Ways of Knowing
Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon
Beyond Form Follows Function: Proposing a Simple Taxonomy that better Defines Successful Design View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Eric Woodcock
Among non-designers (who are often important decision makers) the phrase 'form follows function' is a familiar pointer towards what good, contemporary design is about. Yet many products and services which apparently follow this principle turn out to be failures - commercially, practically, or both. For convenience, the term 'anthrofact' is used here to cover products and services. Based on an examination of successful anthrofacts across many fields, this paper proposes that the simple principle be extended to consider how 'finish' (how well the anthrofact meets quality expectations) and 'feeling' (the extent to which the customer's or user's trust in the producer of the anthrofact) are important in determining success. This is turn influences the design process, for example through choices of materials and the extent to which brand cues and other devices are used to bolster trust in the producer.
Universal Design Principles for Extreme Users: A Study of Ergonomics for Left Handed Users in Graphical User Interface View Digital Media
The graphical user interface was brought into existence with an intend to expand the access of computer systems to the masses by making its interface simple to the users, thereby enabling them to familiarize themselves with it quickly. At the initial stage of the development, the visual components of the graphical user interface were designed considering the technical constraints of the available computer systems and the operating devices were designed accordi. However, with technological advancements, the operating system manufacturers attempted to experiment with the respective visual elements of their interface in order to understand and find the most optimal settings throughout the screen, resulting in the evolution of graphical user interface by making the visual interface streamlined across all platforms taking into account the convenience of the mainstream userbase having most basic requirements. With operating system manufacturers focusing more towards the overall appearance of the computer interface instead of individual visual elements, a little research is conducted to cater the requirements of extreme user categories, making the evolution of the visual elements of the graphical user interface stagnant. This paper studies the ergonomics of one such fundamental visual element of the graphical user interface, considering left-handed computer users as an extreme user category with an objective to develop and propose a universal design solution to include left-handers as a mainstream user category in a computer interface.
Dystopia proliferates through control, manipulation and uniformity, because, in order to radicalize and impose itself, it needs not only Foucauldian «useful and docile» bodies, but also aesthetically and ideologically similar individuals. To achieve its goal, the authority exploits psychophysical submission to shape its social body and rigidly organizes communication, fashion, design, architecture and space, perfect expressions of its grandeur, its benefits and its nightmares, also facilitating the recognition, the limitation and the eradication of otherness. How do places and objects reflect dystopia and support its plans? How will dystopian theories and trends affect everyday life? This contribution intends to investigate the phenomenology oriented towards the pre-visualization of possible futures, using in an interdisciplinary way dystopia and the design culture as tools for representing, narrating and deciphering the relationships between humans and objects. The study also reflects on the influence of technology and on the men-artifacts relationship, highlighting its possible evolutions and the changes that the experience of material (and non-material) space has on relationships, lifestyles and human and social values. Considering some significant works of the genre, such as Orwell’s 1984, Moore and Lloyd’s V for Vendetta, and Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and comparing the dystopian realities examined with some historical, design and cultural trends of the 20th century and of the 21st century, the contribution intends to analyse: the material construction and ideal representation of dystopia; the relationship between space, authority and population; the relationship between man, otherness and artifacts; the relationship between design, science and technology.