Upcoming Talks & Events:.
In order to concentrate on my own work, I am
saying "no" to almost all speaking requests. However,
what public events I do accept will be posted here as
Selected Columns & Essays
Comments & Selected
References on Gesture. Draft manuscript,
Steve Jobs' patents: A vital lesson for CEOs.
Fortune. Sept. 21st, 2011.
History Appreciated. Innovation
Quarterly of the Industrial Designers Society of
Summer 2011 Issue, p.8.
Problem with Great Ideas. BusinessWeek.com,
June 9th, 2010.
Don't Set the Bar Too Low.
BusinessWeek.com, Dec. 14th, 2009.
The Mad Dash Towards Touch Technology.
BusinessWeek.com, October 21, 2009.
Innovation Calls for I-Shaped People.
BusinessWeek.com, July 13th, 2009.
On Engineering and Design: An Open Letter.
BusinessWeek.com, April 29th, 2009.
How to Think Outside the Box.
BusinessWeek.com, March 30th, 2009.
How to Keep Innovating.
BusinessWeek.com, February 18th, 2009
The Price of Forgoing Basic Research.
BusinessWeek.com, December 17th, 2008.
Lessons from History: What Apple Learned From
Kodak. BusinessWeek.com, Dec. 5, 2008.
A New Mantra for Creativity.
BusinessWeek.com, May 12th, 2008.
Why Risk is Important.
BusinessWeek.com, March 12th, 2008.
A Familiar Problem. BusinessWeek.com,
February 6th, 2008.
The Long Nose of Innovation.
BusinessWeek.com, January 2nd, 2008.
Selected Work & Activities
Touching Story: A Personal Perspective on the
History of Touch Interfaces Past and Future. An
invited paper presented in Society for
Information Display (SID) Symposium Digest of
Technical Papers, May 2010, Volume 41(1),
Session 31, 444-448.
Display Interaction via Simultaneous Pen +
Multi-touch Input. Paper presented by Ken
Hinckley, Michel & myself in Society for
Information Display (SID) Symposium Digest of
Technical Papers, May 2010, Volume 41(1),
Session 38, 537-540.
Manual Deskterity : An Exploration of
Simultaneous Pen + Touch Direct Input.
video presented , by Ken Hinckley, Koji
Yatani, Michel Pahud, Nicole Coddington, Jenny
Rodenhouse, & myself in,
Proceedings of the 28th International
Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors
in Computing Systems, CHI'10 (alt.chi),
2793 - 2802.
On-line Talks & Interviews
March 28, 2013.
End Discrimination Now! GVU Distinguished
Brown Bag seminar.
Georgia Tech, Atlanta GA.
- March 18, 2013.
Designing for Ubiquitous Computing.
MSR TechFest, Redmond. Accompanying slides
can be downloaded
Jan. 30, 2013.
A Tribute to Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012. With
Helen Walters, Ellen Lupton, David Kelley &
Bruce Nussbaum, NYC.
Oct. 28th, 2011:
Whereable Media: An Ecological Perspective, Keynote,
TIFF Nexus Locative Media Innovation Day @
Digifest 2011, Toronto.
is Science. A debate with Prof. E.W.
Meijer, Spinoza Laureate and professor of
Chemical Engineering at TU Eindhoven during
Dutch Design Week.
- March 1st, 2011.
Risk and Innovation. Microsoft Canada
CIO Dinner, Toronto.
- Oct. 13th, 2010.
How Design Triggers
Speaker,with Tjeerd Hoek &Marcel Kampman,
Design Mind Salon, Amsterdam.
Oct. 4, 2010. TechTalk:
What's in a Name, Microsoft Development Center
On innovation, climate, and peripheral displays.
WPC10 Expo Theatre (13:40).May 10th, 2010.
Presentation (8:49)(via videoconference),
- Utrecht #6, Utrecht, NL
March 31st, 2010.
Interview with Student Insiders at MIX10
(23:39). Channel 9.
March 30th, 2010.
Bill Buxton & Erik Meijer - Perspectives on
Design (29:38). Channel 9.
March 25th, 2010,
Interview on Innovation
plus Technology as
"Cultural Artifact" (9:32). Bytes by MSDN.
March 21st, 2010,
Video on Natural User Interfaces (8:18).
March 16th, 2010,
MIX10, Las Vegas. Note, a short segment of
this talk demonstrating a novel paint program,
Project Gustav, using simultaneous pen + touch
is available for view
March 16th, 2010,
An Hour with Bill Buxton (64:44).
MIX10, Las Vegas.
A Conversation with Bill Buxton and Albert Shum
(34:26). A conversation about design and design
languages. Channel 9, March 5th, 2010.
Digital Swiss Army Knives? (38:34). A radio
Jared Spool and myself by CBC's
Nora Young about the relative merits of
single-purpose and multi-function devices [runs
38:34]. A shorter version of this discussion
will air on
Spark 98, Jan. 10th, 2010.
Natural User Interfaces (NUI) (38:42). An
interview with Larry Larsen, Channel 9, Jan,
Debate: the Future of Reading (53:06). The
Agenda with Steve Pakin, TV Ontario, Dec. 16th,
Computing Everywhere, Naturally (2:57). A
short clip speaking about surface computing and
natural interaction. Nov. 15, 2009.
On Design, Values & History
(28:00). Talk/Story at
BIF-5 Summit, Business Innovation Factory,
Providence RI, Oct. 7-8, 2009.
The Future of Advertising.
Microsoft Business Forum, Lions Advertising
Festival, Cannes, France, June 24, 2009.
Rethinking Design and Organizational Transform.
With Claudia Kotchka and Roger Martin,
DMI Conference, San Francisco, June 17-18,
Innovation and Canada (4:08), Interview with
Canadian Business Magazine, May 28th, 2009.
From the Materialistic to the Experiential: A
Changing Perspective on Design, Joint
PhillyCHI | NJ UPA April Meeting,
Princeton University, April 21, 2009:
Return on Experience - By Design. Opening
MIX 09, Las Vegas, March 18 - 20, 2009.
Interview on touch, design, and interaction,
Intruder's TV, ReMix, Brighton UK, Sept. 28th,
Designing Experience/The Experience of Design,
Microsoft Research New England Opening
Symposium, MIT, Sept. 22nd, 2008.
T.S. Eliot's "The Rock" and the Uncertain Path
from Noise to Wisdom. Opening Keynote,
77th Annual Summer Conference, Lake
Couchiching, Ontario, Canada, August 7, 2008.
The Design Ecosystem. Invited Lecture,
CHIFOO, Computer-Human Interaction Forum of
Oregon, June 11, 2008, Portland, OR.
Design Thinking in the Wild, Guest lecture
at the annual
IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference,
May 22, 2008, Chicago IL
Does Location Matter? CBC interview with
Mesh Conference, Toronto, May 20, 2008.
Managing Design / Design Management, talk
delivered as part of the
Design Thinking Speaker Series,. Rotman
School of Business, University of Toronto, April
On Being Human in a Digital World. Closing
CHI08, Florence Italy, April 10th, 2008.
The Design Eco-System,
IxDA Interaction 08, SCAD, Savanna, GA.,
Feb. 10, 2008.
Interview associated with keynote at,
Canadian Business Leadership Forum, Oct.
18, 2007,Toronto, Canada.
Above and Below the Surface: A Perspective
on Interactive Experience.
A talk about user experience and Surface
Expression Around the Clock. October,
2007. Toronto, Ontario.
Conversation around Design and User
Experience. Video Interview on Channel 9,
- The Importance of Arts and Innovation.
A two-part radio interview with Andy Barrie,
Metro Morning, CBC Radio.
Part I,(7:40),June 25, 2007;
(5:42), June 26, 2007.
Sketching and Experience Design, HCI Seminar
on People, Computers and Design, Stanford
University, June 1, 200.
A Conversation About Design Thinking. Phone
Jon Udell. May 2007.
Sketching and Experience Design. Nov.
What if Leopold Didn't Have a Piano?, 1st
Annual Ingenuity Lecture, Lethbridge, Calgary
and Edmonton Alberta, Nov. 22, 23 and 25, 2005.
Follow-up radio interview.
Mountains, Exploration, Education, Rich Media &
Design, KMDI, Toronto, Dec. 9, 2004
On Appearances and the 3 Rules of Real Estate.
iCore Summit, Banff, Alberta, June 8, 2004.
The Role of Design in Software Product
Development, KMDI, Toronto, April 22, 2004
Bill Buxton is a
relentless advocate for innovation, design, and -
especially - the appropriate consideration of human
values, capacity, and culture in the conception,
implementation, and use of new products and
technologies. This is reflected in his
research, teaching, talks,
and writing - including his column on design and
BusinessWeek.com, and his 2007 book,
Sketching User Experiences.
In December 2005, he was appointed
Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research.
Prior to that, he was Principal of his own
Toronto-based boutique design and consulting firm,
Buxton began his career as a composer and
performer, having done a Bachelor of Music degree at
Queen's University. He then studied and taught for
two years at the
Institute of Sonology,
In 1975 Bill started designing his own digital
musical instruments. This is what led him to the
University of Toronto, where he completed an
MSc in Computer Science, joined the
faculty, and is still an adjunct professor. It is also the path that brought him into
the field of human-computer interaction, which is his
technical area of specialty.
From 1987-89, Buxton was in Cambridge England,
helping establish a new satellite of Xerox's Palo Alto
Research Center (EuroPARC). From 1989-94 he split
his time between Toronto, where he was Scientific
Director of the Ontario Telepresence Project,
and Palo Alto, California, where he was a consulting
From 1994 until December 2002, he was Chief Scientist
of Alias|Wavefront, (now part of Autodesk) and
from 1995, its parent company SGI Inc. In
the fall of 2004, he became a part-time instructor in
the Department of Industrial Design at the
Ontario College of Art and Design. In
2004/05 he was also Visiting Professor at the
Knowledge Media Design Institute
(KMDI) at the University of Toronto. He currently
splits his time between Redmond and Toronto.
In 1995, Buxton became the third recipient of the
Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society
Award for contributions to research in computer
graphics and human-computer interaction. In
2000 he was given the New Media Visionary of the
Year Award at the
Canadian New Media Awards. In 2001,
The Hollywood Reporter
named him one of the 10 most influential innovators
in Hollywood. In 2002, Time Magazine
named him one of the top 5 designers in Canada.
Also in 2002, he was elected to the
CHI Academy. In October, 2005, he and
Gord Kurtenbach received the "Lasting Impact Award",
UIST 2005, which was awarded for their 1991
Issues in Combining Marking and
Direct Manipulation Techniques. In 2008 he
became the 10th recipient of the ACM SIGCHI
Lifetime Achievement Award, "for fundamental
contributions to the field of Computer Human
Interaction." In 2009 he was elected
Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery
(ACM), for his contributions to the field of
human-computer interaction, and in 2011 he became
the first recipeint of the annual
Grand Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Award.
Buxton has been awarded four doctorates Honoris
Doctor of Design from the
Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto,
Ontario (June, 2007), Doctor of Laws from his alma
mater, Queen's University, Kingston Ontario (June,
2009), Doctor of Industrial Design, from the
Technical University of Eindhoven The
Netherlands (April, 2010), where he was also
appointed Distinguished Professor (October, 2010),
and Doctor of Science from his alma mater, The
University of Toronto (June, 2013).
From 1998-2004, Buxton was on the board of the
Canadian Film Centre, and in 1998-99
chaired a panel to advise the premier of Ontario on
developing long term policy to foster
innovation, through the Ontario Jobs and
Investment Board. He is on the advisory board of
the Department of Industrial Design of the Technical
University in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and the
President's Advisory Board of the
Ontario College of Art and Design. Buxton is a
member of the
Association of Computing Machinery
Industrial Designers Society of America.
Outside of work, Buxton loves the outdoors. He is
especially passionate about mountains, including skiing,
climbing, and touring. This interest extends to the
written word. He has
contributed to the literature on mountain
history and exploration, is an avid
bibliophile, and was on
the jury of the
2005 Banff Mountain Book Festival. He is
an accomplished equestrian,
and in 1996 was awarded the Veteran Rider of the
Year award from the
Ontario Horse Trials Association, and in
2000 was named to the
Talent Squad of the National Eventing Team. In
addition, he is an avid cyclist, and active in kayaking,
canoeing, SCUBA diving and windsurfing. Finally,
he has a life-long fascination with both art and his
wife, the artist Elizabeth Russ,
owner and operator of toronto-based
Studio 888, a gallery whose mission
is the promotion of emerging local artists.
Papers, Videos, CV, ...
- Books on History,
Exploration and Mountaineering, with a focus on
Central Asia and the Himalaya.
This is material, including bibliography,
essays, etc. pertaining to my books on Central
Asia and mountaineering.
- Books on the early
History of Canada, First Nations, the Fur Trade,
and the Canoe. This is material documenting
this part of my library.
Books on Design. This material documents
the books on aspects of design, such as
sketching, design thinking, creativity, etc.
that are in my library.
- Photos A
mixture of personal photos. Some high res for PR
purposes, some of historical interest, and some
are just for fun.
- Birch Bark/
Birchbark Canoe Project.
888: This is a Toronto art gallery devoted
to the work of emerging artists that was owned
and curated by my wife, the artist Liz Russ.
- Horse Stuff :
This just reflects a past obsession. No excuses.
- Cambridge 2005:
A brief photo diary of our time in Cambridge,
UK, Jan-April 2005.
MIT Lincoln Lab History
I am interested in the contribution made to
interactive computing and computer graphics by the
researchers at MIT's Lincoln Lab in the 1950's and
60's. Consequently, I organized a panel including
some of the key protagonists at the 2005 SIGCHI
Conference in Portland Oregon, and I have started a
web page which is intended to be a clearing house
for some of the material on and by the researchers
of the group, which was mainly centred around the
TX-2 computer. The page now includes a video of the
panel session, including the examples. See the
following work in progress:
Resource Page on Early HCI Research of the
Lincoln Lab TX-2 Group
NRC of Canada History Project in
Computer Music & Animation
The work in computer music and animation in the
early 1970's at the National Research Council of
Canada was extremely important in the field of
human-computer interaction - not just music and
animation. This is where I first saw and used
a computer, and that experience had a huge impact on
shaping my career. The music work, in
particular, is not well known. Hence, I
recently published a book
chapter that gave a summary of it, and described
its impact.. Through the cooperation of the
NRC and especially my friend and mentor Marceli
Wein, I am currently preparing some historic 16mm
film footage of these systems to put up on the web.
Watch this site for details.