Design, Develop, Create

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Expressive objects

A personal reflection:
It seems to me that Moggridge's "Expressing Experiences in Design" presents a kind of method for technology development; articulation by illustration and descriptive prose. The paper demonstrates this with examples of technologies that had not yet found their place in the present (the paper was published in 1999). Even so, a designed object that has not yet become commonplace can be articulated, its aesthetic hinted at, sketched and praised. 

I think Moggridge's method is to rely on illustration and descriptive prose. A designed object can be talked about, imagined, its aesthetic hinted at, sketched and praised.  Moggridge draws attention to the potential for 'made objects' to exert an emotional appeal. Objects that evoke feelings even as we work, think or play with them. Such experiences may be positive or negative, even a confusing mix of with other perceptions. These objects remind us of past experiences, our encounters with them at other times even ages in our personal biographies.

But in these examples the design process is overlooked in light of the finished product as a whole, as if it were completed thing, already integrated within the equipment surrounding someone's life world. What else does Moggridge's presentation leave out, what does he miss from these snapshots of what was then speculative and futuristic technology? For example, the design process is overlooked in light of the finished product as a whole, completed thing.

The Osborne 1 my Grandfather gave me...
Can I do the same I too? Depict an expressive object that means something to me, give voice to modes of interaction that evoke some emotion, memories or feelings from when I used it? And an object that is more than a memento, a tool that allowed me express some goal, attain something I couldn't do before.

Moggridge, B. (1999) Expressing Experiences in Design. Interactions, 6, 17-25.