Temporal Form in Interaction Design

Interaction design is distinguished from most other design disciplines through its temporal form. Temporal form is the computational structure that enables and demands a temporal expression in the resulting design. Temporal form is what enables poetry. In music, temporal form is the composition of tones, pauses, and timbre arranged into harmonies and rhythms. In interaction design it is, for instance, the behaviors of pixels on a screen or the movements in shape-changing interfaces. In this talk I demonstrate the power of working explicitly with temporal form in designing computational things. I present the results of an experiment in which we explore some of the experiential qualities of 11 simple temporal forms. The experiment show how to use rhythms, complexity, gentle or forceful behaviour, etc., to create experiences of “being alive,” being entertained, or being something that we empathise with. I’ll borrow a framework from Boorstin in which he distinguishes between the voyeuristic, the vicarious, and the visceral experience as means to unpack the results. Finally I’ll argue how the temporal form in computational things enables richer experiences than static objects do.

Anna Vallgårda works as an Associate Professor and Head of the IxD lab at the IT University of Copenhagen. Her research is focused on developing Interaction Design as a material practice. She understands the computer as a material for design and experiments with it as such with the aim of creating new material expressions for computational things. Through this practice she also seeks to deepen our understanding of the trinity of forms in Interaction Design: the physical form, the temporal form, and the interaction gestalt.

Studio Show
November 30, 2016
16:00 – 17:00