The Design Society Seminar Series: Chris McMahon


Tuesday 20th October 13:00 BST


In this talk, I will reflect on a professional life working in and studying engineering design and especially support tools for engineering design.  Perhaps the most important part of my research has involved the development of tools to help designers in their search for information, and I would like to use the metaphor of search in a wider sense to help structure the talk, which I will divide into three parts:

  • My early years as an academic, searching for a research niche and for interesting research challenges to explore.
  • A middle period working on diverse computer applications in design, and especially on tools to help support engineering designers in their search for information, particularly in the context of long-lived artefacts.
  • Working with the wider design research community to search for ways in which we might categorise and organise the work of the community, and through that develop our wider understanding of design and designing.

I will try to draw out some lessons that I have learned in the course of the work: the importance of chance, of curiosity, of courage and of self-belief in research, but also the paramount importance of collaborators and of collaborating.


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