Sessions at Interaction12 about Aesthetics on Thursday 2nd February

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  • Beyond Modernism: What Interaction Designers Can Learn from the Architecture of Zaha Hadid

    by Jason Brush

    The predominant aesthetic of user interface design since its advent reflects the ethos of modernist, Bauhaus-inspired architecture and design, shunning decorative adornment in favour of aesthetics determined by utile function. Meanwhile, many leading architects have moved past the principles that guided the seminal architecture of the modernist era — and still inspire interface design — to embrace aesthetic goals outside pure functional form; today's most influential, progressive buildings are complex structures that balance individualistic, conceptual and expressive goals with their functional purpose. Among the notable architects whose practice breaks with the conventions of modernism is Pritzker-winner Zaha Hadid. Her work — such as BMW's headquarters and the Guangzhou Opera House— is marked by a sophisticated connection between her buildings and their surrounding environment, often resulting in dramatic, fluid, organic forms that break from the functional simplicity of modernism.

    This talk is an inspiring survey of Hadid's architecture practice from the perspective of the interaction designer, and uses her work to ask some key questions about the status quo of today's design aesthetic for interaction and what the future may bring: can interaction design evolve to achieve the types radical forms seen in Hadid's architecture? If not, why not, and is this a good or bad thing? If so, how so, and what obstacles do interaction designers face? What parallels between architecture and interface design are apropos, and which are not? What inspiring lessons can interaction designers take from Hadid's work to inform the evolution of their craft?

    At 2:35pm to 3:20pm, Thursday 2nd February

    In Liffey 1, The Convention Centre Dublin CCD

    Coverage video

  • The Aesthetics of Motion in the age of Natural User Interfaces

    by Dave Malouf

    This talk will carry from where Dave left off in 2009 when he explored the Foundations of IxD as criteria for coming up with a semantics for critiquing IxD. Dave will review these original theories and dive deeper into an area he only alluded to in the first presentation: Motion.

    Motion has always been a part of interaction, but today more than ever, the types of motions we are being asked to do have greater scale and greater diversity and the very motions we employ are now central to how we differentiate the means of interaction and lead to new aesthetic and semantic phenomena as part of the total experience design.

    The talk then transitions from the theoretical and outlines how this new understanding of motion as an aesthetic of its own requires us to shape the way we practice interaction design differently regardless of platform, but especially when we are working in areas where we are creating new interaction paradigms or working with immature ones.

    At 3:40pm to 4:25pm, Thursday 2nd February

    In Liffey 1, The Convention Centre Dublin CCD

    Coverage video

  • What if... crafting design speculations

    by Anthony Dunne

    What happens when you decouple design from the marketplace, when rather than making technology sexy, easy to use and more consumable, designers use the language of design to pose questions, inspire, and provoke — to transport our imaginations into parallel but possible worlds?

    Once you start doing this you are effectively dealing with fiction and very different aesthetics come into play.

    In my talk I will use examples from the Design Interactions programme at the RCA and my own studio to discuss aesthetic issues around crafting design speculations, such as engagement, ambiguity, suspension of disbelief, and different kinds of thought experiments (e.g.: counterfactuals, what if…, and reductio ad absurdum).

    At 4:30pm to 5:15pm, Thursday 2nd February

    In Liffey B, The Convention Centre Dublin CCD

    Coverage video