Everything I Touch Touches Me: Phenomenological qualities of tangible interactive interfaces within interaction design

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Abstract

Tangible interactive interfaces and physical objects in interactive art installations typically encompasses a relatively high degree of material exploration in relation to the body. Howe-ver, the computational material in relation to the interaction experience is relatively unverba-lized. We break down the interface into the two parts: behavior and expression. The behavior of the computational form and the expression of the physical form that in combination is the interaction surface experienced by the participants.With this paper, we attempt to explore the different qualities of tangible interfaces that are at play from a phenomenological perspective. We do this through four cases that exemplify experimental interactive interfaces that elicit embodied experiences. The four cases are: Water Illumina; a light installation were colors are mixed by blowing air into funnels, Tangible Data; a light data visualisation installation with a physical tangible interface, Laser Tennis; a large scale laser projection of old video games controlled by big tangible buttons, and Drum Interaction; a collaborative drumming interface to control light and fire.We posit that a phenomenological perspective in interaction (tangible interface) design is an attribution to allow room for active participation of the lived body; a development of the notion of embodiment beyond situatedness - acknowledging the interplay between bodies and technology, that users, artifacts, and contexts affect each other.The cases are presented as an annotated portfolio as an analytical tool to extract a general understanding of the phenomenological qualities of tangible interactive interfaces. We present the following annotations: Throughout the different installations the role of the computational material serves as a significant mediator in the bodily experience; our sensory perception through the interfaces, and the bodily interplay between touch and touchback. Thus, the article presents elements at play on how the computational material in relation to the physical material can be understood as a significant factor in an expressive interactive system when we experience and interact with tangible interfaces in a phenomenological perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAffect, Interface, Event - Godsbanen, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 29 Aug 201830 Aug 2018
http://aie.au.dk/aie-2018/ (Webpage for the conference)

Conference

ConferenceAffect, Interface, Event
LocationGodsbanen
CountryDenmark
CityAarhus
Period29/08/201830/08/2018
Internet address

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