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helps us to stay in touch with our distant friends or enable us to pay our bills without leaving our houses.

Since the early 2000s a new design challenge appears to be in play. Interface design has become interaction design, and interaction design has come into alliance with architecture [McCullough, 2004]. New terms have emerged like “ubiquity”, “pervasive”, “tangible”, “spatial or physical computing”. All the above new trends share the same notion; “Now that computation’s denial of physicality has gone as far as it can, it is time for the reclamation of space as a computation medium” [Greenwold, 2003 – p.8]. All these variety of terms have been used to encompass different activities being carried out, but in order to avoid any confusion I will use the term “Physical Computing” as an umbrella term. Simon Greenwold [2003] defines physical computing as human interaction with a machine in which the machine retains and manipulates referents to real objects and spaces. The advocates of this notion demonstrate that physical objects have a sensory richness of meaning that screen-based elements do not. When we see, hear and feel real-world objects we are enabled to train both cognitive and perceptual skills in combination. Such objects can help us create interfaces that are easier, more beautiful and more fun to use [Øritsland et al, 2000]. Taking into consideration the fact that previous paradigms of cyberspace threatened to degrade the physical infrastructure [Schmitt, 1999], by moving the play into the virtual realm, physical computing suggests a defense of our physical world. Malcolm McCullough [2004] believes that architects and those in related disciplines of the physical environment need to become aware of the challenges and opportunities raised by this new state. They need to understand where technology is going and what it has to do with architecture.

Physical Computing:

Using Everyday Objects as Communication tools


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