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Dr Martin Stacey

Job: Senior Lecturer

Faculty: Computing, Engineering and Media

School/department: School of Computer Science and Informatics

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 250 6256

E: mstacey@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.tech.dmu.ac.uk/~mstacey/

 

Personal profile

Dr Martin Stacey is a cognitive scientist with a training in psychology and artificial intelligence. This background informs his teaching activities, which focus on human computer interaction and information design, and his research into how designers design. Martin’s research is fundamentally interdisciplinary, combining approaches from psychology, sociology, AI and philosophy and looking at comparisons between design processes in a variety of different industries. Martin’s research collaborators have included Claudia Eckert and Chris Earl (Design, Open University), John Clarkson (Engineering, Cambridge), Alan Blackwell (CS, Cambridge), Louis Bucciarelli (Engineering, MIT), and Anja Maier (Design Management, Danish Technical University).

Publications and outputs

  • What counts as design? No one right answer
    What counts as design? No one right answer Eckert, Claudia; McMahon, Christopher; Stacey, Martin What design is remains controversial. Views are shaped by people’s different perspectives, which depend both on the particular design disciplines they practise or study, and on the concerns and the theoretical and methodological concepts and tools of the intellectual disciplines they bring to looking at design. This paper looks at just how different some alternative views are, and argues that the different types of design are too diverse to make agreeing on a crisp definition of design a feasible enterprise. Instead we should accept that design is a family resemblance concept, and that different and seemingly contradictory views on what design is can be valid. What follows from this is that we should focus cross-disciplinary studies on understanding the patterns of similarity and difference that connect different design fields, but do not apply to all types of design. Moreover, we should treat knowledge generation and problem-framing activities as legitimate and important parts of design.
  • The Digital Network of Networks: Regulatory Risk and Policy Challenges of Vaccine Passports
    The Digital Network of Networks: Regulatory Risk and Policy Challenges of Vaccine Passports Wilford, Sara Helen; McBride, Neil; Brooks, Laurence; Eke, Damian Okaibedi; Akintoye, Sinmisola; Owoseni, Adebowale; Leach, Tonii; Flick, Catherine; Fisk, Malcolm; Stacey, Martin The extensive disruption to and digital transformation of travel administration across borders largely due to COVID-19 mean that digital vaccine passports are being developed to resume international travel and kick-start the global economy. Currently, a wide range of actors are using a variety of different approaches and technologies to develop such a system. This paper considers the techno-ethical issues raised by the digital nature of vaccine passports and the application of leading-edge technologies such as blockchain in developing and deploying them. We briefly analyse four of the most advanced systems – IBM’s Digital Health Passport “Common Pass,” the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass, the Linux Foundation Public Health’s COVID-19 Credentials Initiative and the Vaccination Credential Initiative (Microsoft and Oracle) – and then consider the approach being taken for the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Each of these raises a range of issues, particularly relating to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the need for standards and due diligence in the application of innovative technologies (eg blockchain) that will directly challenge policymakers when attempting to regulate within the network of networks. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Overconstrained and underconstrained creativity: Changing the rhetoric to negotiate the boundaries of design
    Overconstrained and underconstrained creativity: Changing the rhetoric to negotiate the boundaries of design Eckert, Claudia; Stacey, Martin What people think creativity is and what constitutes designing influences how designing is organized and carried out, and how design colleagues interact. In contrast to engineering, the fashion industry sees design as the process from idea to specification carried out by designers, and creativity only as open-ended and unconstrained. This reflects widespread beliefs about creativity and rhetoric about design. In knitwear, much detailed design is done by technicians converting these specifications into a program for knitting a garment. This often requires creative problem solving in finding a way to realise an idea or in optimising production without compromising the aesthetic appearance. Knitwear designers and technicians seldom co-design, but only a collaboration between designers and technicians can lead to an exploitation of the full potential of modern production machinery. This observation has implications for interactions between artistic and technical designers in a variety of other industries.
  • Design as playing games of make-believe
    Design as playing games of make-believe Poznic, Michael; Stacey, Martin; Hillerbrand, Rafaela; Eckert, Claudia Designing complex products involves working with uncertainties as the product, the requirements and the environment in which it is used co-evolve, and designers and external stakeholders make decisions that affect the evolving design. Rather than being held back by uncertainty, designers work, cooperate and communicate with each other notwithstanding these uncertainties by making assumptions to carry out their own tasks. To explain this, the paper proposes an adaptation of Kendall Walton’s make-believe theory, to conceptualize designing as playing games of make-believe by inferring what is required and imagining what is possible given the current set of assumptions and decisions, while knowing these are subject to change. What one is allowed and encouraged to imagine, conclude or propose is governed by socially agreed rules and constraints. The paper uses jet engine component design as an example to illustrate how different design teams make assumptions at the beginning of design activities and negotiate what can and cannot be done with the design. This often involves iteration – repeating activities under revised sets of assumptions. As assumptions are collectively revised they become part of a new game of make-believe in the sense that there is social agreement that the decisions constitute part of the constraints that govern what can legitimately be inferred about the design or added to it. Collaboration between ITAS, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology CEM, De Montfort University, Design, The Open University
  • Process Models: Plans, Predictions, Proclamations or Prophecies?
    Process Models: Plans, Predictions, Proclamations or Prophecies? Stacey, Martin; Eckert, Claudia; Hillerbrand, Rafaela Design process models have a complex and changing relationship to the processes they model, and mean different things to different people in different situations. Participants in design processes need to understand each other’s perspectives and agree on what the models mean. The paper draws on philosophy of science to argue that understanding a design process model can be seen as an imagination game governed by agreed rules, to envisage what would be true about the world if the model were correct. The rules depend on the syntax and content of the model, on the task the model is used for, and on what the users see the model as being. The paper outlines twelve alternative conceptualizations of design process models – frames, pathways, positions, proclamations, projections, predictions, propositions, prophecies, requests, demands, proposals, promises – and discusses when they fit situations that stakeholders in design processes can be in. Articulating how process models are conceptualized can both help understand how process management works and help resolve communication problems in industrial practice. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Continuous Stress Monitoring under Varied Demands Using Unobtrusive Devices
    Continuous Stress Monitoring under Varied Demands Using Unobtrusive Devices Lim, Yee Mei; Ayesh, Aladdin, 1972-; Stacey, Martin Kenneth This research aims to identify a feasible model to predict a learner’s stress in an online learning platform. It is desirable to produce a cost-effective, unobtrusive and objective method to measure a learner’s emotions. The few signals produced by mouse and keyboard could enable such solution to measure real world individual’s affective states. It is also important to ensure that the measurement can be applied regardless the type of task carried out by the user. This preliminary research proposes a stress classification method using mouse and keystroke dynamics to classify the stress levels of 190 university students when performing three different e-learning activities. The results show that the stress measurement based on mouse and keystroke dynamics is consistent with the stress measurement according to the changes of duration spent between two consecutive questions. The feedforward back-propagation neural network achieves the best performance in the classification. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • What do we need to say about a design method?
    What do we need to say about a design method? Gericke, Kilian; Eckert, Claudia; Stacey, Martin
  • The effects of typing demand on learner's Motivation/Attitude-driven Behaviour (MADB) model with mouse and keystroke behaviours
    The effects of typing demand on learner's Motivation/Attitude-driven Behaviour (MADB) model with mouse and keystroke behaviours Lim, Yee Mei; Ayesh, Aladdin, 1972-; Stacey, Martin It would be desirable to have an automated means of assessing a learner's motivation and stress levels in an e-learning system, which would give impact on his or her learning performance. This preliminary research examines the effects of typing task demand on Motivation/Attitude-driven Behavior (MADB) model. The model is adapted from what was proposed by Wang [1], which is used to describe how the motivation process drives human behaviours and actions, and how the attitude and decision-making process help to regulate and determine the action to be taken by the learner. The effects of typing demand are tested on learners' stress perceptions, motivation, attitudes, decision, as well as their mouse and keystroke behaviours. The typing demand is varied by the pre-defined text length and language familiarity. The results of Multivariate Analysis of Variance and correlation tests are generally congruent with the MADB model proposed by Wang, but with minor difference. We also found that a learner's behaviour is significantly correlated to his or her mouse and keystroke behaviours. A revised version of MADB model based on e-learning environment is proposed. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • The Effects of Task Demand and External Stimuli on Learner's Stress Perception and Job Performance
    The Effects of Task Demand and External Stimuli on Learner's Stress Perception and Job Performance Lim, Y.M.; Tan, Li Peng; Stacey, Martin; Ayesh, Aladdin, 1972- Over the past decades, research in affective learning has begun to take emotions into account, which advocates an education system that is sentient of learner’s cognitive and affective states, as learners’ performance could be affected by emotional factors. This exploratory research examines the impacts of mental arithmetic demand and external stimuli on learner’s stress perception and job performance. External stimuli include time pressure and displays of countdown timer and clock on an online assessment system. Experiments are conducted on five different groups of undergraduate students, with a total of 160 of them from a higher learning institution. The results show that the impacts are significant. Correlations between task demand, external stimuli, learner’s stress and job performance are also significant.
  • Designing the constraints: Creation exercises for framing the design context
    Designing the constraints: Creation exercises for framing the design context Eckert, Claudia; Stacey, Martin Developing an understanding of a design problem by exploring the context in which the new product will be marketed and used is often a crucial part of the design process but has been little studied outside the fashion and textiles industries. A user experience design team in a European car company sought to understand the interests and values of potential Chinese customers by carrying out a co-creation exercise with a set of representative Chinese consumers, in order to understand how to design accessory products and services for them. This paper compares the co-creation exercise, which produced accounts of the consumers’ values in verbal narrative form, to the constraint gathering research phase of artistic design processes, which typically produce sets of constraints, usable design features and desirable emergent properties to express the space of possible designs in visuospatial form as mood boards.

Click here to view a full listing of Dr Martin Stacey's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

M.K. Stacey & C.M. Eckert
Reshaping the box: Creative designing as constraint management.
International Journal of Product Development
, volume 11 number 3/4, 241-255, 2010.

M.K. Stacey, C.M. Eckert & C.F. Earl
From Ronchamp by sledge: On the pragmatics of object references.
In J. McDonnell & P. Lloyd (eds.),
About: Designing: Analysing Design Meetings, Leiden, Netherlands: CRC Press, 2009, pp 360-379.

M.K. Stacey
Psychological Challenges for the Analysis of Style
Artificial Intelligence in Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing
, volume 20 number 2, 167-184, 2006.

M.K. Stacey & C.M. Eckert
Against Ambiguity
Computer Supported Cooperative Work
, volume 12 number 2, 153-183, 2003.

C.M. Eckert & M.K. Stacey
Sources of Inspiration: A Language of Design
Design Studies
, volume 21 number 5, 523-538, 2000.

Research interests/expertise

Research interests

  • Design thinking
  • Design processes
  • Human Design Tool Interaction

Specific research topics

  • How people use representations of design information
  • Factors influencing problem structuring and creative thinking
  • Causal modelling of design processes
  • Role of object references in design
  • Sources of inspiration
  • Psychology of style
  • Epistemology of models in design
  • Research methodology for studying designing.

Areas of teaching

  • Human computer interaction
  • Systems analysis and design
  • Web design
  • Programming
  • Artificial intelligence.

Qualifications

BA Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford

MS Psychology, Carnegie-Mellon University

PhD Artificial Intelligence, University of Aberdeen

Membership of professional associations and societies

Design Society.

Current research students

Yee Mei Lim (2nd supervisor)

Professional esteem indicators

Member of Advisory Board for Design Computing and Cognition’06, ’08, ’10, ’12, ’14.

Reviewer for Artificial Intelligence in Engineering Design Analysis and Manufacturing, Design Studies, International Journal of Design Engineering, International Journal of Human Computer Studies, Journal of Automated Software Engineering, Journal of Engineering Design, Psychological Methods, Research in Engineering Design, Software Practice and Experience.

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