Thursday 6th February, 2014
11:45am to 11:45am
All our actions are interactions.
In today’s world, we do not exist in isolation; we are all highly interconnected and deeply interdependent. Today’s challenges affect everyone and we need everyone’s involvement to address them.
Meanwhile, the root of many of our world challenges today is fragmentation: fragmented thinking, fragmented behaviors & fragmented solutions. To tackle these challenges, we need eloquent and crossbreed solutions. From fragmented thinking, we need to shift to comprehensive innovation, and I believe that the essence of comprehensive innovation is human interaction.
By ‘human interaction’, I refer to interaction in its different forms and contexts. Beyond the digital realm of interactive design, and beyond the concept of user experience, human interaction includes people’s verbal and nonverbal interactions with each others, with objects and with each others through objects. Whatever the interaction and whomever the parties involved, it is crucial that human interaction is always considered in the context of its environment. An interaction between two people in space, for example, is part of a larger network of interactions, including each person’s interaction with space. The Language of space and the language of people in space is a foundational component of human interaction.
I believe we cannot design interaction itself. Instead, we can design for interaction. We need to design the context for interaction to emerge, a context that embodies the qualities of a human context: incomplete, impermanent, imperfect. It is everyone’s responsibility, including designers and architects, to design the context for human interaction.
So how can we create contexts for human interaction?
As an architect, space is my language. Whatever your language may be, I believe it is only a tool and only relevant in light of the interaction it can stimulate and the enhanced experience it can offer. The focus is on the process rather than the product. This shift of focus implies a shift of behaviors: we now have to shift our designer role from a dictator to a facilitator. We now have new roles; we now have to have new roles. The role of facilitator is what allows us to mature from fragmented thinking to comprehensive innovation.
So how can we create contexts for interaction? The process of designing for interaction can in itself become the context for interaction. We can’t design innovation; instead we design the context for it. Designing the context for interaction is key to designing our future, because after all, all our actions are interactions.
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