Making Things Interactive

April 30, 2008

What is worth interacting with?

Filed under: Final Writing Assignment,Nadeem Haidary — nhaidary @ 1:37 am

Given the opportunity to apply the technology and techniques we learned to anything, for some reason I chose to work in the same problem space I have been in my design classes. With projects like the pushpin and especially the electronic book reader, I have already been applying what we’ve learned to what I currently imagine I’ll be doing for a living.

What I think I need is for my work with sensor technology to not apply to industrial design. In the future, I’d like to apply what I’ve learned to more pointless creations. There is a great opportunity to explore and play with the technology. Having more open-ended goals for what the ‘thing’ might be could result in learning a lot more about the possibilities that a little circuit board, some programming, and a few electrical devices can bring. I’ve made a few finished* products, but what I think I need is less making and more hacking, less finishing and more playing. It’s something I find hard to do at school, and I feel like this class didn’t do enough to promote the process either. Nevertheless, by exploring both extremes of creative problem solving, the conceptual and the technical, I hope there is a lot more meaning that can be brought to the middle, where design can change the world.

Next semester I will be taking a furniture design class where I hope to explore how technology can enhance or change the meaning of objects we sit on, work upon, sleep on, etc.

Having reached the level of accomplishment we have now gotten to, I think more discussion on the merits and demerits of technology-based interaction should be continued. Right now, interactive/smart products and buildings seem to be very attractive. Objects that can adapt to people will last longer and gain more importance in our lives. But still, I wonder how future saturation of these objects might change our perceptions of interaction. Given our biological and cognitive limitations, and the limited resources we have on this planet, what will be worth interacting with?

*hardly

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