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Personal profile


“Often, design research draws on design’s capacity to solve problems. However, using design to create problems, rather than solutions, may be the stranger but wiser choice.”

Research profile

Ron Wakkary is full professor in the Future Everyday cluster. In addition, he is full professor at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University in Canada where he is director of the Interaction Design Research Centre and founder of the Everyday Design Studio.

Wakkary is interested in design-oriented human-computer interaction, tangible computing and the philosophies of technologies through design. Wakkary’s research investigates the changing nature of interaction design in response to everyday design practices in the home and new understandings of human-technology relations. He aims to reflectively create new interaction design exemplars, concepts, and emergent practices of design that help to shape both design and its relations to technologies.

Wakkary considers people as integrally connected with technologies, and specifically as creators and makers rather than passive users or consumers of digital artifacts. He investigates how to design computational things that are radically simple, allowing ‘everyday designers’ to determine how these things fit into their lives and improve upon them. The big idea behind his work is that the artifacts and systems we design are resources rather than finished products.

Wakkary has a background in interaction design, computer science and visual arts.

Academic background

Ron Wakkary holds a BFA in Visual Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Canada, a MFA in visual Arts from the State University of New York, USA, and an PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Plymouth, UK. Ron is currently a member of the Tangible Embedded/Embodied Interaction (TEI) and Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) steering committees. He is also a member of the International Journal of Design (IJD) and Archives of Design Research (ADR) editorial boards. He was co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM interactions from 2010 to 2016.

Affiliated with

  • Simon Fraser University; Wakkary is Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology there, and head of the Everyday Design Studio.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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