litmus :: july 2007

Litmus is the monthly newsletter of ACID, the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design

  1. acid News
    • GM�s Update
    • ACID Contract R&D service going strong

  2. Research and Project Updates
    • �LAN Jam� Network Jamming trial
  3. acid People
    • Dr Laurene Vaughan guest editing AGDA journal
  4. DATE CLAIMERS: Mark Your Diary Now


:: General Manager�s Update

Research Manager: This month I am delighted to advise that ACID has appointed Associate Professor Andrew Brown of QUT as Research Manager.

Andrew will play an important role on ACID�s senior executive team, with responsibility for working with the Program Managers and our research teams to assist them in meeting their targets and deliverables over the next few months. Andrew is also working closely with me as General Manager to undertake an audit of our current programs which will then be presented to our shareholders to determine synergies and opportunities for better engagement over the next three years of our CRC. Part of this process includes getting the overall ACID research program to the next level ready for funding any new directions by September 2007.

Andrew�s appointment is at 75% and he maintains his role as Program Manager of the Creative Communities program.

ACID Research Program: The next three years of ACID sees the CRC move more strongly into growing and maturing its current programs. At the same time we need to be aware of the outcomes that we wish to achieve within our research program over this period of time. To this end we will put strong emphasis on our collaboration with our key university partners � QUT, RMIT, UTS, UQ and Murdoch. We will also emphasise working with our Research Leaders at each of the university nodes in nurturing the next generation of interaction designers and innovative ideas created through the work of students and post-doctoral researchers. This will be the main platform of our research agenda until 2010.

Development Team: I am also very pleased to advise that we have appointed Joti Carroll and Brendan Ledwitch, and renewed the appointment of Yang Wong, to a new ACID development team. The development team�s role is to work with ACID project teams as required in the research program and to ensure ACID�s more mature projects are stable and ready for the pre-commercialisation and commercialisation processes.

Joti, Brendan and Yang have all been associated with ACID for some time, in the media lab. Joti and Brendan have been important members of the Indigenous Communities program as employees of QUT, and Yang has been a key contributor to the Mobile Communities projects. All three are now on new contracts as employees of ACID.

I am excited that we have been able to appoint Joti and Brendan to the �official� ACID team, and that we have been able to renew Yang�s contract, because together they bring a real depth of talent and skills to ACID.

Commercialisation Program: As mentioned in last month�s Litmus, I am pleased to advise that Paul Holland has taken on a larger role with ACID. As part of a defined focus on the next stage of ACID�S development, we are building our capacity and strength in the areas of pre-commercialisation, commercialisation and business development of our current research programs. We have a number of programs that we have recognised as being ready to migrate to the next level of development.

Paul has been a consultant to ACID since its inception and has an excellent background in commercialisation models and his advice and supporty will be invaluable in the next stage of the CRC.

CRC re-bid process: Many Litmus readers would be aware that ACID is eligible to apply for �new-from-existing� funds the next round of CRC funding. The Phase One application is due on 31 March 2008, for funding to commence in July 2009.

The ACID Board is driving the re-bid process, which started with a direction-setting workshop on 31 July. Next steps include fleshing out early ideas, securing the industry and research partners for the new CRC, developing a Business Case Concept, and preparing the bid documentation.

The Research Leaders Group is already closely involved in the re-bid, and other ACID team members will be consulted and involved as appropriate, as it progresses.

Suzannah Conway
General Manager & A/Executive Director



:: ACID�s R&D Services going strong


ACID�s R&D Services team is having a bumper quarter, with several current clients signing up for more research projects, and potential new clients calling weekly.

The R&D Services team � comprising ACID�s R&D Director Associate Professor Sam Bucolo, Senior Interaction Designer Kate Freebairn and Senior Project Officer Ali Kerr � has been partnering with clients to deliver innovative, interaction-based solutions.

Assoc Prof Sam Bucolo said ACID�s R&D service draws on the work being carried out across ACID�s research programs to provide new, unique solutions to a broad range of industry sectors.

�Our external client work balances our research depth with our commercial experience in working to tight deadlines and meeting industry demands,� Sam said. �Our commercial point of different is to draw on ACID�s depth of academic expertise to deliver commercial outcomes on budget and on time. We aim to develop strong partnerships with these external clients to ensure they continue to partner with us in the long term.�

For more information on ACID�s R&D Services, contact Sam Bucolo or Ali Kerr on 3337 7831 or


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:: �LAN Jam� Network Jamming trial, Brisbane Powerhouse, June/July 07


It sounds like a recipe for perfect discord: a room full of primary-school kids, varying levels of musical talent and experience, and access to electronic instruments, networked jamming tools and speakers that go all the way up to 11.

But ACID�s Creative Communities team is finding the contrary. Our Jam2Jam generative music software gives kids collaborative improvisation, composition and performance experience without the need for high-level instrumental skills.

ACID Research Assistant Kathy Hirche said the goal is to find out what tools assist participants to engage with the creative activity, and what creative social contacts and connections are enabled by the activity.

�Our latest trial, conducted in collaboration with creACTiVE at the Brisbane Powerhouse during the June/July school holidays, tested a new interface with less text, brighter colours, and a more game-like interaction than previous versions,� Kathy said.

�We were able to study the nature of the engagement that children experience, and the way the engagement might contribute to collaborative music making in a community arts setting. We encouraged kids to explore the software, first individually via headphones and then in small networked groups, moving to the social level and interacting with their peers.�

Kathy said analysis of the trial data is in the early stages, but initial impressions indicate the new interface has been largely successful.

�We expect that analysis of this most recent Jam2Jam trial will give us some very exciting results to share through journal submissions and conference papers.�

A paper entitled "The Role of Generative Arts in Supporting Cultural Participation: a conceptualisation of the Jam2Jam network jamming tool", co-authored by Dr Barbara Adkins, Dr Steve Dillon, Assoc Prof Andrew Brown, Kathy Hirche and Craig Gibbons in July this year, has been accepted for VSMM07. The same authors are currently preparing a paper for submission to the International Journal of Human�Computer Studies.

Kathy said that debugging and software alterations are continuing, with new versions of Jam2Jam being planned and developed.

�The Jam2Jam family of generative processes provide a basis for inexperienced users to access creative activities on an individual, social and cultural level. In the long term, we envisage kids across the world stimulating their creativity and establishing new friends and creative communities.�


Calling all ACID Researchers: If you�d like to let others at ACID know when and where you�re publishing, just send the details to Litmus. But don�t forget the publication process requires all ACID publications to be approved � the guidelines are available from Education Program Manager Michael Docherty.

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Dr Laurene Vaughan

:: Dr Laurene Vaughan guest editing AGDA journal

ACID Researcher Dr Laurene Vaughan has been invited to edit a special edition of visual:design:scholarship, the Research Journal of the Australian Graphic Design Association.

Laurene said the theme for this special edition is �graduate education and the design industries� and it would explore the potential relationships between graduate design education, design research and the design professions.

�Graduate design education is a relatively young domain of educational practice and development. It�s still an emerging field,� Laurene said. �As guest editor I�m particularly interested in exploring the potential tension between the expectations of the academy and the needs and interests of industry.�

Laurene said there are several questions worth exploring: how graduate education contributes to the development of the profession, the role of the doctorate in everyday practice, and what does �mastery� mean.

�Another interesting question is �who is graduate education for: the academy or industry?�,� Laurene said. �We�re seeing heated discourse on this very question at conferences, on discussion lists and within design practices, so I�m very keen to have case studies of educators� or students� experiences contributed to the journal.�

Laurene said that while visual:design:scholarship focuses on graphic design, contributions from other fields of design practice will be accepted if they contribute to broader understandings of design education and practice. Submissions are due by 21 September 2007 by e-mail to Laurene.


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4. DATE CLAIMERS: Mark Your Diary Now!

:: Calls for Papers

ISEA2007: International Symposium on Electronic Art, 25�30 July 2008, Singapore.
Submissions due: 30 August 2007
visit the ISEA website for more info.

OzCHI Doctoral Consortium, 28 November 2007, Adelaide SA.
Submissions due: 7 September 2007
visit the OzCHI website for more info.

visual:design:scholarship, Research Journal of the Australian Graphic Design Association
Special Issue: Graduate education and the design industries
Guest editor: Dr Laurene Vaughan (ACID Researcher)
Full submissions due: 21 September 2007 by e-mail to Laurene
visit the journal website for more info.

Imagining Business: Reflecting on the visual power of management, organising and governine practices, First EIASM Workshop, 26�27 June 2008, Sa�d Business School, Oxford UK.
Submissions due: 28 February 2008
visit the EIASM website for more info.

:: Conferences

VSMM07: 13th international conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia
Exchange and Experience in Space and Place
23�26 September 2007, Brisbane, QLD.
visit the VSMM07 website for more info.

WikiSym 2007: International Symposium on Wikis
Wikis at work in the world: open, organic, participatory media for the 21st Century.
21�23 October 2007, Montreal Canada.
visit the WikiSym website for more info.

Blog World Expo
8�9 November 2007, Las Vegas USA.
visit the expo website for more info.

Defining the Scientific Evolution of Technology Enhanced Learning: the Kaleidoscope 2007 Symposium
Impact, Excellence, Value, Synergy
26�27 November 2007, Berlin Germany.
visit the Kaleidoscope website for more info.


:: Calendar Call

The ACID calendar function is temporarily unavailable. If you have an event, meeting or conference date to share with ACID colleagues, just click here to e-mail the info.

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