Steve Benford is the Dunford Professor of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham where he co-founded the Mixed Reality Laboratory. He is Director of the EPSRC-funded Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training and also Director of the University's Smart Products beacon of research excellence. He was previously an EPSRC Dream Fellow, a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge and a Visiting Professor at the BBC.
Dr. Maria Kallionpää (Hong Kong Baptist University)
Dr. Maria Kallionpää (1981) is an internationally active composer and pianist, currently working as an assistant professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University, and as a composer in residence of the Mixed Reality Laboratory of the Nottingham University. Her research as postdoctoral fellow (2016-2018) at the University of Aalborg focused on gamification as a composition technique (funded by Kone Foundation, Finland). Furthermore, as a winner of the Fabbrica Young Artist Development Program of Opera di Roma, Kallionpää was commissioned to compose an opera (fp: Teatro Nazionale, Rome, Oct 2017). In collaboration with her colleague Markku Klami, Kallionpää has composed the first full length puppet opera produced in the Nordic Countries (fp: March 2018). Kallionpää was a laureate of Académie de France à Rome in 2016. She got her PhD in composition at the university of Oxford in 2015 and has graduated from the Royal Academy of Music (2009) and Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien (2010). Kallionpää won the first prize of the OUPHIL composition competition in 2013.
Nick Tandavanitj (Blast Theory)
Nick Tandavanitj has worked with Blast Theory since 1994. In this time, Nick has focused on creative approaches to computing; contributing to the group’s unique mix of skills in structuring interactivity and narrative. This has led to particular skills in 3D modelling, technical design & programming for interactive installations and web based artwork.
Nick studied Art & Social Context at Dartington College of Arts from 1990-1993; collaborating for 2 years with Alison Cannon on a number of videos and performances. Following college, Nick became a friend and hanger on of the artists at Jamaica Street Studios in Bristol, occasionally working for Oil Experts and Stoloff & Hopkinson™ as well as working with Bristol based artists Sophie Warren and Charlotte Crewe.
In 2003, Nick became an Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham undertaking a nine month programme of research into artistic, social and gaming applications which use mobile technology.
Nick also teaches as part of Blast Theory’s programme of masterclasses and workshops. This work incorporates introductions to a variety of tools for prototyping and to concepts & techniques for generating interactivity. Nick has also contributed to a number of academic papers with the Mixed Reality Lab.