Someone recently called me a mad scientist. 
that it might be the highest compliment I've ever received. Wuhahahha

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“I love the smell of burnt metal in the morning”

sculpture is virtual relief

Who is Roger belveal?

Roger Belveal is a contemporary sculptor known for inventing techXpressionism which he describes as a collision of digital and real world experiences in holistic catharsis. A human-computer interaction design professional of three decades during the digital transformation of our world has given him insights into the human technology relationship that he expresses through his art. He has been called the Andy Warhol of the digital age,

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At the intersections of art and technology, roger belveal creates experiences that cross-over from virtual to real worlds.

At the intersections of art and technology, roger belveal creates experiences that cross-over from virtual to real worlds.

Life in the intersection

Roger has always had a diversity of interests and been particularity fascinated when different fields intersect. This is what brought him to study industrial design in the first place, as ID is by nature a convergence zone of technology art, and human factors. And hey, it”s useful!

Design & Sculpture

While studying industrial design he also studied life sculpture, metal works, casting, and public art. He had many great mentors; Foremost among them, Robert Edward Graves, John Young, and Tadeo Shimizo.

decades of UX expressed in art

After a three decade career in user experience design, he is expressing in his art insights and a point of view derived from hundreds of user interaction studies across a world of circumstances.

WHAT IS TECHXPRESSIONISM?

TechXpressionism is about bringing familiar digital themes out from behind the glass and into the real space where we live.  It is about creating audience experiences that traverse the boundaries of virtual and real, blurring those lines in our minds. It is that person you met in a dream greeting you on the street in a fusion of the dreaming and waking experiences.

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Career full circle

“My personal journey has taken me from art to technology to business and then back to art, focusing on the human element the entire way“

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Where it all began

My Favorite Machine

This idea originally came about while studying sculpture and design at the University of Washington in Seattle. I was obsessed with capturing in a work of art the affection we have for objects of great design or great service.

This sentiment was embodied in “The Truck”, my art installation in the quad, which any UW grad knows is the prime pristine real estate of the UW campus. This was part of my study of public art under professor John Young.

I had been invited into John’s masters sculpture program though I was technically an undergrad studying Industrial Design.

The truck was owned by my good friend, Barry Reed. One night, Barry and I drove it onto the campus, took some of the wheels off and dug it into the ground. The result was that people were genuinely confused thinking this had literally been there for years unnoticed until now. haha.

The truck was owned by my good friend, Barry Reed. One night, Barry and I drove it onto the campus, took some of the wheels off and dug it into the ground. The result was that people were genuinely confused thinking this had literally been there for years unnoticed until now. haha.

The seed of TechXpressionism

This was the real roots of TechXpressionism.

Besides the fun, the point was the warm sentiment communicated by similar trucks in real life on my uncle’s farm. See Uncle Art’s Museum on the My Favorite Machine page

Fast forward a couple of decades, I found the sentiment not only-still relevant, but desperately needed in the digital age. And here we are. Now you know the roots.

Still this is might be my personal favorite piece of art of all time.

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Futurist by contemporary and historical DEFINitions

Futurism is critical Optimism on tech

Futurism is an enthusiastic view of technology. It builds excitement on technology's imagery, from the industrial revolution to the digital age. See Wikipedia Yet my stance is that optimism is justified only when accompanied by critical pessimism with constructive problem-solving fervently at work to address the risks.

Futurism is art expressing Motion

Established by Marcel Duchamp about a hundred years ago, it is a way of depicting movement within a static image. See Futurism. It's a perception and cognition thing. Its also heart thing as it is really about inspiring a feeling.

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The digital TRANSFORMATION of Roger belveal

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Got Industrial design?

You know, you study one thing expecting to find a job doing that. But then? Roger found industrial design was his thing, making elegant products that solved problems and that people could enjoy using. Guess what. There just wasn’t much happening in ID at that time.

All was going soft

But wait. What was happening was computers and software. He took a job as a technical illustrator with the Boeing Company in Seattle drawing airplanes using a computer.

Interfaces w/o users

Most software at the time was painfully unfriendly, condescending, annoying, totally unforgiving and punishing of the slightest error, even oppressive.

My own first computer in the corporate environment cost three to four times my annual salary. And yet, if I made the same gross mistakes it made, I’d expect to be fired immediately. I was George Jetson and Mr. Spacely liked the computer far more than he liked me.

My own first computer in the corporate environment cost three to four times my annual salary. And yet, if I made the same gross mistakes it made, I’d expect to be fired immediately. I was George Jetson and Mr. Spacely liked the computer far more than he liked me.

Unusable at any speed

Usability was not even a word even in the dictionary. What was this thing that was missing? How could we fix this? Software was irrational. No wonder most people were intimidated or terrified of computers.

Conversion to UX

The BoGART team gave hope. Here was a group of very smart people making something better, Belveal found his niche there and never stopped. He was converted into a usability designer. He would carry this passion to many great enterprise and industry digital transformations, engineering to ecommerce to banking to mobile and cloud. He has not stopped.

UX before it was a thing

Advocacy for the human in the equation would always be the primary focus.

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The jane Goodall years

“I thought I was wasting time, but these were my most valuable years, I was developing my empathy muscle”

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“I was the Karate Kid painting the fence, wondering when the real stuff would begin”

The short guy in the back. Yes, he’s wearing a tie to work in a office. Surrounded by colleagues who became good friends.

The short guy in the back. Yes, he’s wearing a tie to work in a office. Surrounded by colleagues who became good friends.

user community member

Turns out, the “Jane Goodall years”, living and working among them, were the most important, He had worked so hard getting a design degree and now was not designing anything, just drawing technical illustrations. Meanwhile, he led users groups, created training, and facilitated UI design sessions. He was the Karate Kid sanding the deck wondering when the real stuff would begin, He did not realize this was the most critical work of all, developing those empathy muscles.

the BoGART microcosm

When he was finally recruited to be a member of the elite BoGART development team, he felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to his fellow users, doing everything in his power to make the experience better.

UX before there was UX

He was doing user centered design before it was a thing. Moving from different software apps and websites, he kept that same perspective. Now decades later, empathy remains his greatest design asset. It would be odd if he did not bring this empathy into his art.

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“I’m not Banksy”

“Perhaps for this reason as much as any other, my attitude toward my art audience is different from that of some artists. I respect my audience. In fact, I love them. Weirdly that might make me less cool in some people’s view. There are artists who are bent on abusing their audience. Banksy, for example, destroying a work of art moments after someone pays a million dollars for it. See the shredder story.

There are people who apparently love to be abused, I’m not sure why. It has never made sense to me. Whether the abuse is genuine or a ruse for attention sake, I find it rude. Sorry. If you want abuse, I’m not your guy. You might get an argument, but Abuse is down the hall. I’m not Banksy. “

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Pivotal moments in Digital TRANSFORMATION

Meetings and events that changed everything

IDSA 91 WESTERN CONFERENCE

The Industrial Designers Society of America 1991 Western District Conference, “The new Frontiers of Visual Design” was all about the advent of digital design and the key role played by industrial design in transforming IT into the world we know now. There I met the leaders in the Graphical user interface world; Bill Mogridge, of IDEO, Norm Cox of XEROX PARC / IBM, Sun Microsystems, Kevin Mullet, and HP Motif designer, Shiz Kobara, It was Shiz who told me emphatically, “Man, You gotta go to CHI!

CHI 92 in MONTERREY

CHI 92 (Computer-Human interaction ) in Monetary was monumental in many ways. Here I met gurus, Don Norman, Jakob Nielsen, Aaron Marcus, Claire Marei Karat, and many other early pioneers in the field. Here i became acquainted with usability testing experts Judith Ramey, Stephanie Rosenbaum. I also happened to be one of about forty people crowded into very small room for a usability birds of a feather meeting led by Janice James (with enthusiastic influence from Jared Spool) that was to become the founding of the Usability Professionals’ Association, now UXPA.

Boeing UX connections

Ironically, the most important thing to happen at CHI 92 was I became acquainted with UX enthusiasts from my own company, Boeing. Among them, Keith Butler, Stephen Poltrok, and Randy Worsech, program manager for the Boeing Common User Interface Services initiative. CUIS was a greenhouse for UX before it was called UX. Randy was guy with the vision who gathered all like-minded people from the four corners of this fortune company to change everything about how software was made.

CUIS usability engineering

I became a co-founder of the first Boeing Usability lab, a collaboration of CUIS and Boeing Research and Technology. The lab was more than a resource. It established a solid systematic methodology for measuring (quantitatively and qualitatively), analyzing and improving usability of all software developed by and for the Boeing company, Then, following the typical path of digital transformation, I then led the first team of usability engineering design consultants at in the company. My adventures in UX were taking off.

Airplanes and the airline industry remain a personal interest. That will never go away.

Airplanes and the airline industry remain a personal interest. That will never go away.

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British Airways 777 in that gorgeous Union Jack paint scheme, during flight test flight over the Olympic mountains in western Washington state. Photo courtesy of my friend, Jeff Rumsey, Boeing flight test photographer.

British Airways 777 in that gorgeous Union Jack paint scheme, during flight test flight over the Olympic mountains in western Washington state. Photo courtesy of my friend, Jeff Rumsey, Boeing flight test photographer.

Boeing usability consulting

Co-founder of the Usability Lab at the Boeing Company in Seattle

  • Established a usability testing and human factors research practice

  • Designed the lab technical configuration, network, live audio and video feeds in test cells and observation rooms

  • Planned and Conducted UX studies across the enterprise

  • Innovated advanced testing methods involving social dimensions

  • Led a team of UX consultants providing strategic direction across the company

  • Consulted on the multiple aspects of the 777 Airplane development, a first in many technological and process advances.

  • Provided user interface design direction to Dassault Systemmes CATIA CAD and Fly-Thru 3D visualization, Configurator, and other major enterprise systems.

  • It was a great tour through the Boeing company.

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Sporting my Mariners cap with the Jimi Hendrix Experience Museum under construction in the background, directly beneath the Space Needle.

Sporting my Mariners cap with the Jimi Hendrix Experience Museum under construction in the background, directly beneath the Space Needle.

web producer, EXPERIENCE designer,

Belveal is a practicing UX designer and information architect. He serves as the UX strategist for a digital marketing team in the cyber security industry. He is a blogger and writes most of the copy for his own web site, though often writing in the third person.

UX design titles and roles

I’ve worn all the UX related titles, systems analyst, human factors analyst, user interface designer, usability engineer, business process engineer, experience designer, user researcher, product designer, design consultant, prototyper, and information architect, with all the prefixes of lead, senior, principal, etc. I’ve lost track of them all.

information ARCHITECT

I like the current title because it contains in it the dichotomy of something abstract such as information with something very physical as architecture. Giving a sense of structure and form to abstract ideas is what i am about. It is the nature my design work and my art as well.

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Digital Transformation

Banking ecommerce

The user centered design research and business process analysis work we did was foundation to Information architecture (IA) and decision support patterns enabling a digital transformation for industry.

Tech in the social context

The core conceits were proven in self-service, customer relationship management, and product configuration and actuary.

continuing in art

Some of the key aha breakthrough moments studying people and technology became the inspiration for my exploration of my art. Really, my art is an extension of it.

Me with my partner in UX, Ann. We worked together on many major pioneering projects in ecommecee for banking and insurance with substantive results. We transformed the industry.

Me with my partner in UX, Ann. We worked together on many major pioneering projects in ecommecee for banking and insurance with substantive results. We transformed the industry.

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agent of change

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Sharing a dinner with colleagues in UX in the digital transformation

Sharing a dinner with colleagues in UX in the digital transformation

UX innovator across the industry

An agent for change throughout his career, Belveal has been a mentor to other designers and an advocate for usability and accessibility of virtual and physical spaces.

Now artist to tech culture

Roger has become well known as the artist to the tech design community. His work is a favorite with startups. especially among millennials as it speaks to their life experience.

 
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Getting back to earth

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Steel and concrete

Steel and concrete are extremely anti-digital. They are very earthy, basic, utilitarian, Steel from my father’s metal shop. The use of concrete I trace to John Young influence. First I adapted it as a base for my figures. later as anti-digital mateerial in TechXpressionsim.

Other materials

From working in steel, concrete, and found objects to creating transparent forms and sketches in space. 

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biography

Early life

Born among the tall evergreens and the cool rivers in foothills of the Cascade mountains of Oregon, Belveal grew up in a blue collar sawmill workers and farmers. Learning to weld at the age of nine, he developed a love for metal.

“I love to visit when I can. Some of the old relics still remain. The home where we lived when I was born is under a lake and the acreage where my father had a small herd of cows is now a park. My son and I were at that park and I was telling some fellow about being there as a kid and I pointed where the barn was. My son later told me, ‘That guy thought you were crazy’. Oh well, maybe I am. I love that place.”

The beautiful Santiam River, between the towns of Sweet Home and Lebanon in the foothills of the Cascades. Early life was all around this river.

The beautiful Santiam River, between the towns of Sweet Home and Lebanon in the foothills of the Cascades. Early life was all around this river.

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Michelangelo & marble

At nineteen while writing a paper for my art history class, I discovered Michelangelo. I learned that when Michelangelo was a child his mother was ill and his Father sent him to be cared for by a woman who’s husband worked in a marble quarry. Hanging around the guys cutting stone, handling the stone, he developed an intimate relationship with the material that would last a lifetime.

Steel & flame

I could relate. I remembered being a toddler sitting on the end of my father’s workbench in Sweet Home, Oregon, often barefooted, smelling that small of burnt metal and watching him weld with that beautiful bright blue flame from that acetylene torch, hearing the whir of the oxygen and combustible

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Steel & flame

Cutting, welding, bending that red hot steel like it was a piece of bendy play-dough, making it any shape you want. This was spectacular. It stuck solidly in my brain. I’ve used a lot of tools in my life and career, both physical and digital to be creative. That torch and flame remains my first love among tools

Dark & light

Gases mix brightly in steel melting power in the dim light of that dusty garage. The arc welder was exciting too, but I couldn’t look at it. Everyone knows you have to look away from electric arc welding in progress or you’ll go blind. For Michelangelo it was marble and the chisel. For me it was steel and that awesome flame.

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Mentors and influences

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Sketch by Roger Belveal in ink from Bob Graves’ drawing class

Sketch by Roger Belveal in ink from Bob Graves’ drawing class

Visual Art mentors

Professor Robert E. Graves, art professor; See the Robert Graves Gallery the single most influential belveal art style.

”Bob was amazing. He taught us to see things differently, to look for the gesture in the figure that expressed an attitude. Forget everything else, go after the gestalt. Render it with deliberate unapologetic strokes. Then I wondered what if I did this in three dimensions in steel? “

Humberto (Bob) Gonzales, Art instructor, taught me to see movement

Darrel Dietrich, Art Historian, deep appreciation for art history

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Sculpture mentors

Professor John T. Young - sculptor and my mentor in the study of public art. Host of a PBS show about public art

Professor Norm Taylor, Life sculpture professor and metal casting and fabrication

Industrial Design mentors

Professor Tadeo Shimizu, international designer, mentor in elegant minimalist design

Professor James Hennessy, mentor in human factors research and design thinking long before anyone thought of calling it that.

Photography and media production

Barry Gregg, my mentor in Photography, I was Barry’s apprentice on some photo shoots, some award winning!

Chuck Cole, productions innovator, graphic designer, cinematographer

 
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These images, both create by my good friend, Shannon Grella, back in the day, show me at my computer. notice the stick of wood up on top of the monitor. At that time, I was feeling the sensory derivation of the digital.

These images, both create by my good friend, Shannon Grella, back in the day, show me at my computer. notice the stick of wood up on top of the monitor. At that time, I was feeling the sensory derivation of the digital.

digital Tech mentors

Jim Tallant, taught me UNIX and introduced me to the is thing called the internet, long before the rest of the world would know it exists.

Mike York, Boeing technical fellow, architect for advanced graphics apps, BoGART, FlyThru apps, and Instigator of creative technical brilliance

Usability engineering Mentors

Dr. Keith Butler, Boeing Research and technology fellow, inventor of usability engineering methodology. and chief founder of the Boeing usability lab

Judith Ramey, Professor at UW Dept. of Human Centered Design & Engineering and consultant in establishing Boeing usability practices

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Inspirations

Michelangelo, August Rodin, my UW life sculpture professor, Norm Taylor, masters of the human figure

Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso for showing alternative ways of depicting the figure and the life

Edward Tufte, Information visualization guru and sculptor,

Don Norman

Special thanks

Randy Worsech, program manager Boeing Architecture,

Brian Sullivan, UX Evangelist, Big Design chair, author,

Steve W. Allen, Boeing manager of the CUIS team

Billie Johnson, collaborator in business process engineering

Kim Gesch - Product manager and collaborator in creating awesome cloud based data visualization

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“belveal = Five Andys?”

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He’s been called the Andy Warhol of the Digital age. Roger Belveal’s answer is:

“Really, I’d like to be five Andys

1 - Andy Warhol – He gave us compelling images about contemporary culture

2 - Andy Kaufman – He messed with our minds and our sense of reality just for fun. And we liked it.

3 - Andy Griffith – He was plain spoken, honest, approachable, unassuming, friendly

4 - Andy Rooney – for the ability to poke fun and laugh at just about everything (Wait, who's Andy Rooney?)

5 - Andy the Pixar kid – He reminded us how much we love toys!

But my name is Roger”

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Family and community

Roger and his wife Mary, a career RN, reside in Frisco, TX. and have since 2008. They have four grown children

Josiah Belveal, PE, Civil Engineer, project manager

Holly Lambert, digital marketing brand strategist

Noah Belveal, Neuroscience monitoring researcher

Renee Belveal. social media marketing professional

 
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