General Thinker Profile


Nominated by:

GK VanPatter
SenseMaker, Author, Advisor, CoFounder
New York, United States

My Network Friends

Molly Wright Steenson

Assistant Professor | University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication

Madison, WI, United States

"A ubiquitous medium gathers no moss"

Generally thinking:

Education & Academia
Business, Work & Strategy
Technology & The Future
Media & Journalism
Creativity & Design

My tags:

ArchitectureBrand StrategyCommunityDigital MediaGraphic DesignHistoryJournalismMediaMuseumsStrategy GeneralTechnologyTravelWriting

Very good at:
+ Knowing someone you know
+ Making the connection
+ Bringing together the disparate

About me & my work:

I'm fascinated and captivated by the connections between systems, communication, architecture, design and technology. It plays out in a lot of ways. I'm a historian as well as a designer, a researcher of things old and new.That means that I've studied architectures of information, the implications of big data, design processes, pneumatic tube systems, postal services, and mobile phone and social media use.

I'm a journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I've been since January 2013. Previously, I was a professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy, where I ran the Connected Communities research group (early 2003–late 2004). I was also on Art Center's faculty in Pasadena in the Media Design Practices program (2010–2012).

Currently, I'm writing a book based on my dissertation about artificial intelligence and architecture. The book is a prehistory of interaction design and HCI through this relationship of AI to architecture and design. I'm also working on research projects about genetics, place and identity, especially as revealed by consumer services such as 23andMe. Previously, I've also investigated how social media is changing the nature of friendship, and how mobile phones change what we do in urban spaces. I really like postal services, telegraphs and especially pneumatic tube systems, a particular area of interest.

I’ve worked with the Web professionally for 20 years, and for even longer, I’ve lived my life online in some capacity or another. I started working with the Web in 1994 at the University of Wisconsin, built the first news-delivering website at Reuters in 1995 (Reuters Health), and then managed Netscape Search, the second busiest page on the entire Internet in 1996. I was lucky to be Howard Rheingold’s first employee at his company, Electric Minds, in 1996. Between 1997 and 2002, I worked at a variety of design studios and web consultancies, including Scient, Razorfish and MetaDesign (and several others that no longer exist). I co-founded and ran a groundbreaking and critically acclaimed pop culture feminist webzine called Maxi between 1997–99.

I hold a PhD and MA from Princeton in architecture, a Master's of Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture, and a BA in German from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My links:

Girlwonder | My blog & personal site since 1997 (1995 at a different URL)


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