Interaction 09: Fiona Raby

by Luke Wroblewski February 8, 2009

In her Interaction 09 keynote, Fiona Raby discussed the esoteric side of the interaction between people and things.

  • Design can be used to ask questions not just solve problems. This is a discursive role for design.
  • Our machines may be over-rationalized. This is a concern because it is the biological bits that are the problem. People are difficult & irrational. Many designers are afraid of this perspective.
  • Discursive design uses satire to keep a discussion going
  • Product design has an interesting relationship with people. It’s a popular expressive part of our culture. People regularly imagine how objects can change their lives.
  • The weighing scale might be one of the most damaging of all “watered down” robots. Alternate concepts include: a large scale that allows you to stand where you want to shift weight; a scale that does not show weight to the person standing on it; a scale that sends weight via SMS to specific people.
  • Simple objects can place people right into issues and ideas. Take abstract ideas and put them into families in ways that force conversations. This is a way that design can ask questions.
  • Humble objects can raise complex questions.