How does design function as a protagonist of future scenarios? This question drives the work of Irene McWilliam, for whom humanware, interaction design and behavioural systems design, are central concerns. As Director of Design Research and Development at Philips Design in the Netherlands, McWilliam not only steered research into traditional design disciplines such as product development, user interface design and graphic design; she also explored the newer territories of socio-cultural trends, behavioural research, cultural contextualisation and strategies for innovation. McWilliam has an MA in psychology and carried out research into biotechnology at the University of Aberdeen. She subsequently worked on designing computer systems for the Scottish Health Board before joining Philips. Since 1994, she has also worked as a consultant for the European Commission, coordinating the research theme, Connected Community, within the long-term research domain of Intelligent Information Interfaces. McWilliam anticipates the integration of upcoming technologies, such as information navigation and visualisation, interaction technologies, search and retrieval strategies, ubiquitous computing, multimedia, intelligent agents, materials science and knowledge engineering, into relevant, human-centred systems, products and services. In May 2001, she was appointed Professor of Interaction Design and Head of the Department of Computer Related Design at the Royal College of Art (she will continue to work for Philips as a consultant).
One-D to Ten-D: The Evolution of the Interface
(Doors 6, November 2000)