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Design For Use


20 x slides | 15 x seconds | 12 x explosive talks

DEFUSE is upon us! We would like to thank all of our sponsors, speakers and volunteers who have helped setup.

Ignite Dublin
Come join the Dublin IxDA community for a night of inspiration, innovation and insight as some of Ireland's leading experts in the field of Interaction Design share their stories and highlight some of the most compelling design challenges they face.

IxDA Dublin will host an evening with 12 of Ireland's Interaction Design experts who have just five minutes to present their most compelling ideas about design. The evening will also include a great design competition with a fantastic prize up for grabs, thanks to the sponsorship of Microsoft Ireland.

Hosted in The Sugar Club we hope to continue the creative conversation late into the evening. Come join us!

View previous sites from Defuse 2010 and Defuse 2009.

View videos from 2010 as well as images from 2010 and 2009.



MC for the event

Fiachra Ó Marcaigh, @Fiachra

Fiachra is a director at the internet strategy and communications company AMAS, which has been helping clients to maximise their returns from the internet for over a decade. His previous background is in media and new media, including production journalism and publication layout and design.

Ré Dubhthaigh

Is it about a bicycle?

Ré Dubhthaigh, @radarstation

Design is expansive and it's social. It can act as a glue and help create a common vocabulary to bring about social, cultural and economic change. And it can help us figure out what makes a bicycle a bicycle.

Drawing on past, present and future examples of Irish design this talk will look at design's role in framing wider issues - understanding structures, identifying challenges and shaping how we see the world.

Ré Dubhthaigh is director at Radarstation, helping organisations frame complexity and find practical route to success, using design. He is a Design Associate at the UK Design Council and was an advisory panel member for Pivot, Dublin's World Design Capital bid. Named in 2009 by Businessweek as one of 21 young designers changing the world of business, Ré has worked with bankers, social workers, technologists, toy makers and grime artists, and amongst other things is currently developing Hedge School Dublin for transition year students.

Rory O'Connor & Anita Murphy

Designing Interaction between People and Product.

Rory O'Connor @roryoconnor, Anita Murphy @anitamurphy

For what seems like a very simple analog product, many decisions were made relating to the Rory's Story Cubes® "experience". In this Defuse talk, Rory O'Connor and Anita Murphy, will reveal what they have learned about interaction design through the realisation of their award-winning storytelling game.

Rory's Story Cubes @storycubes was #2 in the Huffington Post's "Most Underrated Innovations of 2010". They appeared in Bloomberg Business Week's Popularity Issue and won Game of the Year 2011 in the UK. They even appeared on the Late Late Toy Show!

Rory O'Connor, Co-founder The Creativity Hub
With a background in the creative and digital arts – from puppetry and community arts to computer animation, interactive design and digital film, I have been using my creativity since I was born. After learning that creativity was available to anyone, I have been busy researching, teaching and designing games and tools that help develop creativity and confidence.

Anita Murphy, Co-founder The Creativity Hub
Starting my career as a Graphic designer, I moved into interaction design and user experience with BBC Technology. I like to conceptualise the big picture and figure out how the component parts fit together. At The Creativity Hub, I distil information to a simple form, communicating it through diagrams and tools.

The Creativity Hub is current hard at work on two new games relating to conflict resolution and design-thinking

Zanya Dahl

Food for Thought

Zanya Dahl, @artizancreative

How does digital media connect people to food? Can the online environment create experiences that affect appetite, need, desire and action when it comes to food. Can a website make a person salivate? What foodie sites motivate people enough to make a food purchase? Do mealtimes affect online viewing choices and purchase decisions when it comes to food?

Zanya Dahl managing director of interactive design agency, Artizan. Formerly a graphic designer, a 3D animator and a webmaster, she is always interested in the visual and the interactive and how that impacts on our behaviour.

Caoimhe McMahon & Emma Creighton

The Education Revolution Needs You!

Caoimhe McMahon & Emma Creighton, TFE Research & Design, NCAD @tferesearch

An Education Revolution has begun, but what’s that got to do with designers?
Caoimhe and Emma believe that design is the secret weapon that the revolution needs. During this talk they will introduce some of the key figures and ideology surrounding the revolution. They will explore how technology and design are currently changing the educational landscape and will highlight where they believe opportunities exist for designers to make an impact.

Caoimhe and Emma are industrial designers who want to change the world, one classroom at a time. They are members of the multidisciplinary TFE Research and Design group based in NCAD and are currently engaged in creating innovative solutions for learning environments. Both are passionate about incorporating design thinking in education and are part of the team behind Hedge School Dublin, a design camp for secondary school students taking place during Innovation week. They both have short brown hair and have been accused by colleagues of always agreeing on everything. This is not the case.

Simon Rand

Big flush or little flush?

Simon Rand, @simonrand

Seemingly obvious design solutions may not always be so. In the physical world we simply feel our way around the problems these solutions create, but in a digital context, the opportunity to circumvent these ambiguities simply doesn't exist. Should we be more wary of the processes that lead to these issues? And to what extent should the real world influence the way we build digital interfaces? Born from a problem with something we all use, many times a day, and considering the role designers are now being asked to play in the development of applications, maybe "keep it simple stupid" is no longer what we should be talking about?

Simon is a director at iorum, a Dublin based firm who create web, mobile and social applications. Holding a degree in Industrial Design, but having programmed since he was 7 years old, he can talk code to the coders, and design to the designers. And music to the musicians.

Stephen Howell

Teaching kids to program using Scratch and the Kinect

Stephen Howell, @saorog

This talk will show how anybody, especially kids and non-programmers, can design and develop games and interactive media applications for the Microsoft Kinect controller. Focusing on making programming interesting by teaching Kinect game creation with the Scratch language, this talk should be of interest to educators, non-programmers and the those who need an excuse to jump around in the name of education and art.

Stephen is a computer science lecturer with the Institute of Technology Tallaght, where he lectures on Software Development and Interactive Media Design & Development. He focuses on creative coding and interactive art using technologies such as Processing, openFrameworks, Cinder and OpenGL.

Stephen is the author of Kinect2Scratch, a bridge from the revolutionary Microsoft depth-camera to Scratch, a widely-used toolkit for teaching programming to kids. When he is not lecturing, Stephen consults with industry on how to build the next generation of natural user interfaces for marketing, content production and e-learning systems. For fun, he likes to hack together games, digital art and educational materials using C++, C#, Processing, Scratch, Lego and Kodu with his four kids.

Evangelos Kapros

Spanish Art, Visualization, and Open Data

Evangelos Kapros, @ekapros

Data Visualization is a trending topic worldwide. While its visual aspects are something to write back home about, the actual data that are visualized are also worthy of attention. How open are our data? How difficult is their acquisition? How objective are our data? How does Open Data "happen"? See how in our project DromoArt with Arquitectura Expandida at Medialab-Prado we managed to improve our design process by answering these questions.

Evangelos is based in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, where he's developing and designing databases and their UIs, while simultaneously trying to figure out how User-Centered Design works with data management systems. He's also doing research for his PhD on Human-Computer Interaction for Adaptive Information Systems (having originally studied Information Systems Engineering) and he's also worked previously as a freelancer designer and developer. Evangelos writes occasionally at ekapros.wordpress.com.

Maxim Laroussi

People In Time with Space

Maxim Laroussi, @architecturerep

Architecture is not a physical thing, it is the experience of a designed space. Architects don't make buildings, they make drawings and images that are interpreted as physical objects. We make 'places' for interaction and exchange, for living and working, for play and entertainment. Inherent in any building design is the user experience, our perception of space and the passage of time. It is not about buildings, it's about people. At Architecture Republic we are not overly concerned with the 'image' of our built environment but rather the way it is used, the ergonomics of materials and the dynamics of space, the power of people to influence space and time.

Born in Fez, Morocco and moved to France at an early age. He graduated from PUC Campinas, Brazil in 1998 and UCD, Dublin in 2002 with a B.Arch. He lived and worked as an architect in various countries including UK, France, Brazil and Ireland before setting up Architecture Republic in Dublin 2005. He was president of the Architectural Association of Ireland from 2005-06 and currently teaches at the School of Architecture University Limerick.

Emmet O'Neill

Designing for digital natives

Emmet O'Neill, @Emmet

Director of Creative & Interactive Design, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Emmet is responsible for driving the creative direction of all of HMH’s new educational products and projects. Emmet and his team produce educational designs and products that can hold their own when compared to the latest Playstation 3 game or iPhone app. Digital educational content needs to battle for the attention against these types of platforms if it is to be successful. Emmet integrates the latest technological advances, (augmented reality, social media for example), into traditional educational content so that it will be engaging for the next ‘digital native’ generation. Emmet has previously worked at Rothco, Element Pictures, Customer Minds, ThirdForce and Electric Paper.

Colin Bentley

Selling online. Choice, freedom and control.

Colin Bentley, @colinbentley

People love the idea of choice. In theory. Research shows that too much choice inhibits sales and increases post purchase dissatisfaction among consumers. The telecoms industry loves to give customers choice. They offer hundreds of mobile phones with any combination of features and specifications; and that's before you get to choose a price plan. I'll explore the principles from Barry Schwartz's "The Paradox of Choice" within the context of the telecoms industry, looking at examples of how we've applied some of these principles; with some unexpected results.

Colin is a user experience designer with iQ Content, building extraordinary customer experiences for smart organizations. He has been working on a long term engagement with Vodafone, creating and fine tuning their online sales through workshops, user research, prototypes and testing. Before he joined iQ he worked as a business analyst for very different companies, from a dental software developer, to an e-business consultancy.

Paul Geraghty

That's my chocolate!

Paul Geraghty

Paul will talk about the design mix - spaces, communications, products, virtual spaces - and the value continuum.

Paul is the founder of Picturk, a multi-tenant system that supports the end-to-end process of running a photography competition. Picturk, winner of the NDRC ‘Lift Off’ competition, is supporting 'Innovation by Design' the Innovation Dublin photo competition this year. Paul has previously worked as a Service Design & Innovation Consultant at Hygge.

Defuse is part of Innovation Dublin 2011, which takes place across Dublin from 17th October to 18th November. The festival demonstrates Dublin’s capacity to inspire, interact and innovate.


7pm, Fri November 4th


The Sugar Club


12 Speakers

How Long?

Each Speaker has 20 Slides, and 15 secounds a slide.
(5 Min per Speaker)


Free (Thanks to sponsors)


This event is not ticketed. First come first served. Show up early.

Adding yourself to a Facebook Event, or LinkedIn list won't guarantee entry but helps us have an idea on numbers.