Technology that Activates: Priming emotions and Achieving goals.

April 28, 2011
4:15pm - 5:15pm
Halligan 111



I will discuss how technology can influence emotions and and goal achievement to enhance idea generation. I discuss two projects. In the first, I use affective computational priming, a new method for manipulating affect using digitally embedded stimuli to influence performance with a sketching tool. In the second, I apply the theory of small wins to a brainstorming prep tool to influence task focus and improve the rate and quality of ideation. I discuss implications for HCI, design process, and design education.


Dr. Gerber is an expert in creativity, design, and technology. As a professor in the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University, she holds an appointment in Mechanical Engineering and by courtesy in Management Science and Industrial Engineering, the Kellogg School of Management, and the School of Education and Social Policy. Dr. Gerber is the principal investigator for the Creative Action Lab ( which investigates the role of technology (digital tools and work practices) in supporting individual and group creativity. In her Lab, she applies the behavioral sciences to the design of tools and practices to improve usability and creative performance. She is also the faculty founder of Design for America ( an award winning design initiative building creative confidence in students through design for local and social impact.