Redström, Johan (2009) Disruptions. In: (Re)Searching the Digital Bauhaus. Springer, London, pp. 191-217. ISBN 978-1-84800-349-1

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There seems to be something about the expressiveness of digital technologies that has to do with disruptions. Consider analogue to digital signal conversion as an example. Whereas it might be the goal of such processes to hide the resulting artefacts, it is nevertheless a matter of cutting a continuous flow up into sequences of discrete events. The same of course holds for how a computer tracks what the user does. If we look to the expressions of such processes, the issue of how these discrete events and pieces are created is central, that is, how disruptions are introduced through sensor systems, sampling procedures, compression algorithms, etc. Also in more high-level discourses on how technology presents itself to us, we find that disruptions play a rather central role. As in phenomenology: the notion of breakdown, when a tool reveals itself to us not as an instrumental extension of our intentions but as thing in itself. As in art: the use of poetic devices such as estrangement to disrupt normal conduct and expose aspects of how we relate to things and situations. And in between: everything from waiting for the traffic signals to turn green and dishwashers to finish, to conversations being disrupted by calling mobile phones. In what follows I will look into how we deal with disruptions in interaction design. The basic reason for doing so is the somewhat paradoxical situation that while disruptions seem to be something intrinsic to the digital, they are typically something interaction design aims to eliminate. I will argue that the idea – or ideal – of a continuous interaction between man and machine is one out of several options and thus perhaps not the “natural” strategy we typically seem to think.

Item Type:Book Section
ID Code:3544
Deposited By:Johan Redström
Deposited On:03 Feb 2009
Last Modified:14 Nov 2013 14:42

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