Communal Space (Lecture and Case Studies)
Dick Rijken graduated as a psychologist with computer science and electronic music as secondary subjects. He was involved in setting up an expertise centre for artificial intelligence at the Utrecht School of the Arts, lecturing on various subjects such as knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation, and music technology. After that, he was head of the Interaction Design department at the Faculty for Art, Media and Technology. This involved setting up the world's four-year curriculum in Interaction Design in 1990. He also conducted a research project for Apple Computer's Advanced Technology Group in the field of the user interfaces for manipulating motion in computer animation.
In 1994 he worked for the Netherlands Design Institute, where he developed a collaborative workspace for workshop participants of the third Doors of Perception conference (subject: INFO-ECO). He also coordinated a workshop program for that conference where twelve groups investigated how information technology might contribute to a sustainable society.
In 1995 he started working at VPRO-digitaal, the new media department of a major Dutch broadcaster, as member of its management team. There he developed the department's 24hr Cinema Service, a website that uses collaborative filtering techniques to enable its users to receive advice about films on television via email, based on their personal judgments of films. The department also runs a website to support the VPRO's radio and TV acvitities, an online music portal in the field of alternative music, and develops its own digital publishing software. Currently, he has a part time position at the department as a strategic and conceptual consultant.
Since 1994, he has been a staff member of the post-graduate degree in Design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam (connected to the Gerrit Rietveld Academy of Art and Design). The Design department focuses on dynamic and digital media.
In 1996 he became CEO of TBWA/e-Company, a digital communications agency in the Dutch branch of TBWA, a worldwide network of companies in advertising, marketing and communications. In 1999 he was strategy director at the TBWA Company Group, where he consulted on Internet strategy for clients.
Currently, he spends most of his time as an independent consultant for companies and non-profit organisations and as a lecturer on strategic and conceptual design issues in digital communication. He is particularly interested in cultural systems, very large information environments with many users, where self-organisation plays an important role.
These issues are central to large systems like www.ebay.com (online auctions), www.yahoogroups.com (communities), www.mtbr.com (mountain biking), www.dpreview.com (digital photography). but in a more general sense they apply to every personal homepage on the web or every other website where people share information about something they care about.
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