Ash at CIID

Ashwin Rajan's blog while at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

Posts Tagged ‘emotion

Fabio Sergio at CIID

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Fabio Sergio of Frog Design gave an open lecture at CIID a couple of weeks back. He was emphatic right at the start about not categorizing ‘interaction design’ as anything different (whether in terms of approaches, skills, or industry) from ‘design’ as such; and from this hub discussed the state of design and the three major waves in design thinking since the industrial revolution.

Form follows function: the craftsman’s aesthetic; phrase coined by Louis Sullivan. The guts and internal workings of an artifact are reflected in its exterior ‘form’. Pure, direct, beautiful, functional, sometimes confusing at the level of ‘interface’, not very communicative of ‘state’, poor at providing feedback. A ‘how it works’, not ‘how it looks’ approach. Yet, I don’t see how some things can be better designed.

Spindle from 1815 in my friend's home in Copenhagen - alive, well and even today runs as smooth as silk.

Form follows emotion: The second major shift – a reaction to the cold wave of industrial mass production, a response to the inhuman montony characteristic of the machine – whose influences included developments in areas like branding, measurement and logic of interacting with aritfacts, GUI, usability, cognitive pyschology, ‘satisfaction’ of user. Don Norman’s ‘Emotional Design’ with Philippe Starck’s juicer on its cover was one of the landmark books that presented the approach to a wide audience. Powerful, and for me, always relevant.

Philippe Stark's Juicer - take me home?
Form follows meaning: The New Shift. The Now. The Tomorrow. The Connected. The Conversation. As digital and physical realms collide and specific, tangible artifacts merge, mingle and morph into others, boundaries are dimmed and designing for people’s values and value systems becomes paramount. Curious and bizarre terms such as mirror-worlds, everyware, spime, mass-customization come into currency. I am presently dipping into ‘Shaping Things’ by Bruce Sterling every now and then, and quickly coming back up for air!
An Internet of Things is here.

An Internet of Things is here.


Written by Ashwin Rajan

December 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Emotional Considerations in UbiComp

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Mark Weiser’s seminal article has proved to be sweeping in title as well as consequence. It is widely argued today that “The Computer for the 21st Century” was the first of its kind to effectively capture the essence of the idea about what is today known variously as ..ahem – pervasive computing/ubiquitous computing/ambient intelligence/physical computing/the internet of things/things that think/haptic computing and so on and so forth. And why not? I love loaded words, especially those that also mean something!

But the point here is that this space gets more and more real all the time. Its serious enough now to prompt such long-term projects such as the, again, quite sweepingly titled “The Disappearing Computer” initiative, while figures such as Bill Gates have made efforts in the past to publicly address this emerging domain.

Needless to say, I am excited about this stuff, and before jumping headlong into the embedded, gesturally-triggered world, its probably also worth asking (as Gwen Floyd brought up in class the other day): what technologies should be allowed to disappear, become hidden? And what artifacts should stay external, be apparent, tactile? Which interactions provide those intrinsic emotional connections we love to have with the world of things around us? And what extrinsic behaviors exhibited by our products enrich our everyday experience in yet unnoticed and un-researched ways? How come some people want to pay all their bills with one flick of a wrist, only so they can go back to building that IKEA bookshelf one shelf at a time?