Prof Thea Blackler

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Areas of interest: Industrial Design, Intuitive Interaction, Older People, Dementia, Design for the natural world, Disability

PhD (Queensland University of Technology)

Professor Thea Blackler received her PhD in 2006.

Research interests:

  • the intuitive usability of products
  • designing out disadvantage
  • designing for the natural world

Professor Alethea Blackler is Discipline Leader for the Experiential Disciplines within the School of Design and was previously the Associate Director of the QUT Design Lab. She is one of the world leaders in her principle area of research, intuitive interaction. She pioneered the first empirical work in the field, has led an ARC Discovery project on Facilitating Intuitive Interaction for Older People, and has recently edited a book a on the topic, building upon her substantial publication record in this area. She is also working in the area of older people and technology and design for dementia (including an EU Horizon 2020 grant project),  and has had two ARC grants as well as various commercial research projects. She is a highly experienced HDR supervisor, has published more than 80 peer reviewed papers, been invited to give presentations internationally and is the recipient of several awards including a 2018 ig-nobel award.

Projects (Chief investigator)

Projects

Additional information

  • Research
  • Publications
  • Editing – book, conference proceedings and journal issue
  • Reviewer – high impact journals and conferences
  • Session chair – international conferences
  • Teaching and research leadership – Discipline Leader
  • Undergraduate Teaching
  • HDR Supervision
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2018
Details
I was awarded a 2018 Ig-nobel prize (http://www.improbable.com/ig/) for my paper ¿Life is too short to RTFM¿. Just ten of these prizes are awarded worldwide, based on around 9000 nominations each year. The prize raises public awareness and understanding of research and is given to authors who have published something unexpected or quirky which will make people interested and make them think. QUT Media estimate a global reach of more than 300 million: http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-09-14/nobody-reads-the-instructions-ig-nobel-prize-study-shows/10242560 https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australian-research-into-why-no-one-reads-manuals-wins-anti-nobel-prize
Type
Editor of a Prestigious Work of Reference
Reference year
2018
Details
In 2019, I released the first edited book on intuitive interaction. Due for publication in July 2018, this book project began with a proposal I submitted to CRC Press (Taylor and Francis) in late 2016 for peer review. It was accepted and I spent 2017 writing my chapters and editing contributions from all over the world. I also ran a peer review exercise where I asked authors on each chapter to review others' work. Previous research in this field by myself and others has empirically established understanding of intuitive interaction. However, newer work has started to explore a wider range of contexts, applications, and users, and also to consider issues beyond the objective assessment of intuitive interactions. This volume, the first dedicated to intuitive interaction and including authors from a range of disciplines and contexts, including authors from industry and those working on live projects, explores the most recent research, venturing into new areas not previously discussed in
Type
Editorial Role for an Academic Journal
Reference year
2016
Details
I put in a proposal for a special issue of the journal on Intuitive Interaction. This was accepted and I (and my colleague as second editor), organised and managed peer review, undertook the editing, and also authoring the editorial. The special issue was published in May 2015.
Type
Committee Role/Editor or Chair of an Academic Conference
Reference year
2015
Details
QUT hosted this conference here in Brisbane. I was an active member of the organising committee and served as Long Papers Chair, organising reviewing, selection and editing for all 275 long papers submitted. As long paper chair for this conference I was the second editor for the proceedings: Popovic, Vesna, Blackler, Alethea L., Luh, Ding-Bang, Nimkulrat, Nithikul, Kraal, Ben, & Yukari, Nagai (Eds.) (2015) Proceedings of the IASDR Conference 2015: Interplay, 2-5 November. International Association of Societies of Design Research, Brisbane , QLD.
Title
Monitoring intuitive expertise in the context of airport security screening
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP140100221
Start year
2015
Keywords
Intuitive Expertise; Airport Security; Automated Monitoring
Title
Facilitating Intuitive Interaction with Complex Devices for Older Users
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP0877964
Start year
2008
Keywords
Design; Design Innovation; Intuitive Interaction; Usability; Intutive Use