Will Odom

Assistant Professor

Will Odom

Assistant Professor

Teaching & research interests

  • Slow interaction and temporal design
  • Digital possessions
  • Internet of things
  • Domestic computing
  • Digital fabrication
  • Research through design
  • Speculative design
  • User experience design

Will's bio

Dr. William Odom is Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, where he is co-director of the Everyday Design Studio. His research group takes an interdisciplinary, collaborative, creative, and design-oriented approach to Human-Computer Interaction research. We like to design, build, and make things. He recently received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to build a next generation design research studio with dedicated support for digital fabrication, electronics prototyping, finishing, assembly, and documentation for batch producing research products and prototypes. 

His work has appeared at venues including the ACM CHI, DIS, Ubicomp, Creativity & Cognition, CSCW conferences, and the journal Design Issues. He is the co-recipient of six best paper awards (CHI 2011, Ubicomp 2011, DIS 2012, CHI 2014, DIS 2018, DIS 2018) and six best paper honorable mention awards (CHI 2010, CHI 2013, CHI 2016, DIS 2016, DIS 2016, CHI 2018). His work on the Technology Heirlooms project in collaboration with Microsoft Research received a silver international design excellence award (IDEA) for design research from the Industrial Designers Society of America. He won the Imagine Cup Design competition in Interaction Design held at the Louvre in Paris, France. He holds a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia, a Design United Research Fellow in the Netherlands, and a Banting Fellow in Canada.

Everyday Design Studio

The Everyday Design Studio is a design research studio in Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Our group specializes in the areas of research through design, interaction design, and tangible computing. Our research investigates the changing nature of interaction design in response to the increasing role technology plays in mediating everyday practices like reminiscence, self exploration, social connection, the making of home life, and so on. In the spirit of design research, we aim to be reflective and generative. We design new computational things and systems, and study them in the context of people’s everyday lives. We often also develop new methods for better supporting the practice of design research.

We have also recently been awarded a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to build a new dedicated lab for making ‘research products’ that combines equipment for digital fabrication, electronics prototyping and small batch production, finishing, and product/demo/field documentation. Our studio will receive an additional extension of 1100 square feet of space to house this equipment and the our design research, practice and creative culture. It is an exciting time to join our studio!

Our  studio prides itself on a strong collaborative culture with a friendly, engaging, and highly creative atmosphere. New graduate students will work on projects that include digital fabrication with hybrid materials, designing ’the things’ of the internet of things, slow interaction design, approach to working with data as a design material. Please contact Dr. William Odom at wodom@sfu.ca to express you interest in a position as a Masters or PhD student.

Selected publications

Education

  • PH.D. in Human-Computer Interaction,
    School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University (2014)
  • Fulbright Scholar
    Design Department, Queensland College of Art
    Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia (2009)
  • M.S. Human-Computer Interaction Design
    School of Informatics, Indiana University (2008)
  • B.S. Informatics w/ distinction
    Minor: Information Technology, Music
    School of Informatics, Indiana University (2006)
  • B.A. Folklore / Ethnomusicology
    College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University (2006)

Current & upcoming courses