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Ron Wakkary

Author: Ron Wakkary


Ron Wakkary is an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. His primary research is in interaction design with a focus on tangible computing and responsive environments, and the study of “everyday design” in which we all contribute to the ongoing design of artifacts and surroundings. Previously he was faculty in Interactive Arts at the Technical University of British Columbia and the Digital Design Department at the Parsons School of Design, New School University.

Wakkary is currently a principal researcher and board member of the Fluid Engage project, an international network of research and cultural institutions investigating open source and interactive technologies in museums funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Past research collaborations include leading the Am-I-able Network for Responsive and Mobile Environments, a national research network in the design of wearable and ambient intelligence computing; co-leader of the Interactivity Theme in the Canadian Design Research Network, and CATGames research network on creativity tools for digital games. His research projects include a mobile-based social game for mobile communities in collaboration with Nokia Research, projects in adaptive audio and tangible user interface museum guides with the Canadian Nature Museum and the Surrey Museum, ambient intelligent environments for physical play, and a prototyping environment for tangible based games. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canadian Heritage, Canarie Inc., Canada Council, Networks Centres of Excellence, and Canada Foundation for Innovation have funded his research.

Wakkary's public and academic service has included the Canadian Culture Online Advisory Board to advise the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the College of Reviewers for the Canada Research Chair Program, Banff New Media Institute Research Advisory Board. He was elected to the Board of Governors for the Technical University of British Columbia and the Simon Fraser University Senate. He has helped co-chair and several conference program committees including ACM CHI, ACM Tangible and Embedded Interaction Conference, ACM Multimedia, ACM Creativity and Cognition Conference, Archives & Museum Informatics: Museums and the Web Conference.

Prior to his academic career, Wakkary was cofounder of Stadium@Dia in partnership with the Dia Center for the Arts in New York where he collaborated and co-developed pioneering projects in art and the Internet, and partnered on projects with the Museum of Modern Art, Dia Center for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Museum. He was also principal designer and co-founder of oo-design, a digital design firm. When not teaching or engaged in research, he is trying keep up with his two sons down the ski hill or in the warmer months training and straining to qualify for the Boston Marathon!


Publication period start: 2005
Number of co-authors: 36


Number of publications with favourite co-authors
Audrey Desjardins
Marek Hatala
Leah Maestri

Productive Colleagues

Most productive colleagues in number of publications
Alberto Del Bimbo
Andruid Kerne
Eric Paulos


Wakkary, Ron, Stolterman, Erik A. (2010): WELCOME: Our first interactions. In Interactions, 17 (6) pp. 5. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1897239.1897240

Wakkary, Ron (2009): Anything is a fridge: the implications of everyday designers. In Interactions, 16 (5) pp. 12-17. https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/1572626.1572629

Wakkary, Ron, Maestri, Leah (2008): Aspects of Everyday Design: Resourcefulness, Adaptation, and Emergence. In International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 24 (5) pp. 478-491. https://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/10447310802142276

Wakkary, Ron, Hatala, Marek (2007): Situated Play in a Tangible Interface and Adaptive Audio Museum Guide. In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 11 (3) pp. 171-191. https://www.springerlink.com/content/p1623t74xp6h861m/?p=e1ccea5c0e6d48e5865dd028c6b5af72&pi=2

Wakkary, Ron (2005): Framing complexity, design and experience: a reflective analysis. In Digital Creativity, 16 (2) pp. 65-78. https://www.sfu.ca/~rwakkary/papers/DC_Wakkary_2005.pdf

Wakkary, Ron, Hatala, Marek (2006): ec(h)o: situated play in a tangible and audio museum guide. In: Proceedings of DIS06: Designing Interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods, & Techniques , 2006, . pp. 281-290. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1142405.1142448

Droumeva, Milena, Antle, Alissa, Wakkary, Ron (2007): Exploring ambient sound techniques in the design of responsive environments for children. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction , 2007, . pp. 171-178. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1226969.1227005

Wakkary, Ron, Maestri, Leah (2007): The resourcefulness of everyday design. In: Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Creativity and Cognition , 2007, Washington DC, USA. pp. 163-172. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1254960.1254984

Wakkary, Ron, Poon, Madison, Maestri, Leah, Kirton, Travis, Julhin, Corey, Betts, Ryan (2007): How Informances Can Be Used in Design Ethnography. In: Extended Abstracts CHI 2007 April 28-May 3, 2007, San Jose, California, USA. pp. 1875-1880.

Wakkary, Ron, Tanenbaum, Karen (2009): A sustainable identity: the creativity of an everyday designer. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2009, . pp. 365-374. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1518701.1518761

Wakkary, Ron, Hatala, Marek, Jiang, Ying, Droumeva, Milena, Hosseini, Malahat (2008): Making sense of group interaction in an ambient intelligent environment for physical play. In: Schmidt, Albrecht, Gellersen, Hans-Werner, Hoven, Elise van den, Mazalek, Ali, Holleis, Paul, Villar, Nicolas (eds.) TEI 2008 - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction February 18-20, 2008, Bonn, Germany. pp. 179-186. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1347390.1347431

Wakkary, Ron, Hatala, Marek, Muise, Kevin, Tanenbaum, Karen, Corness, Greg, Mohabbati, Bardia, Budd, Jim (2009): Kurio: a museum guide for families. In: Villar, Nicolas, Izadi, Shahram, Fraser, Mike, Benford, Steve (eds.) TEI 2009 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction February 16-18, 2009, Cambridge, UK. pp. 215-222. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1517664.1517712

Wakkary, Ron, Hatala, Marek, Lovell, Robb, Droumeva, Milena (2005): An ambient intelligence platform for physical play. In: Zhang, Hongjiang, Chua, Tat-Seng, Steinmetz, Ralf, Kankanhalli, Mohan S., Wilcox, Lynn (eds.) Proceedings of the 13th ACM International Conference on Multimedia November 6-11, 2005, Singapore. pp. 764-773. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1101149.1101313

Kerne, Andruid, Wakkary, Ron, Nack, Frank, Steggell, Amanda, Jaimes, Alejandro, Candan, K. Selcuk, Bimbo, Alberto Del, Jennings, Pamela, Dulic, Aleksandra (2008): Connecting artists and scientists in multimedia research. In: El-Saddik, Abdulmotaleb, Vuong, Son, Griwodz, Carsten, Bimbo, Alberto Del, Candan, K. Selcuk, Jaimes, Alejandro (eds.) Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Multimedia 2008 October 26-31, 2008, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. pp. 1113-1114. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1459359.1459589

Muise, Kevin, Wakkary, Ron (2010): Bridging designers' intentions to outcomes with constructivism. In: Proceedings of DIS10 Designing Interactive Systems , 2010, . pp. 320-329. https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1858171.1858229

Goodman, Elizabeth, Stolterman, Erik A., Wakkary, Ron (2011): Understanding interaction design practices. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2011, . pp. 1061-1070. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1978942.1979100

Moulder, Vicki, Boschman, Lorna, Wakkary, Ron (2011): The talking poles public art based in social design. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2011, . pp. 201-209. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1979742.1979646

Wakkary, Ron, Stolterman, Erik A. (2011): Interactions magazine. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2011, . pp. 523-526. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1979742.1979536

Desjardins, Audrey, Wakkary, Ron (2011): Children's drawing and telling of sustainability in the home. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2011, . pp. 1411-1416. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1979742.1979783

Wakkary, Ron, Maestri, Leah (2011): Four factors of change: adaptations of everyday design. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2011, . pp. 1603-1608. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1979742.1979815

Kuznetsov, Stacey, Odom, William, Moulder, Vicki, DiSalvo, Carl, Hirsch, Tad, Wakkary, Ron, Paulos, Eric (2011): HCI, politics and the city: engaging with urban grassroots movements for reflection and ac. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2011, . pp. 2409-2412. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1979742.1979568

Maestri, Leah, Wakkary, Ron (2011): Understanding repair as a creative process of everyday design. In: Proceedings of the 2011 Conference on Creativity and Cognition , 2011, . pp. 81-90. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2069618.2069633

Desjardins, Audrey, Wakkary, Ron (2011): How children represent sustainability in the home. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children , 2011, . pp. 37-45. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1999030.1999035

Tanenbaum, Joshua, Tanenbaum, Karen, Wakkary, Ron (2012): Design fictions. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction , 2012, . pp. 347-350. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2148131.2148214

Zhang, Xiao, Wakkary, Ron, Maestri, Leah, Desjardins, Audrey (2012): Memory-storming: externalizing and sharing designers' personal experiences. In: Proceedings of DIS12 Designing Interactive Systems , 2012, . pp. 524-533. https://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2317956.2318035