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Thursday 2nd February 2012

  • Cultural Design

    by Erik Dahl

    The products and services we design and deploy are embedded within a culture and not just a context. Culture is an important concept that is often overlooked by designers. We need to think beyond user's goals, needs, desires, emotions, context, psychology and principles of design; we need to start designing from a place of culture.

    This talk explores how cultural understanding can inform design as well as how our designs impact the cultures that use them. I define culture in terms of design and build a framework designers can use to better understand culture and it’s implications on their design work. Designers will walk away from this talk with basic cultural literacy and the tools to incorporate cultural understanding into their design process. I will also show the impact the products and services we design have on cultures.

    Ultimately, design (even if data and pattern driven) is subjective and we bring our own historical trajectory to our designs. Having a deeper understanding of culture will have a direct impact on what we bring to our design decisions.

    More broadly, as a design profession we need to be expanding our discourse to include culture and cultural theory into our understanding of interactions, experiences and design.

    At 10:20am to 11:05am, Thursday 2nd February

    In Liffey 1, The Convention Centre Dublin CCD

Saturday 4th February 2012

  • Vernacular Interaction Design

    by Frederick van Amstel

    Interaction Design is a young field dedicated to how people interact with technology, but people used to interact without technology way long before it. Kid’s street games are one example of what we call Vernacular Interaction Design. Those games have interaction structures that were designed by players themselves across many generations, accumulating a history of successive adaptations for local cultures. By playing those games, children learn how to behave across different social dynamics and, at the same time, update game’s representation of those dynamics by according new rules. But this tradition is under threat. Children are spending more time playing videogames than playing street games. That wouldn’t be a threat if they could adapt videogame rules by themselves, but currently most videogames don’t offer this possibility. Game companies do their best to update their titles, but because they need to operate under mass market rules, they can’t innovate much. This cultural stagnation is happening in many other areas of life, tough. Think about social networking, dating, working.

    But Interaction Design can do something about it. Systems can be designed to allow emergent vernacular forms of interactions. Also, old vernacular forms can be revitalized by using them as inspiration for new forms, like Graphic Design did successfully with vernacular typography. This talk will present student works from Faber-Ludens Interaction Design Institute that used children’s games as inspiration for designing enjoyable work interactions.

    At 2:25pm to 2:35pm, Saturday 4th February

    In Liffey 2, The Convention Centre Dublin CCD