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Dr Ben Salem Bernard

Programme Leader for Interactive Media Design BA (Hons)

Department: Northumbria School of Design

I have a mixed background, I received a Diploma of Architecture, Dip. Arch. (1992) and a Master, M.Arch. (1993). I then pursued post-graduate education in Electronics with a Ph.D. (2003) on hand gesture analysis.

I have been involved into various projects dealing with hardware platforms (robots, interaction devices, sensors…) and the development of novel applications (Networked VR for Art & Design, Avatars, Virtual Theatre, Smart Environments, Adaptive and Personalised Systems, Kansei Entertainment…).

I am author and co-author of numerous publications and had involvement with both academic research projects and industrial projects. I worked in England, The Netherlands and Japan.

Ben Salem Bernard

I collaborate actively with Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) in The Netherlands where I am a visiting scholar in the department of media studies. I also collaborate with SONY Creative Centre in Tokyo, and Gillette Research Labs in Reading.

Responsive environments: user experience for ambient intelligence

This paper reviews the emerging field of responsive environments as an ambient intelligence system with a focus on user experience. We see responsive environments as a combination of the scientific and technical developments that resulted in ambient intelligence systems and the aesthetic motivations behind interactive art installations.

SmartEx: A case study on user profiling and adaptation in exhibition booths

This paper is an investigation into user profiling and adaptation. It starts with a review of the field of exhibitions and trade fairs and then continues with a summary introduction to adaptation and profiling. We then introduce three criteria for the evaluation of exhibition booths: effectiveness, efficiency and affect. We use these criteria to assess adaptation and profiling within the context of an exhibition booth.

Full list available at Northumbria Research Link (NRL)

M.Arch., PhD

The big questions or design issues that I am focusing on at the moment.

I am interested in the aesthetics of beauty and how beautiful forms can be created. Beauty is very effective at triggering emotions and i am keen to investigate how design can deliver forms that trigger key emotions (fear, anger, disgust, happiness and sadness). I am keen to go in the direction of active forms, those who can change shape so as to trigger a variety of emotions.

I would like to further blend information and space and create environments that are a true embodiment of information. The aim is to focus on enhancing and positive experiences as both people will influence their environment and vice versa. At the same time I am keen to look at the blurring the boundaries between people and information.

Ambient intelligence and responsive environments, where I am applying a combination of my skills in architecture and electronics. I also have designed many computer game and game controllers.

Finally I have a keen interest in active forms, toys and robotics (and how to combine these).

Currently I teach in the Design for Industry programme where I coach 1st, 3rd and 4th year students during studio sessions. I teach model making for 1st years and I also teach students in the MA Multi-disciplinary Design Innovation studio sessions. 

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