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Hugh Dubberly: How the Information Revolution is Changing Design Practice


The proliferation of sensors, smart-connected products (IoT), the measurements they generate (big data), on-demand computing (the cloud), and pattern-finding software (AI) are changing how individuals and organizations interact. New organizations challenge traditional ways of doing business. Boundaries between inside and outside are blurring. And everywhere, more and more of what we do is recorded.

 As we design with these new technologies, on the one hand they offer new tools and new materials with which to work; and on the other hand they change the design process, the roles designers play in it, and the very nature of what we design.


Since 2000, Hugh Dubberly has been a partner in Dubberly Design Office, a San Francisco information design, interaction design, and service design consultancy. Much of the practice is focused on systems that support health and well-being, for clients such as Alere, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  At Apple Computer in the late 1980s, Dubberly managed graphic design and corporate identity and created the technology-forecast film series Knowledge Navigator, presaging the Internet and interaction via mobile devices. At Netscape, he became Vice President of Design with responsibility for Netscape’s web presence. He has taught design courses at San Jose State, Art Center, Carnegie-Mellon, Stanford, IIT/ID, Northeastern, and CCA. He edited a column “On Modeling” for the Association of Computing Machinery’s journal, Interactions. In 2012, he was elected to the CHI Academy. In 2018, he was made an AIGA Fellow.


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