UX Week Keynote Speaker Amanda Dameron on Making Design More Human

If you’re a fan of Dwell magazine, you’re familiar with its unique take on modern architecture and design in the home. Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron is a passionate advocate for the philosophy of design exemplified by the homes, decor, and furnishings showcased in Dwell. In this interview, I talk with Amanda about that philosophy, the changing role of design in our culture, and her keynote at UX Week 2014 in San Francisco this September. Jesse James Garrett: One thing about Dwell that I think makes it distinctive among media entities that cover architecture and design is your emphasis on the real-world implications of design for people’s lives. Aesthetics are great, and everybody loves beautiful things, but I think that in a lot of design media, the emphasis on aesthetics becomes so overwhelming that it detaches from reality. Amanda Dameron: I think, especially in this visual culture in which we’re living, that objects and object appreciation verges into fetishism very quickly. Dwell has always thought to tell the story of the materials and the methodology that goes into a design object, going far beyond what it looks like. I think that you can’t assess the design simply by looking at an object. You really must understand the context and the techniques that go into actually creating it in the first place. Then it’s also about the experience with the object, how does it work within a life, how does it work in its relationship to the human being that’s using it. All of those things go into the way that we talk about design. JJG: Dwell is about 14 years...

UX Week 2014: Meet the Keynotes

Every year, when we set about the task of choosing speakers for UX Week, we look for people who can bring a broad perspective to the challenges facing experience designers today. I’m particularly excited about this year’s keynotes because they may represent the most diverse range we’ve seen yet. For years, Dwell magazine’s coverage of architecture and interior design has been a major source of inspiration for the designers at Adaptive Path — not just for the obvious aesthetic appeal of the living spaces they feature, but for the clear interest they have in the way people interact with those spaces. That’s why we’re particularly excited to have Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron as our opening keynote. Amanda will be talking about the emerging patterns she’s seeing in how architects and interior designers are creating practical spaces with emotional appeal. We’ve been trying for a long time to get digital product design thinker Josh Clark at UX Week, and I’m happy to say we finally nabbed him. Josh is the author of the book Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps, and he’ll be sharing his thoughts on the deeper principles driving the evolution of digital products in the 21st Century to close out day one of UX Week. He may be best known for taking Alex Trebek to the cleaner 74 times in a row, but author Ken Jennings is also a serious design geek — specifically about maps, and the myriad ways people have used maps to communicate over the centuries. He wrote a whole book on the subject, and he’ll share with us his insights from a lifelong interest in how map...