Redesigning the Media Designer’s Affordances

Phil Van Allen

How can a designer’s workspace and tools be remade to take full advantage of physical and digital affordance in a New Ecology of Things context? The project explores the media designer’s affordances in computational (displays, sensors, tangible interfaces, networks, etc.) objects, spaces, and systems. Tools and their associated interactions are simulated and evaluated in terms of what they tell us about affordance. As the research progressed, it moved beyond the activity of creating a final outcome–which has been the focus of digital tools such as Photoshop–and instead looked at the designer’s overall practice. From sketching to collaboration to documentation to new ways of organizing and visualizing projects, the project asks how computation might be used to move the designer’s work environment beyond the traditions of the mouse, computer screen, and office metaphors.

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