TALK: Designing for Solitude
Friday, August 27th
The world we experience every day bombards us with requests for connectivity from many angles, requests that it seems we feel pressured to respond to. And some of us have no doubt had some responsibility for designing it that way. But is the inability to switch off and disconnect losing us anything valuable as humans?
Ben will talk through a couple of stories from both history and the present day that suggest that considering what happens when the button is in the off position might be just as important for us.
Ben Fullerton is an experience designer at Adaptive Path.
Prior to Adaptive Path, Ben was at design consultancy IDEO, where he worked within multidisciplinary teams on projects spanning web, service, strategy and devices for both private and public sector clients. Before IDEO, Ben moved from his native United Kingdom to the Bay Area and spent a short, but rewarding time at Twitter defining features as the then-small service was first beginning to find popularity in the wider world.
Ben was based in London for eleven years, more recently within the mobile team at Samsung’s European design studio, where he provided insight and design direction to Samsung’s Corporate Design Center in Seoul. He came to Samsung after spending many years at pioneering service design and innovation consultancy live|work, which he joined as one of the first employees. It was at live|work that Ben first gained experience in service design — bringing the skills of interaction designers to bear on experiences that occur over time and over many different points of use — at a time when the parameters and methods of such a design engagement were still somewhat ill-defined within the wider design community.
Ben met the founders of live|work at his previous position with digital agency Oyster Partners (later Framfab, now LBi), who, at one time, were one of the largest new media firms in the UK. At Oyster, Ben helped to nurture and grow the capabilities of the front end engineering team (while also sitting through the first technology crash.)
Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Contemporary Literature and a Master of Arts from the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s College London, where he studied the cultural implications of the development of technology with a focus on how people experience material culture. Projects that Ben has worked on have been nominated for a BAFTA and have won a Spark Award, among others.
Outside of work Ben neatly conforms to national stereotypes by spending far too much time attempting to educate people on the immeasurable benefits of a decent cup of tea, and still believes in the zeppelin as a viable form of intercontinental transport. One day he will finish writing a book.