Dr Alan Summers

Programme Leader Product Design / Senior Lecturer Graphic Design

Alan’s design practice explores the tension between layers of physical and digital information within objects and environments. He works with augmented and virtual realities to illuminate how digital narratives sit upon the landscapes we inhabit and communicate to us within the objects we use.

Qualifications

  • 2014    PhD Imageability and Intelligibility in 3D Game Environments Examining Experiential and Cultural Influence on the Design Process
  • 2002    MA Digital Games Design
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Overview

Alan joined the University of Chester in 2007 and is programme leader for the MA Design and BA Product Design programmes. He has a broad interdisciplinary experience in digital design, across graphic and 3D design, production for print, web, interactive information systems and 3D visualisation. He has held external examiner positions in these fields at institutes in the UK, China and India.

Teaching

Teaching design research through practice and theory on the BA Product Design, Graphic Design and MA Design programmes; Alan lectures in graphic design, motion graphics, interactive design, computer animation and visualisation. His current teaching incorporates design research theory at postgraduate level and a focus on design process and research methodologies at undergraduate level.

Research

Alan’s principal research practice explores the understanding of experiential systems and cultural knowledge upon the design and implementation of real and digital environments. His PhD study examined specific cultural differences between Eastern and Western cognitive processes in the design of 3D digital environments. This research also questions the ubiquity of Western Albertian perspectives and the influence of Cartesian logic in the development of computer-generated space and its subsequent effect on human spatial awareness. This is generating a creative and analytical body of practice to inform the future design of communications within augmented and virtual realities, where the logic of a computer-generated space augments the psychophysiological space of the user.

Published work

Conference Papers

Summers, A., & McGuirk, T. (2017). Albertian Perspective and Augmented Reality: Lessons from Panofsky. In 2017 Internet Technologies and Applications (ITA) Proceedings Of The Seventh International Conference (pp. 355–359). Wrexham: Glynwr University.

Summers, A. (2016, February). The Exploration of How Cultural Cognitive Differences Impact the Spatial Design of Three-Dimensional Game Environments. Presented at the International Conference: Culture and the Creative Economy in Global Context Artists and Creativity, The University of Chester China Centre.

Summers, A. (2015). Cultural Cognitive Differences in the Spatial Design of Three-Dimensional Game Environments. Presented at the 10th International Space Syntax Symposium, London.

Summers, A. (2013). Spatial Design for Multicultural Environments. Presented at the 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, Tokyo.

Summers, A. (2010). Understanding the Transfer of Real World Value and Experiential Knowledge in the Design of Virtual Worlds. Presented at the Computing, Science and Engineering Faculty, UCLan, Preston.

Summers, A. (2003). Virtual and Real World Interfaces: Potential Areas of Tension and Advancement in Real World Simulation. Presented at the Computers in Art and Design Education, Hull.

Group Exhibitions

2017 Carbon meets Silicon II, Oriel Sycarth Gallery, Wrexham

Publications

Summers, A. (2014, September 1). Imageability and Intelligibility in 3D Game Environments Examining Experiential and Cultural Influence on the Design Process. UCLan, Preston.

Summers, A. (Ed.). (2006). The Fundamentals IP and Innovation for Digital Media. Digital Media Consortia.

Summers, A. (Ed.). (2006). The Fundamentals of Business and Management for Digital Media. Digital Media Consortia.

Summers, A. (Ed.). (2006). The Fundamentals of Design for Digital Media. Digital Media Consortia.

Invited Public Lectures

Summers, A. (2013). Reality Bytes. Augmented Reality Lecture at the Rogues Gallery, Chester Performs, Chester.

Summers, A. (2004). The Art and Science of Computer Games. Lecture at the Wrexham Science Festival, Wrexham

Conference Organisation

Summers, A. (Organiser.) (2007). Creating Screen Based Materials for Children

Summers, A. (Organiser.) (2007). Making Interaction Work

Grant Funded Knowledge Projects (selected)

Poly Products. (2005). KEF and PPoC award

The Digital Media Training Consortia. (2004). KEF award

Professional Consultancy and Practice (selected)

Summers, A. (2016). E-Bike Assistance and GPS Data Visualisation. http://www.smart-ebikes.com/videos/data-visualisation/

Dziekan, V. (2013). In Darwin’s Garden Temporality and Sense of Place. Live Visuals: Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 19(3).

Li, D. (Artist). Summers, A. (Designer). (2012). VEX. Tatton Park Biennial

Cox Review of Creativity and Business in Wales. (2007). Invited panel member for the Welsh Assembly.

Showdiary. (2001). Design and development of a user generated content management system for equestrian events.

Digital Dynamics. (2001) Invited panel member for steering group. North West Development Agency.

Local Environmental Action Plan. (1999). Consultancy and design production for the digitisation of public information for the Environment Agency Wales.

.