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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.

Through this project we show the power of working explicitly with temporal form in designing computational things. We have seven experts within interaction design, dance, music and computational ceramics to articulate the experiential qualities 11 simple temporal forms. We borrow a framework from Boorstin’s film theory in which he distinguishes between the voyeuristic, the vicarious, and the visceral experience. We show how to use rhythms, complexity, gentle or forceful behavior, etc., to create experiences of “being alive,” being entertained, or being something that we empathize with.

Watch a video from the project:

Project team:
Anna Vallgårda
Morten Winther Larsen
Nina Mørch Pedersen
Edit Emese Vizer

Publication:
Vallgårda, Anna, Morten Winther, Nina Mørch, & Edit Emese Vizer. 2015. Temporal Form in Interaction Design. International Journal of Design. 9, 3. 1-15. [download]