 October 2013 Invited Talk at the Pacific Northwest College of Art

I'll be giving a lecture on how design research can nurture the emerging slow technology design space in human-computer interaction research. This talk draws on a few recent projects I've been working on, including a fourteen month deployment of slow technology prototypes in people's homes. It is from 9-10:30am PST in the Collaborative Design department of PNCA.


17 July 2013 Dissertation Proposal

I am proposing my dissertation research at 10am EST in the Gates-Hillman Center room 6115 on Carnegie Mellon campus. My proposal will describe several projects I have done over the past several years that combine qualitative fieldwork in sites around the world as well as new methods to help explore what people's future practices could be with their virtual possessions. My esteemed committee members are John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Sara Kiesler, and Abigail Sellen. Feel free to stop by and check it out if you are in town!


11 June 2012 Slow Technology workshop in Newcastle, UK

I'm co-organizing a workshop at DIS this year along with a several esteemed collaborators. Interactive technologies are being designed, produced, used, re-purposed, discarded and destroyed more rapidly than ever before. With these shifts, new concerns have steadily emerged across the design and HCI communities over how the growing presence of interactive technologies in people's everyday lives—and the values embedded in their design—might shape people's current experiences and practices as well as the lives of future generations. The core goal of this workshop is to critically reflect on the work that has emerged since Slow Technology was originally proposed, in order to forge understanding of the challenges, limitations and opportunities characterizing the contemporary design space. Please submit something!


6 May 2012 Technology Design for the End of Life workshop in Austin

I'm co-organizing a workshop at CHI this year along with a host of folks I've been collaborating with for years now. This workshop focuses on how technologies might be designed to support the many social processes that occur when a loved one passes away -- from how the emotional realities of such experiences to how the departed's digital legacy might be passed down and managed in the future. Please consider submitting something!


5 May 2012 Visual Thinking and Digital Imagery CHI workshop in Austin

I'm co-organizing a workshop at CHI this year along with several talented colleagues. This workshop focuses on exploring the centrality of visual literacy and visual thinking to HCI. Drawing on emerging critical perspectives, the workshop will address visual literacy and visual thinking from an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary design-orientation, foregrounding the notion that imagery is a primary form of visual thinking. We will address how a broader framework for visual thinking and imagery in HCI can play a role in raising the visual standards of HCI research and practice. Workshop participants will investigate possibilities for developing a culture of curatorial gaze in HCI, in order to (i) promote collection of digital images as a method appropriate for a design-oriented discipline, (ii) invite others to contribute to a genre of working and corpus of imagery unique to HCI, and (iii) to expand the approaches that design-oriented HCI may productively and creatively draw upon. Please consider submitting something!


5 August 2011 Invited Talk at the Newcastle University Culture Lab

I'll be giving a lecture on different design methodologies involving prototyping to explore potential futures in which technology may (or may not) be appropriate. This talk draws on two recent projects I have been working on. My talk is scheduled for 5 August, 1pm-2pm at the Culture Lab.


7-8 May 2011 HCI, Politics and the City CHI workshop in Vancouver

I'm co-organizing a two day workshop at CHI 2011 along with some fantastic colleagues. The workshop focus on grassroots movements and how they shape our cities, cultures and politics. We invite HCI researchers, activists and artists to engage with the processes, materials, challenges, and goals of grassroots communities in Vancouver, the city hosting CHI’11. Our workshop will facilitate a dialogue around the practical and active engagement of HCI research with grassroots communities. Working together with local organizations, workshop participants will conduct explorations of urban spaces and activist headquarters, participatory design sessions, reflection, critique and creative design of political artifacts. We hope these activities result in concrete design strategies, opportunities for technical interventions and future collaborations in the domain of political computing. Please read more about our workshop themes and visit our call for submissions. Submit something!!!


18 August 2010 Designing Interactive Systems Conference

I'll be presenting 3 papers at the DIS 2010 conference in Aarhus, Denmark. See you in Scandinavia!


10 April 2010 CHI workshop

I'm organizing a workshop at CHI this year along with some colleagues from the UK and Canada. We're planning to engage with a range of issues having to do with the persistence of digital data, issues of ownership (beyond the life of the original owner) and the new design spaces this suggests. An area of particular interest is how forms of digital residua of one's life might be treated in the design of technologies that might become imbued with sentimental or reminiscent value over time. The workshop is scheduled for April 10th in Atlanta. You should submit something!


1 May 2009 Lecture in Curtin University of Technology

I'll be giving a lecture on notions of endurance from a design perspective and strategies for designing enduring interactive products at Curtin University of Technology in Perth. My talk is part of the School of Design seminar series and scheduled for May 1st, 11am-12pm in the SoD lecture hall.


6 March 2009 Upcoming Lecture at The University of Melbourne

I'll be giving a talk on sustainability-oriented HCI research and opportunities suggested by product and interaction design perspectives. It's a part of the the University of Melbourne Interaction Design Group's weekly research seminar and scheduled for March 6th, 3-4pm in the IDEA lab (4th floor). Come check it out!



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News

Mar 15 - C&C

Full paper accepted at C&C 2015!


Feb 15 - C&C

I am an AC for C&C 2015


Jan 15 - CHI

2 Full Papers
accepted at CHI 2015!


Oct 14 - CHI

I am an AC for the Design subcommittee of CHI 2015


Jul 14 - CMU

Dissertation defended at HCII CMU!


May 14 - DIS

2 Papers and 2 Pictorials
accepted at DIS 2014!


February 14 - DIS

I am an AC for the Experience subcommittee of DIS 2014 and Co-Chair of the Pictorials track


January 14 - CHI

Paper accepted to CHI 2014!
*we received a best paper award!*


October 13 - CHI

I am an AC for the Understanding People subcommittee of CHI 2014


January 13 - CHI

2 Papers accepted to CHI 2013!
*we received a best paper nomination!*


Dec 12 - CSCW

MSR folks and I had a paper accepted to CSCW 2013


June 12 - DIS

2 Papers accepted to DIS 2012
*we received a best paper award!*


May 12 - CHI

3 papers accepted to CHI 2012


Feb 12 - Methods of Design

Two methods I helped develop are in the Universal Methods of Design!


Sept 11 - UBICOMP

Paper accepted to Ubicomp 2011
*we received a best paper award!*


June 11 - MSR Cam

Interning in the SDS group again!


Jan 11 - CHI

2 papers accepted to CHI 2011
*we received a best paper award!*


April 10 - DIS

3 papers accepted to DIS 2010!


Dec 09 - CHI

Paper accepted to CHI 2010
*we received best paper nomination!*


Aug 09 - HCII CMU

Made the move to PA to start my PhD


June 09 - MSR Cam

Interning in the SDS group


May 09 - Fulbright Finito

Finished up a great run in OZ