Int. J. of Arts and Technology   »   2008 Vol.1, No.3/4



Title: Beyond representations: towards an action-centric perspective on tangible interaction


Author: Ylva Fernaeus, Jakob Tholander, Martin Jonsson


Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Box 1263, SE-164 29 Kista, Sweden.
Sodertorn University College, 141 89 Huddinge, Sweden.
Sodertorn University College, 141 89 Huddinge, Sweden


Abstract: In the light of theoretical as well as concrete technical development, we discuss a conceptual shift from an information-centric to an action-centric perspective on tangible interactive technology. We explicitly emphasise the qualities of shareable use, and the importance of designing tangibles that allow for meaningful manipulation and control of the digital material. This involves a broadened focus from studying properties of the interface, to instead aim for qualities of the activity of using a system, a general tendency towards designing for social and sharable use settings and an increased openness towards multiple and subjective interpretations. An effect of this is that tangibles are not designed as representations of data, but as resources for action. We discuss four ways that tangible artefacts work as resources for action: (1) for physical manipulation; (2) for referential, social and contextually oriented action; (3) for perception and sensory experience; (4) for digitally mediated action.


Keywords: action-centric perspective; interaction design; practice turn; representations; tangible interaction; theoretical foundations; interactive technology; manipulation; control; tangibles; tangible artefacts; perception; sensory experience; digitally mediated action.


DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2008.022362


Int. J. of Arts and Technology, 2008 Vol.1, No.3/4, pp.249 - 267


Available online: 02 Jan 2009



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