After reading about the seven beauties of San Francisco, I MEAN SCIENCE FICTION, I immediately challenged it and was thinking, “Great. Here’s another reading about ‘something’ and I have no idea why we are reading this and how it applies to interaction design.”

Well, I’m going to try and apply (some of) the seven beauties to interaction design. Reflecting on this reading, I tried to think a bit more about HCI/d, what we do in class, what we learn in class and everything else that encompasses our study. As practitioners, we need to design for the future, possibly making science fiction reality, however, (I think) we do it on a much much smaller scale than what science fiction is really perceived to be. We try to design for five to ten years into the future.

Fictive neology:

“Readers of sf expect to encounter new words and other signs that indicate worlds changed from their own” (Csicsery-Ronay 5).

Since, in many cases, we are creating something new or even when enhancing something we will add a particular uniqueness to our artifact by naming and labeling it. For example, as a group project last year in one class, our group created a prototype of a scavenger/treasure hunt game we called “Seekaboo”. A non-existent term which we brought into the world as real.

Fictive novums:

“The concept of the novum, introduced in sf studies by Darko Suvin, refers to a historically unprecedented and unpredicted “new thing” that intervenes in the routine coures of social life and changes the trajectory of history” (Csicsery-Ronay 5).

I think this one is more obvious than others because of the fact that in many cases we end up creating new artifacts from our designs. (Facebook? Military drones?)

Future history:

“Although sf need not always be set in the future, the genre is inherently future-oriented” (Csicsery-Ronay 6).

WOW, we as designers are extremely future oriented because of the simple fact that we ARE designing for the future, but more importantly we explicitly focus on designing for the future (hence 5+ years).

Imaginary Science: Skipping. More below.

Science-fictional sublime:

“Of all contemporary genres, sf is the one most expected to evoke the experience of the sublime” (Csicsery-Ronay 6).

Seriously, just take a look at the iPhone, which took the world by storm. The iPhone pretty much redefined the role of the mobile phone

Science-fictional grotesque: Skipping. More below.

The technologiade: Skipping. More below.

Okay, so I only took a few of the seven beauties because the ones I skipped I probably didn’t fully understand it enough to relate it to HCI. I would like to hear what others have to say about this and if it is even appropriate to use the seven beauties of science fiction in relation to HCI. I think some of these really do connect and make sense when looking at what we do. Thoughts? Comments?

Also, did anyone else keep reading San Francisco when they saw “sf”?

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