And welcome to my online portfolio. My name is Markus and I am currently working as a freelance creative technologist from my temporary home in southern Germany.
On this page, you can read a summary of my past working experiences as a designer, educator, and HCI researcher, along with selected examples of my work.
My most recent industry experiences were working as an Interaction Designer at EDUCE DESIGN & INNOVATION and as a Sessional Instructor at EMILY CARR UNIVERSITY OF ART + DESIGN (ECUAD) in Vancouver, BC.
At ECUAD, I was a project lead supporting students with their first industry experiences and taught various courses in Interaction Design. However, my primary job was with Educe, which I joined in late 2017 after I finished my Master of Arts at SFU.
At Educe, I worked as a full-time senior interaction designer, mainly responsible for setting the groundwork of digital products and services as well as liaising between the creative and technical teams during development. During the early stages of a project, I would gather and understand the technical limitations of a project, generate ideas, set up information hierarchies, build wireframes, establish visual mechanics, and create prototypes. During the later stages of a project, I would run user-tests and help with the development and implementation of projects.
The work at Educe is very interdisciplinary and given that the studio consists only of a small team, all members contribute to current projects, fluently switching between clients, tasks, and roles.
Before I joined Educe and Emily Carr, I have held various other positions. During my time as a graduate student at SFU, I was working as a research assistant and, among other things, held the position of design chair for CHI and DIS, two research conferences in the field of Human-Computer Interaction.
My career as a designer received an early educational influence because of my background in information technology. During a course in the first term at HfG, my instructors discovered I already had essential knowledge in Java and could help my fellow students learn how to use the Processing IDE, which was a key component for the course. Shortly after, I started hosting workshops for my fellow students where I would assist them in learning more fundamental structures of programming. A few years later, my workshop portfolio at HfG had expanded to Processing, Arduino, as well as the visual programming language vvvv.
I gathered my first real teaching experience as a teaching assistant at Simon Fraser University. Like many graduate students, I assisted professors and instructors to structure and execute undergraduate courses as well as to evaluate student performances. These courses were the first time I caught an intriguing glimpse of the complexities, intricacies, and effort of teaching. The experience had a lasting positive impact on me, as I found teaching to be a rewarding and worthwhile endeavor.
The experience had a lasting positive impact on me, as I found teaching to be a rewarding and worthwhile endeavor.
As a result, I also started to work as a Sessional Instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2016. Together with Sabrina Hauser, I developed a new structure for the 2nd-year core interaction design course (which is still in use today) and executed it with great success in 2016 and 2017. In more recent years, I started teaching more technical courses at Emily Carr, usually ones revolving around the use of technology and or prototyping.
Design & HCI Research
I started working in the field of design and HCI research in 2012 when I joined the Everyday Design Studio (EDS) as part of my graduate program at Simon Fraser University. During my time at the studio, I got the opportunity to work on research projects revolving around everyday design, appropriation, DIY culture, and recommender systems.
I graduated in 2016 with a thesis exploring the interplay between a designer and her prototypes. More specifically, the research looked at unintentional design aspects of early prototypes and how they can influence the "final" artifact. A subsequent paper entitled "Focus Framework: Tracking Prototypes Back-Talk." was published at TEI 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden.
My main interest lies in the intersection of SHCI, especially sustainability in design, and DIY practices.
I am actively trying to keep engaged with the design and HCI research community. My main interest lies in the intersection of SHCI, especially sustainability in design, and DIY practices. My current project explores ways to build a digital, physical product meant for assembly, disassembly, and repair.
Over the past couple of years, my interest in technology and prototyping slowly sparked my curiosity in development.
It started with the development of various WordPress themes, including my previous online portfolio and the CHI 2016 website. More recently, I finished the studio website of my former employer Educe Design & Innovation, and am actively supporting and updating the site. I also updated my online portfolio to utilize the Grav CMS and am currently working on another website, as well as a web-application using the MERN stack.
[...] currently working on another website, as well as a web-application using the MERN stack.
Unknowingly to myself at the time, my path as a designer started in 2003 during my technical diploma in information technology. Here I learned the foundations of computer science, which turned out to be highly influential to my approach and understanding of interaction design.
After my technical diploma, I started studying interaction design at the University of Design (HfG) in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. While the HfG shaped my understanding of design, my knowledge in information technology led me to take a more technical stance in my work and utilizing working prototypes to evaluate, inform, and communicate ideas. I graduated from HfG in 2012, with a thesis in form of a book concept teaching the visual programming language vvvv for prototyping interactions.
"[...] my knowledge in information technology led me to take a more technical stance in my work and utilizing working prototypes to evaluate, inform, and communicate ideas."
At the end of 2012, I moved to Vancouver, BC, Canada, to pursue my MA at SFU's School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT). Working under Prof. Ron Wakkary in the Everyday Design Studio, I gained valuable experience in design research and collaborated on projects revolving around DIY, recommender systems, and everyday design. I graduated in 2016 with my MA thesis exploring the intricate interplay between designers and prototypes, specifically and how unintentional design attributes in prototypes can influence the final product.