As Yet Impossible - 'Uncomfortable Interactions for Entertainment, Enlightenment and Sociality' with Professor Steve Benford, Mixed Realities Lab, University of Nottingham

Wednesday 21 November 2012 6.00pm - Wednesday 21 November 2012 8.00pm
Venue: University of Salford, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2HE
Event Type: Public Lectures

“Cultural and artistic uses of computers raise new challenges for the design of interactive user experiences”


In the latest lecture of the ‘As Yet Impossible’ series, Professor Steve Benford will explore one key and emerging challenge – the deliberate use of discomfort to create intense and memorable interactive experiences. He will argue that deliberately designing uncomfortable interactions can yield benefits in terms of entertainment, enlightenment and social bonding.


By drawing on recent examples from both interactive art and mainstream entertainment, including mobile performances and interactive amusement rides, he will articulate a range of tactics for designing four different aspects of discomfort – visceral, cultural, control and intimacy. Steve will consider how moments of discomfort need to be embedded into, and ultimately resolved during, an overall trajectory of experience. Finally, he will consider the ethical challenges of deliberately creating uncomfortable interactions.


Steve Benford is Professor of Collaborative Computing in the Mixed Reality Laboratory at Nottingham where he explores future cultural and entertainment technologies. He is currently an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Dream Fellow and a visiting professor at the BBC. His collaborations with artists and entertainment companies over the past 15 years have produced a series of unusual interactive experiences alongside academic writing that articulates emerging issues in human-computer interaction.


He has received best paper awards at the international CHI (Computer-Human Interaction) 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2012 conferences, and has won the 2003 Prix Ars Electronica for interactive art, the 2007 Nokia Mindtrek award for innovative applications of ubiquitous computing, and has received four BAFTA nominations. His book Performing Mixed Reality was published by MIT Press in 2011.


Book your free place online.