Chris Speed

Prof. Chris Speed is Chair of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh where he collaborates with a wide variety of partners to explore how design provides methods to adapt, and create products and services within a networked society.

Chris is the Director of the Centre for Design Informatics that is home to a combination of researchers working across the fields of interaction design, temporal design, anthropology, software engineering and FinTech, as well as the PhD, MA/MFA and MSc and Advanced MSc programmes.

Chris has an established track record in directing large complex grants with industry partners, being involved in 25 research grants since 2009 that apply design and computer sciences methods to challenges in the banking, international development and cultural heritage sectors. He is currently leading the EPSRC funded OxChain Project that supports blockchain technology for Oxfam, and is Director of the recently funded Creative Informatics R&D Partnership, one of the nine UK Clusters to support the development of new products and services in the creative industries.

Talk Overview: Co-Designing with Things

What happens when we give physical things wallets containing digital currencies? How can this alter power relationships and shift social dynamics? Chris Speed will explore these questions by highlighting the use of smart contracts in design, from a coffee machine that lets you vote for your coffee bean and pays those who clean it, to a hairdryer that trades on the energy market to offer the best price for drying your hair. As objects are connected to the Internet, forming the ‘Internet of Things’, Chris asks what happens when technologies are given their own spending power, and what this implies for the human.

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