Jeff mentioned about Richard Rorty’s notion or purpose of art as which ‘invokes suffering, empathy and make people sensitive & push people to become productive in a good way” (The line is just based on my notes and hence may not be quite accurate).

These lines were very powerful for me, since I believe this makes everyone of us a better human and also shows another way of creating empathy with the people whom we want to design. This is more critical for interaction designers who are creating  ‘desired’ and  “intentional” (Nelson & Stolterman, Design Way) designs for the future.

The word ‘art’ created problem for me because not all designs we create invoke empathy in the viewers (except may be designs for volunteer and non-profit purposes/organizations). However, as I deeply reflected on Richard Rorty’s design especially the ‘push people to become productive in a good way’, I think the field of ‘persuasive design’ or persuasive technologies seems to be the closest to one in Interaction design for me.

Although persuasive technologies take various forms and influenced by various types of incentives such as community, saving money, having fun or playing a game etc., few of them have relevance and discuss from the art (making people sensitive) perspective. Example is this app CarbonCatcher http://itunes.apple.com/app/carboncatcher/id300214345?mt=8

“CarbonCatcher is a fun and easy way to offset your carbon footprint. It is not about blaming and shaming. CarbonCatcher is not telling you how high your carbon footprint is compared to others. It is a tool that you can use to do something about it. ”

I am curious if any of you have suggestions or thoughts on how we can move beyond persuasive technologies to ‘felt-life’ interaction design, applying the Rorty’s views.

A pertinent question could also be should we?

P.S  ^^^My answer would be “Yes”

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