I must confess that as I sat in class yesterday my mind wandered and for about 20 minutes I was entirely elsewhere. Something disturbed me — but not necessarily in a bad way. I began reflecting on what it is we so often do — in an effort to understand the present we contemplate the past. This process is an integral part of how we gain understanding. For well over 500 years it seems we have been locked into the metaphor of the white rectangle — otherwise known as the page and more recently the screen. It is my belief that we are on the verge shifting the paradigm or perhaps even transcending the paradigm.
Ubiquitous computing and the types of interfaces and interaction that will accompany it will radically change what we do as interaction designers. Any surface at any time and in any space will replace our beloved screens. Our relationship with the digital realm will be mediated via the gestural, multi-modal and biological nature of our human-ness in time and space. As we face this major evolutionary step in our paradigm it becomes increasingly important that we understand the here and now and that we are prepared with the ability to transfer our cognitive skills to a new and alien world. Theoretical underpinnings such as semiotics and activity-theory may be foundational in making the kind of leap we are facing.
By writing critically using these frameworks our thoughts are given physical form, we are able play with them, analyze them and work through the problems we struggle with. Not sure where I’m going with this… ramble, ramble, ramble.
“I like to think when something disturbs me that it is important.” – Steven Jesse Bernstein