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Selected Workshops / Talks / Seminars


PIE “Wind-Powered Wonders”. The Exploratorium. August 2007

Visit website at: http://pie.exploratorium.edu/wind

For other inspiring PIE Institute projects, as well as work by PIE artist in residence Walter Kitundu Visit websites at: www.Exploratorium.edu/pie and http://www.kitundu.com//indexb.html

Getting to know Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich from the Learning Studio at the Exploratorium has been a mind-opener. The Studio’s philosophy and projects transcend business as usual, thus helping us all rethink our current practices as researchers, designers, and facilitators of “hands on” science / learning activities. “West coast PIE” has evolved its own unique ways to blend arts and science, found-art and made artifacts, high-tech and low-tech, personal creations and collective inventions, playful exploration and scientific inquiry. It knows how capture learner’s imagination and sustain their interest and mindful engagement over time. Constructivism at its best!



Media FEST – International Fair on Science Media. Trieste. May 2007

This was an unexpectedly rich coming together of like-minded souls on the topics of new media literacy and the growing gap between “digital natives’” and “immigrants” (Prensky). At the heart of the debate was the question of what it means - and takes - be knowledgeable, literate, creative, or trustworthy in the digital age. More to the point, what constitutes knowledge, or science (and for whom) at a time when Wickipedia outsmarts Britannica and You Tube becomes the “haut lieu” of cultural creation and exchange?

Visit website: www.festrieste.it

In our invited panel, chaired by Paolo Ferri, I met Derrick de Kerckhove, with whom I hope to exchange many ideas on these topics in the future. Our next encounter will take place in October at C’Num 2007, in Margaux, France.  C’Num 2007 - Visit website: http://cinum.viabloga.com/news/ci-num-2007





FutureLab Conference on “spaces, places and future learning”.  London, November 2006

Another great gathering for bouncing half-baked ideas on what it means— and takes—to live and learn in the age of multiple mobilities. The event, organized by FutureLab, was focused on the redefinition of place in the digital age. I thank Martin Owen for inviting me.

Visit website:

My Keynote “Lives in-between: inspiring a new generation of learners” can be downloaded from the site. abstract: Today's young people are spending more and more time on the move. How is this 'nomadic' lifestyle - virtual, digital and physical - influencing the ways they play, learn and use space? How can we tap into young people's changing interests and lifestyles, and set the stage for exciting and new learning adventures?



CAIF Workshop. Interactive furniture for collaborative learning. EPFL. Chateau d’Oex. Switzerland. Summer 2005

Designing for work-related activities usually means designing for efficiency and productivity. The approach is functional, ergonomic. The products (furniture, appliances, user interfaces) are tested for robustness and ease of use, and what matters is that affordances be clearly signaled and objects won’t distract users from set goals (learning, team-work). Problem is: functionality alone rarely makes for engaging places to live and learn in.

Visit website at: http://craftsrv1.epfl.ch/~cherubini/caif/

In a written contribution to CAIF (cf. selected papers), Lira Nikolovska and I explore some of the poetic and relational qualities of interactive furniture, or “object presence”, i.e. artifacts’ abilities to enhance and alter the moods of those who interact with, and through them. To do, we looked into everyday scenarios around unusual furniture (relational and “witty” tables designed by Nikolovska). The glimpses of wonder and delight we observed as people interact with the uncanny art-tables constitute, in our view, the missing link in efficiency-driven design. We address some methodological issues that arise in the study of poetics for innovative design.




Visit the website: http://web.mit.edu/~sturkle/techself/index.html

Evocative Objects Events (2003-2005)

The Initiative sponsored 40"Evocative Objects" seminars that sparked conversation about material culture, emotions, and epistemology through close "readings" of objects, ranging from Olivetti portable typewriters and Moog synthesizers to 19th century pumps and 1950s Ford Falcons. We also held an "Evocative Objects" symposium on March 5th, 2004, a full day of presentations on objects and supporting theoretical papers, described below.

Robots, Creatures, and Human Identity Group (2003-2005)

A dedicated group of anthropologists, psychologists, historians, neuroscientists, artists, and roboticists met on a regular basis to discuss questions relative to robotics and human identity. The focus was on "relational artifacts", i.e.,  ‘bots’ designed to form and foster social bonds. Key question was: how do robots and related technologies call into question contemporary notions of selfhood, identity, and community?

My role: I participated and spoke in evocative objects seminar and events, and became a regular in the robots, creatures, and human identity group. I thank Sherry and her team for having created this unique forum within MIT’s predominantly tech-culture. It has been a refreshing, engaging, and mind-opening experience.


Child research net – Japan. Playful/Playshop - A Party for playful learning and living.  Child research net – Japan,  November 1999

Concept: Noboyuki Ueda and Hillel Weintraub. Sponsors: Child Research Net;  Bennesse Co, Tokyo, Japan

Child Research Net, Japan offers an unique, rich, and reliable resource for researchers, educators, and parents, interested in the development and well-being of children around the world.

Visit webiste: http://www.childresearch.net/ABOUTUS/index.html

In November of 1999, Child research net held one of their now famous "Playshops” at Benesse Corporation in Tama City, Tokyo.

Visit website:

More than 150 people, children, parents and educators from different backgrounds and walks of life gathered for an unusual creative event. Young and old enjoyed each other’s presence, moved their bodies, and used their imagination to engage in various activities, such as theater, dance, food-play, and more…

My role: I was a participant, facilitator, and invited guest commentator.

And Previously ...

2001:  I3 Workshop Porto, Portugal: Aesthetic expressions of feelings:  http://www.dfki.de/imedia/workshops/i3-spring01/w1/people.htm

2000 - I3 [Summer issue]  Playthings that do things: Play of ideas /  ideas of play  http://www.i3net.org/ser_pub/services/magazine/july2000/i3mag8-lres.pdf.

1999 – Playful – A party for exploring playful learning and living. Tara City, Tokyo.Jp.

1999 – Media in Transition - http://web.mit.edu/m-i-t/conferences/m-i-t/speakers.html



Keynotes and Invitational Addresses


Invited speaker:   Ci’Num 2007: The Digital Civilizations Forum. Margaux. France. Oct. 5-7

Invited speaker:   Konstfack. Department of Industrial Design.  Stockholm. Sweden.
Invited by Teo Enlund. Sept 2007

Invited speaker:    [Discussant] BAI 2007. CILS Bay Area Institute. The Exploratorium. Aug. 14- 15, Workshop: Increasing participation at the exhibit face. Con. Alex Burch.

Invited speaker:    Science Media Fair. FEST. Trieste. Italy. May 2007.  www.festrieste.it

keynote speaker:  Future Lab. Spaces, places, and future learning. London UK. Nov. 2006 http://www.futurelab.org.uk/events/learning_spaces/presentations.htm

Invited Speaker:  Future Lab. Bristol. May 2006 & University of Bremen, Ge. May 2006

Keynote: Conference “Noter pour penser”, Université d’Angers. Jan 2005
Invited: CAIF. Workshop Interactive Furniture. EPFL. Chateau d’Oex. CH. 2005




Invited: Euro Logo Conference. Porto, Portugal.
Invited: Colloque “Scolariser la petite enfance SRED.  Geneva, CH.




Invited: Conference Children and Time. University of Education. Copenhagen, DK.
Keynote: Winter Institute. Curitiba. MIT Media Lab / Ministery of Education, Brazil.
Keynote: Summer Institute. Mexico City.
Keynote: 3rd Congress HICTE, University of Aegan, at Rhodes. Greece.
Invited: The Future of Learning. Workshop, Tokoro, M. Steels. L. Calheiros. Portugal




Invited: Interactive Institute, Malmo.Sweden, and IT-C University, Copenhagen, DK.
Keynote: Summer Institute. TelMex / MIT Media Lab (org.). Mexico-City. Mexico
Invited: I3 Spring days 2001. Workshop: The Evocative Power…Porto, Portugal




Invited: I3 Spring days 2000. Workshop: Microworlds & Media. Athens, Greece
Invited: Conference on Constructivisms. University of Geneva, Switzerland
Invited: Conference on Developmental Psychology. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




Invited: Playful 1999. Benesse Corporation / Child Research Net. Tokyo, Japan.
Keynote: 1st International Workshop. Collaboration & Learning in Virtual Env.                   http://pedanet.jyu.fi/cato/calive, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Invited: Conference Cyber Flux, University of Odense, Odense, Danemark.
Invited: Conference Teorie delle Representazioni. University of Parma, Italy.
Invited: Department of Education, University of Aegan, Rhodes, Greece.
Invited: Workshop from Lecture Series New Schools: Communication Design. Inter Communication Center, Tokyo. Sponsor NTT, Japan.




Keynote: 3rd Symposium on Applied Constructivism, Univeristy of Eichstatt, Germany.
Keynote: 2nd International Workshop on Distant learning, UNICAMP Campinas, Brazil.
Invited: 15th Advanced Course Archives Jean Piaget. University Geneva, Switzerland




Keynote: Constructivist Institute. Auburn University, Alabama.
Keynote: Equador 97.  Sao Paolo. Brazil.
Invited: CUNY Graduate Center, Developmental Psychology. New York.




Invited: New York Academy of Sciences. The Piaget-Vygotsky Legacy. New York.
Invited: Konstruktivismus und Kognitionswissenschaft. Celebration Heinz v. Foerster 85th birthday. Society for Advancement of ScientificWorld View. Vienna, AU
Keynote: Media Active: Learning Futures. Institute for Performing Arts, Liverpool, UK.




Invited: 4th International Festival INTERACTIVA 1995. Babelsberg, Potsdam, Germany.
Invited: 4ème Journées Francophones sur Environnements Interactifs d'Apprentissage avec Ordinateur (EIAO). Cachan, France.
Invited: Conference Cognitive Ergonomics (Doctor Honoris Causa for Donald Norman University of Padova, Italy.




Invited: Department of Developmental Psychology & Education, University of Tel-Aviv, and Department of Architecture, TECHNION, Haifa, Israel.
Invited: II Congresso Ibero-americano de Informatica na Educaçao. Fundaçao Galouste Gulbekian. DEPGEE, JNICT, CYTE, RIBIE. Lisbon, Portugal.
Keynote: Conference. Konstruktivismus: Asthetische Bildung, Lehren, Lernen. Org. Herta Renk, Klaus Müller, Katholische Universität Eichstätt, Germany.




Invited: Tutorial on Design and Evaluation of Virtual Realities," (with Marc Davis, Kevin Mc Gee, MIT).  InterChi'93, Amsterdam. NL
Invited: Working Conference "Lessons From Learning," IFIP, Working Group 3.3. Neurope Lab, Archamps, France.
Keynote: 10th Anniversary N.I.E.D. Seminar on "Informatica a Educaçao: Os Desafios do Futuro," UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil.
Keynote: Annual Gathering. New England Museum Ass., Children's Museum, Boston.




Invited: Entretiens Nathan, III, "Parole, Ecrit, Image.  La Sorbonne, Paris
Invited: Sigma Xi Speaker, University of New Mexico, Department of Physics and Astronomy, invited by Prof. J. Alhuwalia, Albuquerque.
Invited: Virtual Exploratoria for New Learning. Expedition 92. Org.  Kamm, FWU, München. Germany
Invited: Conference Alternative Epistemologies in Education, Steffe, L. , Gale, J.,(org)  University of Georgis, Athens, Georgia, US




Invited: Congress "JOB 91: Mostra Convegno Formazione Scolastica, Professionale e Manageriale.  Theme: Imparare ad Imparare. Fiera di Verona, Italy.


And before…

Invited: Entretiens Nathan, I, "la Lecture ". Université de La Sorbonne, Paris, 1990.
Invited: Growth Initiatives for Teachers, GTE  Foundation, Waltham, MA, 1990.
Invited: Developmental Lunch Series, Harvard School of Education, Cambridge, MA., 1990.
Keynote: Faculty Colloquium, Saint Meinrad College, St Meinrad, 1990.
Keynote: National Honor Society in Psychology, PSY-CHI, Wilmington, N.C., 1989.
Invited: USP, Sao Paulo. Projeto "Escola do Futuro." Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1989.
Invited: University of Wilmington, N.C., 1989.
Invited: Gordon Research Conference on Cybernetics, Oxnard, CA., 1988.
Invited: Science Learning in the Informal Setting, Academy of Science, Chicago, IL., 1988.
Invited: Orton Dyslexia Conference, Seattle, WA.: 1986.
Invited: Course on  "Piaget and Education,"  Rio de Janeiro,  Brazil, 1984.
Invited: Advanced Course "Constructivism,"  Archives J. Piaget, Geneva,  1984.

Regular Invitational Courses, Seminars, Workshops


Invited Professor. Appointment by Organization of American States to give seminars, workshops on distant education and contribute to the Education Project “A cidade que agente quer”. PUC, USP Sao Paolo; NIEDUnicamp, Campinas; University of Porto Alegre. Ministery of Education, Curitiba, Brazil.



Invited Senior Research Scientist. Annual Meetings. European Science Foundation: Learning in Humans and Machines. Mannhein, Germany, Oct.1997. Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium, Oct 1996. And Sitges, Spain, 1995.


1992, 1994

Invited Participant, Interdisciplinary Workshops on "Technologies in Education." Organized by Alan Kay and Seymour Papert. Santa Cruz, Apple Hill, NH.



1989, 1991, 1998

Invited Professor. Nucleo de Informatica Applicada a Educacao (NIED), University of Campinas, Brazil.


1992, 1994

Invited Participant, Interdisciplinary Workshops on "Technologies in Education." Organized by Alan Kay and Seymour Papert. Santa Cruz, Apple Hill, NH.



1989, 1991, 1998

Invited Professor. Nucleo de Informatica Applicada a Educacao (NIED), University of Campinas, Brazil.



July 1991

Invited Professor. Appointed to Give Seminars, Courses, and Discuss Research Projects in Various Universities.  Invitation Coordinated by Professors Valente, NIED, Litto, USP, and Gentil Lucena, CNPQ, in Brazilia. Contracted by IBM and the Organization of American States, Washington, D.C.



September 1990

Invited Professor, 11th Advanced Course of the Fondation Archives Jean Piaget, on "Genetic Psychology and Cognitive Sciences". University of Geneva.



June, 1989

Invited Professor. Nucleo de Informatica Applicada a Educacao (NIED), University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hosted by Professor Valente. Contracted  by the Organisation of American States, Washington D.C.

Speaker at Conferences, Symposia, Colloquia

33rd Annual Meeting Jean Piaget Society. Chicago [symposium J. Cassell], 2003.

CHI 2001 Conference (Design Expo), Seattle, WA. 2001

1st International Conference Media-in-Transition. Comparative Media Studies MIT,1999

29th Annual Meeting Jean Piaget Society. (Symp. R. Puche Navarro). Mexico-City, 1999

CHI 98 Conference, Los Angeles, CA.,USA,  1998

ISSBD Conference, Bern, Switzerland, 1998

7th  European Conference. Research on Learning and Instruction, Athens, Greece, 1997

Centennial of Jean Piaget’s Birth:  “The Growing Mind”. Geneva, Switzerland, 1996.

ISSBD Conference, Quebec, Canada (discussant and co-convener) 1996

EARLI Conference, Nijmegen, Holland, 1995

23rd Annual Symposium of the Jean Piaget Society, Philadelphia, 1993

5th European Conference. Research on Learning and Instruction. Aix –Provence, 1993.

XXII° Annual Symposium of Jean Piaget Society, Montréal, 1992

4th  European Conference.Research on Learning and Instruction,  Türku, Finland, 1991

21st  Annual Symposium of the Jean Piaget Society, Philadelphia: June 1991

Annual Meeting, AERA, Symposium. 43.01: "Kids Designers," Chicago, 1991.

Annal Conference of the Association for Constructivist Teaching, Northhampton,  1990.

8th International Congress. Cybernetics and Systems, New York, 1990.

3rd European Conference. Research on Learning and Instruction, Madrid,  Spain, 1989.

Gordon Research Conference on Cybernetics, Wolfeboro, NH., 1986.

Colloque Autour de l'Oeuvre de Herbert Simon, Montpellier, France, 1984.