It is quite hard to believe but I have already been working at Sheffield Hallam University and living in Sheffield for over one month.
It has been a very exciting time, both with the discovery of the city and surrounding area and with getting to know my colleagues and new academic home.
Everyone is very welcoming and I, because I am part of a large research institute, I am still meeting people and finding out about their work.
A very interesting thing about C3RI is its mixing research with knowledge transfer. Next door to where I sit, there are facilities for innovative packaging design led by Design Futures: an initiative to bring design innovation from research into industry. I love their lab where brainstormings take place and full of interesting packaging samples and inspirational materials – I wish I could play there for a little while!
There are also other labs for prototyping and evaluation, as well as faculty and research offices and a knowledge transfer team. Academically, we are a very multidisciplinary group, and the two research centres, Communication and Computing (which I belong to) and Art and Design have a lot of connections and collaborations. The academics’ research spans from media studies, to human-centered design, design for healthcare, security, human factors, fashion, science and technology studies and more. There is so much to learn about my own colleagues!
While I slowly re-start all my work that had a forced break with the physical relocation, I also have the opportunity of doing something completely new: in February, we will host the kick-off meeting of our newly funded EU FP7 project meSch, which will be led by my ADRC colleague Daniela Petrelli and also includes my lovely former colleagues at UL IDC as well as 11 other European partners. We will research and develop novel platforms for the creation of DYI tangibles in museums and galleries, mixing co-design, tangible and embedded interaction and heritage technology. You can see why I am excited about this project 🙂 You will hear much more about it once we have officially started and launch our web presence.
I am also co-organising a CHI Workshop on “Social Interaction Design“, writing several papers, starting the preparation for COOP 2014 of which I am scientific co-chair and many other things in between.
It is a good time full of new things!