Dr. Vanessa Julia Carpenter believes in helping companies to design smart products which go beyond convenience, and beyond the screen, to focus on a sense of purpose, connection and self development. Vanessa has a background in art and technology, academia, and interaction design. She holds a BSc. in Interactive Art and Technology (Canada), a MSc. of Interaction Design (Sweden), and a PhD with the topic “Designing for Meaningfulness in Future Smart Products” (Denmark).
Vanessa speaks at events and conferences, moderates panels, and hosts happenings because of her ability to combine many worlds: industry, maker, hardware, and art. Working as an artist with illutron (a floating maker space featuring fire cannons, dancers, computer controlled lights, sounds and robots), she co-created a community of makers, thinkers, nerds and creatives throughout Scandinavia. In this community and others, Vanessa creates opportunities for people to creatively connect, through hackathons, labs, conferences, or workshops, where participants get their hands dirty, and create lasting connections. Through this, her company GeekPhysical emerged, specializing in biometric interaction and creating hardware interfaces for interactive experiences.
As part of her work for IdemoLab, FORCE Technology, Vanessa helped companies find the right idea and the right technology through iterative hardware prototyping using a design thinking approach. In this role, Vanessa has been a jury member with Launch Nordic, the Copenhagen Business Cup, Technomania and other technology based innovation competitions.
Vanessa recently launched the Nordic network Women in Hardware and is working to empower women by creating a space for opportunity, learning, resource sharing, support, and knowledge.