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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.

Qualifications

M.Arch., PhD

Talking Point

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.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

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. 

Sponsors and Collaborators

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.

Key Publications

Responsive environments: user experience for ambient intelligence
http://iospress.metapress.com/content/m171q41t81046100/?p=92ade2cf00854dfea572e0d07bc0c570&pi=1

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
http://www.springerlink.com/content/vn662212u63464n8/

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)


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