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(October 2008) What can we learn about design from Pixar?

by on October 14, 2008

Thursday October 16, 2008
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Accelerator Centre
Meeting Room #2
295 Hagey Blvd., Waterloo
[Map]

Event description

The product design community has long considered dramatic arts as a related discipline, albeit perhaps more of a distant cousin than a direct sibling. Brenda Laurel first explored this relationship in some depth back in the early 1990s, in her highly-regarded book Computers as Theatre. More recently, the arrival of NUIs (natural user interfaces) such as the iPhone has marked a renewed interest in dramatic concepts such as character and narrative — which can help any software interface come alive, regardless of its application or underlying technology.

Join us on October 16 as we take a close look at what might be the world’s most successful product design firm: the movie studio Pixar. Every film released by Pixar has been a commercial and critical success, something that no other studio can claim. Is it luck? Doubtful. In last month’s Harvard Business Review, Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, credited their success to “our adherence to a set of principles and practices for managing creative talent and risk”. Interaction designers can learn a lot from these principles and practices, despite designing different types of products.

Henry Chen (RIM) and Mark Connolly (Primal Fusion) will lead this group discussion about lessons to learn from Pixar. They’ll draw upon the recent HBR article and on Michael Johnson’s engaging keynote at UX Week in San Francisco. Michael leads the Moving Pictures Group at Pixar, where he’s responsible for the pre-production pipeline — a pipeline that feels eerily familiar to those of us designing software user experiences.

RSVPs not required

No RSVPs required this month. Hope to see you there! Feel free to spread the word, as everyone’s welcome.

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