Special guest: an evening with Dr. Genevieve Bell, anthropologist and researcher

For our next meetup we will welcome with Dr. Genevieve Bell as a special guest speaker for the evening.

Dr Bell is in town presenting a lecture at UQ - Public lecture: The 2012 Distinguished Lecture in Anthropology and Inaugural Public Lecture in Anthropology

We are lucky enough to have her join our group while she is in Brisbane.

Genevieve Bell

Intel Fellow, Intel Labs Director
Interaction and Experience Research

Dr. Genevieve Bell is an Australian-born anthropologist and researcher. As director of User Interaction and Experience in Intel Labs, Bell leads a research team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers and computer scientists. This team shapes and helps create new Intel technologies and products that are increasingly designed around people's needs and desires. In this team and her prior roles, Bell has fundamentally altered the way Intel envisions and plans its future products so that they are centered on people's needs rather than simply silicon capabilities.

In addition to leading this increasingly important area of research at Intel, Bell is an accomplished industry pundit on the intersection of culture and technology. She is a regular public speaker and panelist at technology conferences worldwide, sharing myriad insights gained from her extensive international field work and research. Her first book, 'Divining the Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing,' was co-written with Prof. Paul Dourish of the University of California at Irvine and released in April 2011. In 2010, Bell was named one of Fast Company's inaugural '100 Most Creative People in Business.' She also is the recipient of several patents for consumer electronics innovations.

Moving to the United States for her undergraduate studies, she graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. She then attended Stanford University, earning her master's degree (1993) and a doctorate (1998) in cultural anthropology, as well as acting as a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology from 1996-1998. With a father who was an engineer and a mother who was an anthropologist, perhaps Bell was fated to ultimately work for a technology company, joining Intel in 1998.

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  • Andrew W.

    Having just done a piece of UX research this was really timely for me. As well as putting "get a theory" at the top of my todo list I was also challenged by the idea of researching for theory, not just design implications. Not 100% sure yet how to best capture our analysis for use by the organisation beyond the project itself in a way that is lean.

    Using qualitative and quantitative research in parallel to tell a richer story is also an idea that I liked - I spend so much time educating stakeholders about qualitative research that I sometimes forget that their is still plenty of value in quant.

    October 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a fantastic talk. Opened my eyes to the benefits of anthropolgy in big business. The overarching research and considerations made by the Intel team are truely world wide, and I loved the fact they realise and embrace that they will directly interact with most of the world in the next 10 years.

    September 26, 2012

  • Cathie H.

    I loved the Meet-up. Genevieve is such a great story teller. Other finding out "what I want to be when I group up", futurist at Intel of course, my main take away was that dedication to the end user is extremely important, even if what you are doing is so far from the end product the user will see & interact with.

    September 26, 2012

  • Julie K.

    An inspiring evening that has given me some good motivation to improve my knowledge, understanding and practice.

    September 26, 2012

  • Cathie H.

    Awesome speaker. A truly excellent story teller. Very inspiring.

    September 25, 2012

  • Ben M.

    Great discussion last night. I hope everyone took away as much food for thought and inspiration as I did.

    What was the highlight for everyone?

    For me it was the introduction to Critical Standpoint theory - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standpoint_theory

    It made me question my own approach to research and how good a job I do at it. I'm sure I've never fully appreciated how much my own personal perspective has shaped my own findings before. It will certainly make me far more critical of my own analysis in the future.

    I also loved the idea of Feral Data - once domestic, now gone wild. Some of the most interesting uses of technologies are definitely those where something has been corrupted from it's original use and turned in to something else.

    September 25, 2012

    • Christian V.

      Yeah, same Ben. That Wikipedia is a good starting point. Now to read some Marx and Harding...I also really appreciated the idea of co-analysing the data from design research activities (e.g. a prototype left in the home) with the subjects themselves. Interested to see Intel's idea of a UX roadmap, and wondering if it is more at the level of a product roadmap, or a Experience Map type affair that shows a person's interaction with the product across multiple touchpoints.

      September 25, 2012

    • Dan N.

      Pretty much the same thoughts Ben. Critical Standpoint theory makes a lot of sense. I also liked that Genevieve wants her employees to have *a theory* - doesn't matter which one, just have to have one in order to frame your point of view.

      September 25, 2012

  • Tiffany A.

    Genevieve further stimulated thoughts I have been having for a while now: what does it mean to be a UX designer? I am both hands-on and leading a team. Like many, I kind of fell into UX simply because of how I think and feel about things, people and technology. I've now been "doing it" for a long time and as I recruit I come across many people who call themselves UX designers whom have never actually talked to their customers/users.

    UX is about people - not methodology. Anyone can learn processes and tools but being reflective, curious and genuinely interested in people is what our craft is all about. It was awesome and inspiring to hear from Genevieve who is, in my mind, living every UXers dream!

    Thanks all for a great event!

    September 25, 2012

  • jaz

    thought provoking and absolutely inspiring. it was definitely the highlight of this year's events in brisbane for me personally.

    September 25, 2012

  • Christian V.

    A really interesting and inspiring evening. Hearing the stories of how Genevieve has helped weave UX culture into the DNA of a company of Intel's size gives me hope for the future. Finally, I have some reading to do to get my ethnographic research skills up to scratch. Thanks Genevieve!

    September 25, 2012

  • Tania L.

    Excellent and inspiring talk. Great to see someone of Genevieve's calibre presenting in Brisbane.

    September 25, 2012

  • Ben M.

    It was great to hear from someone with so much experience and such great stories. Really inspring and thought provoking stuff. It makes me wish I could spend far more time out in the field doing research. I don't know where to start with all the ideas I took away.

    September 25, 2012

  • Dan N.

    Great speaker, knowledgable and entertaining.

    September 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really great night! Very entertaining and inspiring.

    September 24, 2012

  • Marcus F.

    great privilege to hear from one of the world's foremost thought leaders in UX

    September 24, 2012

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