Vanessa is a Technology Experience Designer with a passion for connecting people.
After working for more than 10 years in corporate environments in Canada, Vanessa moved to Scandinavia to complete a Master’s of Interaction Design at Malmo University in Sweden. She then joined the Collaborative Interactive Arts Studio, illutron, and has contributed to creating a network and community of Makers, tinkerers, nerds, thinkers, and creatives throughout Scandinavia.
Her company, GeekPhysical has worked to challenge the social domain throughout the world through interactive installations. She now works in IdemoLab, DELTA using the same creative chaos methods to challenge the everyday, and create functional, hardware prototypes, tested in context, which truly explore the problem to find the right solution.
Vanessa is an evangelist of hardware based technology, electronics, and rapid prototyping. She speaks at events and conferences, moderates panels, and hosts happenings because of her ability to combine many worlds: corporate, maker, hardware, events, and art.
Vanessa is passionate about creating opportunities for people to creatively connect, through hackathons, labs, conferences, workshops, and events where participants get their hands dirty, and create lasting connections.
Vanessa is also a co-creator, and CEO of Copenhagen Grotesque Burlesque, a participatory art party where all ‘guests’ are in fact, participants. She brings the learnings here to her other events and creations, asking always, how to create opportunities for participatory engagement, for example, in a hardware workshop, or when developing a medical device and working in context with patients.
Vanessa is working on a PhD with Aalborg University Copenhagen on the topic of “Designing for Meaningfulness in Smart Products”, stemming from a desire to move towards valuable, useful, meaningful devices in our lives.
Vanessa in involved with partners throughout Denmark to promote and expand the use of technology. She works with the Danish Design Centre to discuss the future of fabrication and manufacturing in Denmark; she works with maker spaces and municipalities such as Underbroen, Labitat, FabLab RUC and others to engage community members, youth, and especially women in technology – specifically electronics; she teaches at a number of local universities in the area of Interaction Design; she has engaged design companies in Denmark to explore the use of electronics in their traditional material explorations; and she routinely creates and hosts events which are free to the public to allow people to not only hear talks and see presentations about technology but also get hands-on, and learn about how to use these tools.
Websites to visit where Vanessa is directly involved:
Art & Tech: http://www.illutron.dk/
Challenging social norms through tech: http://www.geekphysical.com/
Participatory Art Party: http://copenhagenburlesque.dk/
Hardware Prototypes in Context: http://idemolab.madebydelta.com/