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Image: Diana Africano Clark

Brendon Clark

How does it feel to be part of Researchers' Friday Stand-up?

“It will be an unusual experience but it feels good to be involved, at the same time it is a bit stressful to go up on stage for the first time. I see humour as an underutilized tool in learning processes, and see ForskarFredag Stand-up as a good opportunity to think about whether humour about research can work for me and the audience.”

How can you make research fun?

“Discovering what is new or what is a surprise in daily behaviour is fun. But the conditions of research processes are often boring or too serious. Humour is based on reality. You have to show something that is true and honest, and dare to show it in an unusual way.”

What are you researching?

“Under the theme design anthropology, I explore emerging methods for meeting complex challenges together. In the design of new products and services, we often talk about "users" of products and services and "stakeholders" with societal and economic interests. I look at the processes of involving users and stakeholders through the design of new opportunities towards a democratic ideal. How do we prototype the future together?”

What is the most fun and interesting thing about research and what is the challenge?

“What is most satisfying is when a diverse set of people can see new opportunities for what life can look like, by getting involved with each other. The biggest challenge is to support others (and myself) to look beyond their immediate agenda, to let go of their fears and defences long enough to learn from each other and discover a new perspective.”

Why do you think popular(izing) science is important?

”Research is relational and plays an important role in a democratic society. Entering into dialogue with the public can support researchers to stay grounded in the importance of what they do and to develop a common language. When done well, it can create interest in their discipline.”

What do you hope to "get out" of the stand up and learn?

“My dream is to be able to get in touch with the audience in a way that they recognize themselves for a moment and we recognize each other. I want to develop by trying something new, that is, stand-up.”

Short facts about Clark

Lives: in Stockholm and comes from Carmel in California
Family: Wife and two children
Interests: Improvisation theater, hiking, camping, mountain biking
Me in three words: Intensive. Exaggerated. Raw
Favorite genre in comedy: Improvisation theater and sketches
Favorite comedian and role model: Tina Fey and Key & Peele
My favorite joke: To explain to someone my discovery "I'm only bored when I'm with other people"
Makes me laugh: Unexpected details in daily life
Does in five years: Links humor and research on a daily basis
Spends a free Sunday: Mountain biking, fishing or hanging out with the family
Three top places in Umeå: My fishing place under a bridge. Boule at the Orangeriet, my research studio at the Industrial School of Design
Umeå in three words: Extrem. Expansive. Opportunity-rich
I stood on stage for the first time:  Never with stand-up, but 2017 with improvisational theater
Dreamed of becoming when I was little: Saxophonist

Latest update: 2021-10-19