ISR Distinguished Speaker

Gerhard Fischer

Institute of Cognitive Science and
Center for Lifelong Learning and Design
“Social Creativity and Meta-design in Lifelong Learning Communities ”
Friday, October 4, 2002 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Faculty Host: 

Email RSVP required to Christopher Stringer at by Monday, September 30.

UCI Student Center, Monarch Bay A (building #113)

No cost to attend.


Click here for directions and parking information.


Complex design problems require more knowledge than any one single person can possess, and the knowledge relevant to a problem is often distributed and controversial. Rather than being a limiting factor, the symmetry of ignorance (or asymmetry of knowledge) can provide the foundation for social creativity. Bringing different points of view together and trying to create a shared understanding among all stakeholders can lead to new insights, new ideas, and new artifacts. Social creativity can be supported by new media that allow owners of problems to contribute to framing and solving these problems. These new media need to be designed from a meta-design perspective by creating environments in which stakeholders can act as designers and be more than consumers.

Related Publications:

  • Fischer, G., E. Arias, H. Eden, A. Gorman, and E. Scharff (2001): "Transcending the Individual Human Mind-- Creating Shared Understanding through Collaborative Design" ACM Transaction on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) Vol. 7, No. 1, March 2000, pp. 84-113. Available at: []
  • Fischer, G. (2001) "External and Sharable Artifacts as Sources for Social Creativity in Communities of Interest." In J. S. Gero & M. L. Maher (Eds.), Computational and Cognitive Models of Creative Design V, Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, pp. 67-89. Available at: []
  • Fischer, G. (2001): "Communities of Interest: Learning through the Interaction of Multiple Knowledge Systems," 24th Annual Information Systems Research Seminar In Scandinavia (IRIS'24), pp. 1-14. Available at: []
About the Speaker: 

Gerhard Fischer is a professor of Computer Science, a fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science, and the director of the Center for LifeLong Learning & Design (L3D) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Current research interests include new media supporting lifelong learning, human-human and human-computer collaboration, (software) design, domain-oriented design environments and universal design (assistive technologies).