Creating a transformative framework to foster, nurture, and support “Quality of Life (QoL)” is
one of the most challenging design problems of the digital age. QoL is a broad concept without a
precise, generally accepted definition. In design, trade-offs are universal because there are no
best solutions independent of goals, objectives, and values, specifically for systemic,
ill-defined, and wicked problems such as QoL.
Grounded in research activities from a broad spectrum of different disciplines and an analysis
from our research over the last two decades, this presentation will explore specific design
trade-offs. The insights and arguments are summarized in requirements for the design of
socio-technical environments to address future challenges for human-centered design grounded in a
Gerhard Fischer is a Professor Adjunct and Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, a Fellow of
the Institute of Cognitive Science, and the Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning and Design
(L3D) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a member of the Computer Human Interaction
Academy (CHI; 2007), a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM; 2009), and a
recipient of the RIGO Award of ACM-SIGDOC (2012). In 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctorate
from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
His research has focused on new conceptual frameworks and new socio-technical environments for
human-centered computing, design, and learning, working, and collaborating,. His recent work is
centered on quality of life in the digital age, social creativity, meta-design, cultures of
participation, design trade-offs, and rich landscapes for learning (including MOOCs).