Curriculum Vitae


Austin Henderson

Legal Name:   Dugald Austin Henderson, Jr.
Addresses:     644 Cragmont Ave., Berkeley, CA 94708, USA
mobile :           +1-510-501-6440
ebsite:          www.


Born :                London, Ontario, Canada; January 25, 1943.
Citizenship:  (dual) USA, Canada.
Family:             married, three children.
Play:                  sports, music, reading, talking.


  • Evolutionary development: Applying the principles of evolution that have worked well for eons and more recently for large scale software (open source) to aggregated development of all kinds at scale.
  • Evolutionary systems: research and development of “pliant” systems (technology, and practices of use) that support the engagement between evolving perspectives.
  • Architecture of user experience: roles, requirements, and models of user experience, user interaction, interfaces, and subject matter domains.
  • Strategic, product, and interaction design: based in observation and reflection of evolving socio-technical practice
  • User interface development: tools and environments for creating user interfaces. Conceptual models as core to good design.
  • Development process: methods for supporting collaboration between developers and users in evolving systems (technology, and practices of use) from conception through use.
  • Structuring and management of corporate research to create value for users through collaboration with lines of business in trialing products and services in use.

Academic Education

  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering in the field of Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1975. Doctoral dissertation in computation structures addressing problems of modularity faced by programmers in building large programs.
  • M.S., Computer Science, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, USA, 1967. Computer graphics.
  • M.Sc. (hon), Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 1965.


April,1997- present. Principal, Scalable Conversations, Berkeley, CA. Foundational research on evolutionary development – applying principles of evolution through socio-technical practice to large-scale human endeavors.

May, 2010 – present. President and principal, Rivendel Consulting & Design, Berkeley, CA. Focus on evolvable systems, conceptual models, distributed collaboration, design tools.

Example projects:

  • Computational system design: in-room hospital information, software installation, web search
  • Workspace design: co-location, information workspaces, distance collaboration (telephone and video), work practice in open-plan workspaces
  • Design tools: web design based on user conceptual models, languages for describing interaction

Example clients:

  • Sun, Xerox, EdeNET, Excite@Home, Senior Surfers, IDEO, Lante, Sapient, Gensler.

May, 2002 – May, 2010. Director, Advanced Concepts & Technology, Pitney Bowes. Managed various functions in central research:

  • Knowledge Management (2007-2010): Capturing and accessing research work for application to current questions;
  • Research Directions (2005-2007: coordinating research themes across the AC&T research groups), and Knowledge Management (2007- present: developed knowledge management practice for AC&T).
  • Research Strategy (2004-2006): setting directions of research; Systems Lab (2002-2004: trialing new business concepts),
  • Concept Studio (2004-2005: user-centered creation of new business concepts),
  • April, 1997 –May, 2002. President and principal, Rivendel Consulting & Design, Inc., La Honda, CA.   Strategic, process and interaction design.

May, 1996 – March, 1997. Manager, Discourse Architecture Laboratory, Apple Research Laboratories, Apple Computer, Inc. Research to set new visions for interaction with Apple Computer’s products.

July, 1995 – May, 1996. Manager, User Experience Laboratory, Advanced Technology Group, Apple Computer, Inc. Research to set new visions for the user experience of Apple Computer’s products.

November, 1994 – June, 1995. User Experience Architect, Advanced Technology Group, Apple Computer, Inc. Architecture and design of user experience and the development process, present and future.

November, 1990 – November, 1994. Manager, User Interface Architecture, Xerox Corporation. Design of the architecture of user interfaces.

November, 1989 – October, 1990. Area manager, Design, Use and Shared Spaces, System Sciences Laboratory, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Research management; multimedia support for distributed design.

February, 1989 – October, 1989. Vice President, Fitch RichardsonSmith, Worthington, Ohio, USA. Design consultancy.

January, 1987 – January, 1989. PARC-EuroPARC Liaison, Rank Xerox Cambridge EuroPARC, Cambridge, UK. Research on the system development process.

November, 1978 – December, 1986. Member, Research Staff, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, USA. Research on operability of user interfaces, user interface design, fast prototyping, tools for user interface construction, technology transfer.

January, 1975 – August, 1978. Computer scientist, Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA. Electronic message systems, and computer-aided design. Research on appropriate user models for message systems, and on mechanisms for making such systems more habitable.

January, 1970 – January, 1975. Consultant on computer graphics and applications programming. Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. Cambridge, MA, USA. Distributed processing, procedure-based vehicle simulation.

September, 1968 – January, 1975. Consultant on computer graphics and networks, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA, USA. Pen-based interactive graphics applications, including text editors.

September, 1967 – January, 1975. Research Assistant, Computation Structures and Programming, project MAC, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA. Research on modularity in programming.

June, 1969 – August, 1969. Programmer, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA, USA. Interactive computer graphics, scientific applications.

June, 1968 – August, 1968. Programmer, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA, USA. Interactive computer graphics, graphical programming languages.

June, 1967 – August, 1967. Programmer, High Energy Physics Department, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, USA. Scientific and numerical application programming.

May, 1965 – August, 1965. Systems Engineer and Applications Programmer, IBM Canada and Avon Products of Canada, Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada. Business data processing system design and implementation.

May, 1964 – August, 1964. Systems Engineer and Applications Programmer, IBM Canada, Mount Royal, Quebec, Canada. Business data processing system design and implementation. Scientific and business data processing.

May,1963 – August, 1963. Applications programmer, Canada Life Assurance Co., Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Business data processing.


Co-chair, Management Community, CHI2006.

Program committee, CHI2002 | AIGA Experience Design Forum, 2002.

Adjunct Chair for Public Policy, ACM/SIGCHI, 1999-2001.

Member, Conference Management Committee, ACM/SIGCHI, 1997-99.

Technical Program Co-chair, DIS’97, Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, Amsterdam, August 18-20, 1997.

Co-chair, ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction. (ACM/SIGCHI). 1991-93, 1989-91. Past chair, 1994-1995.

Vice-Chair, SIGCHI. 1988-1989.

Associate Papers Chair, CHI 2002

Technical Program Co-Chair, INTERCHI’93 (CHI’93 + INTERACT’93)

Member, Program Committee, CHI2006, CHI2003, CHI2002, CHI2001, CHI’97, CHI’91, CHI’89, CHI’88, CHI+GI’87, CHI’86. (Conferences on Human Factors in Computing Systems.)

Conference Co-Chair, CHI’85, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Member, CHI Academy, 2010.

ACM/SIGCHI Distinguished Lifetime Service Award, April, 2001.


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