Drum roll, please. We’re excited to make our second keynote speaker announcement for MidwestUX 2017. (Missed the first one? It’s right here.)

Molly Wright Steenson is a designer, writer, speaker, and professor whose work focuses on the intersection of design, architecture, and artificial intelligence. She’s the author of the forthcoming book Architectural Intelligence: How Designers, Tinkerers, and Architects Created the Digital Landscape (MIT Press, Fall 2017). She’s also a UX pioneer who has worked with the web since its earliest days, and an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design. Steenson speaks internationally about design and technology and holds a PhD in architecture from Princeton University.

Molly Wright Steenson

Her book Architectural Intelligence will be published by the MIT Press in Fall 2017. It is an architectural history of digital design and a digital history of architecture that examines architecture’s interactions with computation, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence, with deep case studies on the work of Christopher Alexander, Richard Saul Wurman, Nicholas Negroponte, and Cedric Price, and the ways that their work influenced the development of contemporary digital design practices, including information architecture and interaction design.

At Carnegie Mellon, Steenson is a design professor. She leads the Doctor of Design program, a distance-based doctorate, and teaches courses in design studies and history, service design, and research methods to undergraduates, master’s and doctoral students.

Since 1994, she’s worked in many capacities as a UX designer and strategist, design researcher, writer, and geek. Steenson built the first news-delivering website at Reuters in 1995, managed the second most-hit page on the Internet—the Netscape Search page—in 1996, worked on some of the first web-based online communities, and co-founded a groundbreaking pop culture feminist webzine, Maxi.

She was was one of the very first content strategists and user/customer experience architects, and worked on complex digital platforms at companies like Scient and Razorfish. She continues to study how technology and interactivity fit into our contemporary cities and lives. This interest has sent her to India to study mobile phones, to China to study social networking sites, and to the 1960s to study the effect of artificial intelligence on architectural systems and interactivity. We’re proud to host her in Cincinnati this fall. Keep an eye out for two more keynote speaker announcements in the next few weeks.