Associate Professor Markus Rittenbruch is an Associate Investigator with the Centre for the Digital Economy, an academic with the School of Design and the Associate Director of the QUT Design Lab. Markus joined the CDE in 2019 after having worked with Marek for some years on the now superseded “Embracing the Digital Age” theme at the Institute for Future Environments. Markus has taken the time to share some of his thoughts on the Digital Economy with us.
What is your research focus?
I am an Interaction Designer by background and my research focusses on how we can utilise new interactive technology mediums such as immersive interactive environments, natural user interfaces, collaborative and social robotics and augmented and mixed reality to support meaningful interactions and collaboration between people. My work is predominantly human-focussed, and I study participatory design processes that support and enable the user-led design of such technologies and related services.
What excites you most about the digital economy?
What I find exciting about the digital economy is the pace of innovation and the challenge of thinking through the disruptions and societal implications.
Are you an optimist or pessimist about the future?
I am cautiously optimistic, which might be a by-product of being a parent and wanting to see my kids thrive. I am not sure that I am convinced about our ability as humans to truly ethically design technology, but I do believe that we have shown the ability to appropriate and sometimes subvert technology to our needs and for the greater good, as long as this is supported by a democratic and open academic discourse.
Finish this sentence: In 2050, there will be…
A lot more technology that is actually helpful and disappearing into the background, but also a greater focus on what makes us human and unique and a greater level of control and privacy at the individual level. Technology and service design will have hopefully gone same way toward supporting our lives more holistically and not just on a situation by situation basis.