Trotto, A., Fallman, D. (2013). Shaping the Absence An Architectural Perspective for Interaction Design. Proceedings of IASDR 2013, August 26-30 2013, Tokyo, Japan.
The paper will be presented at IASDR 2013 in Tokyo, upcoming August. The paper is downloadable clicking here: Shaping the absence.
Through the course Dense Spaces 2012—i.e. designing small, intelligent spaces such as elevators—carried out together with a group of architecture students at Umeå School of Architecture, Umeå University, Sweden, we report on, exemplify, and discuss how architectural theories, skills, and attitudes can come to complement and provide new food for thought for other design fields, including interaction design. We present the course, discuss some resulting spaces, and reflect on feedback from the participants. Then, we discuss some outcomes of the course that have broader implications. Unlike a more traditional technology-centered perspective, an architectural approach seems more prone to focus on designing what we term dynamic absence, i.e. design also concerned with what is not there. In a similar vein, an architectural approach also seems to address complexity by not fragmenting design challenges into smaller problems. The more holistic architectural attitude provides the opportunity to treat technology as a design material, along with the other architectural design materials the design situation offers, including structures, light, space, and absence. In this way, the architectural approach seems to shift the attention away from the design of representations and metaphors to instead focus on designing meaningful engagements in these spaces.