This video is a classic example of Expressionist theory. The director(not sure who among the two) was clearly pouring out (in expressionist theory terms – “transmuted”) the feelings or emotions of theirs’ into a video made up of texts, pictures and audio files.

Using this as example, my observation is that the director expresses the emotions to evoke similar feelings in their target audience. This video does not show scientific data or phenomenon. It shows only feelings of the director and the only way this can be “understood” [Barnard] by the audience is through the common medium between viewer & director (e.g holding heads down means it’s a painful situation etc) [structuralism] as well as empathizing with the director.

I also have a feeling that expressionist theory can be used to easily  “understand” films/works if there is just one emotion because the theme will be clear. Consider a movie where a joyous child is playing with toy for few mins and then the toy is being taken away & the child cries. How do you use expressionist theory to understand this? What is the expressionist “feeling” transmuted? Is it the joy of the child with the toy or the sadness of the child after being robbed of the toy?

However, this does not seems to work much in cases where the focus of interaction designers is to create designs and not just invoke their feelings in their users. Example, when an interaction designer creates Robot Unicorn attack, she wants the players to enjoy the game. This enjoyment is not the interaction designer’s feeling but a conscious intention which they want the users to experience. The interaction designer here is not expressing the emotion, rather acting as a face of the user and just helping the user experience what they would like. Of course, there may be special cases.

So in summary, to me it seems expressionist theory is useful if any work’s purpose is only to evoke the shared feelings of the director in the viewer especially using film works. But for interaction design I really do not know how much expressionist theory helps, considering that interaction designers create works for users & not for themselves, which means that user is the focus & not themselves or their emotions.

I am not sure if I’ve written clear content or even a good argument. My hope is that I strengthen my argument by practicing like this.

P.S Kinda irrelevant but still. One caveat with the structuralism (appears to me) is that it can not account for creation of emotions & feelings in a person because it is uncontrollable even though it can help you understand that it was really an emotion/feeling.

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