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New Metaphors: A Workshop Method for Generating Ideas and Reframing Problems in Design and Beyond

Authors:

Abstract

Metaphors are important at multiple levels within design and society—from the specifics of interfaces, to wider societal imaginaries of technology and progress. Exploring alternative metaphors can be generative in creative processes, and for reframing problems strategically. In this pictorial we introduce an inspiration card workshop method using juxtaposition (or bisociation) to enable participants to explore novel metaphors for hard-to-visualise phenomena, drawing on a provisional set of inspiration material. We demonstrate the process through illustrating creative workshops in France, Portugal, Chile, and the USA, and reflect on benefits, limitations, and potential development of this format for use within interaction design.
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





C&C ‘19




ABSTRACT



alternative metaphors can be generative in creative

pictorial we introduce an inspiration card workshop method
bisociation


demonstrate the process through illustrating creative



New Metaphors

Dan Lockton






Devika Singh






Saloni Sabnis






Michelle Chou





mingchic

Sarah Foley







Alejandro Pantoja





“a device for seeing something in terms of
something else. It brings out the thisness of
that or the thatness of a this.”

Below: How could  be a metaphor for 
? Could  be a metaphor for
, or  a metaphor for ?
Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
319
vehicle




Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
320
tenor




Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
321
METAPHORS OLD AND NEW






we even notice the metaphorical component of desktops and


























metaphors for networked products and services drawing on




























Metaphors beyond design and HCI















as  is  or  is 

 is






 as a metaphor for 
 as a metaphor for



















Generating metaphors









 for suggesting solu





-

Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
322
that each of these phenomena was something we would be



tenor




ing 2 cards show a photograph and the name of a
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about how a concept might be developed based around
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Humanity
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of an assorted selection of phenomena and abstract concepts
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variants of the workshop method and cards for teaching
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We have also created two
New

bot which randomly pairs a

, which



Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
323
Stage 1 of the workshop









interesting or appropriate




Stage 2

to map characteristics












Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
324

participants have used






how could this work as a


 and
 were


and 


expressions has been reviewed and
the next iteration of the cards uses








Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
325
Stage 3


Stage 4
 as
a metaphor for 
 as a metaphor for 
; a spatial redesign of wireless network strength indication using
 as a metaphor for ; and  as a

Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
326
 as a metaphor
for 

interface representing tasks through a garden in which some
tasks grew of their own accord to overwhelm or shade out







of  as a
metaphor for 

ambient lighting would
dim if the user were in
a situation where there
was more risk to their





as a metaphor foror ?











see



Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
327
as a metaphor for and



for 
metaphor for 








using visualisations of waves in a pool reinforcing or
interfering with each other to represent coincident or

the development of the concept included mappings







as a metaphor for 












windows representing particular



 as a metaphor for 

form of data visualisation dashboard







from or towards certain elements


a description one member recalled





Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
328
DISCUSSION AND FURTHER WORK






















there were some ideas that perhaps used a more direct

the cards  and 
to generate the idea for a hospital treatment room with a


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initial inspiration from the metaphor but developed their
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some groups had set themselves the challenge to work with
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working through the characteristics of the phenomena being
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e card format
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


Future directions

is to use the 








new practices through enabling new forms of understand






















own personal collections of interesting or resonant meta



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS










Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
329
 
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
 



 




 


 


virtual worlds with a restricted walking work





 


 


 





 



 


 


REFERENCES
Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
330
 






 






 

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
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

 








 







 



 


Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
331
 






 








 






 




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 

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
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 
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 
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 
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 
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 
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 
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
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
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 
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
 
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

Session 7: Design + Ideation
CC ’19, June 23–26, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
332
... Researchers (Lockton, et al., 2019) looked into designing workshops to help generating ideas and reframing problems. They used 75 photographic and 75 text cards which were given to 180 participants in different workshops. ...
... Source: (Lockton, et al., 2019) In contrast, groups in different workshops, used the same photo (Waves) as a metaphor for different things: The balance of flavors in a meal and People's accents. ...
... Source: (Lockton, et al., 2019) The association between flavors and waves represented a concept for an app which people can use to track and plan experiences of trying new cuisines at restaurants and match up with potential dining buddies based on a wave-like visualization of flavors and ingredients over time, which sometimes coincide and sometimes diverge. The Waves and People's accents is a concept for a language learning interface particularly focused on pronunciation, using visualizations of waves in a pool reinforcing or interfering with each other to represent coincident or different pronunciations. ...
Book
Full-text available
The ability to express oneself creatively and take a more active role in the learning process increases engagement and participation, two important components of citizenship. Together, learning and creativity, allow the citizen to express some forms of creativity using several tools in different situations. Because experience is a dynamic link between learning and creativity, these two represent components of human’s process in order to get knowledge or skill from doing, seeing or feeling things. Creating and constructing new things need fresh knowledge and expertise. Individuals learn through their feelings, imagination, experiences, and surroundings on a constant basis. Individual growth is aided by education, which is a human development planning activity. It allows people to build their knowledge via their experiences. Education should promote and reward students who want to be creative, and it should educate pupils not only to study information but also how to think critically and creative. From producing, consuming, sharing, playing, and socializing to investigating, communicating, learning, and working, digital citizenship and involvement encompass a wide range of activities. People who are capable of responding to new and everyday difficulties connected to study, employment, employability, leisure, inclusion and involvement in society, while respecting human rights and multicultural differences, represent digital citizens.
... Kuhn also stated the need to revisit metaphors in science to maintain their relevance. Metaphors are often employed as a tool for creativity and problem solving [57,90,102], but Hofstadter [69] goes further, claiming that metaphors (or analogies) are the core of cognition; they are the "motor of the car of thought." In this view, we can't get away from using metaphors in our language and perhaps in our thinking. ...
... Combining features of two different metaphors is another way to be creative, as is deliberately trying to violate a metaphor to see what ensues [45]. The growing interest in metaphors has led to the design of metaphor-based applications [41,47] and tools to generate potentially helpful metaphors [8,58,59,90,91]. By playing around with multiple metaphors (particularly with respect to VUIs), we may be able to think about novel uses and functionality to address challenging problems. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
We explore a range of different metaphors used for Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) by designers, end-users, manufacturers, and researchers using a novel framework derived from semi-structured interviews and a literature review. We focus less on the well-established idea of metaphors as a way for interface designers to help novice users learn how to interact with novel technology and more on other ways metaphors can be used. We find that metaphors people use are contextually fluid, can change with the mode of conversation, and can reveal differences in how people perceive VUIs compared to other devices. Not all metaphors are helpful, and some may be offensive. Analyzing this broader class of metaphors can help understand, perhaps even predict problems. Metaphor analysis can be a low-cost tool to inspire design creativity and facilitate complex discussions about sociotechnical issues, enabling us to spot potential opportunities and problems in the situated use of technologies.
... For example, to visualise "power relations between people", students came up with ideas ranging from shadows, to flocks of birds. These were essentially metaphors, and as such an initial set of 'metaphor cards' was developed as provocations for the students to find their own phenomena; these cards subsequently, following a further workshop at [redacted] a technology company's conference, formed the basis for the New Metaphors project (Lockton et al, 2019c), moving away from the specific 'interface' context but still with a strong qualitative emphasis. ...
... Sheets of paper were crumpled and smoothed out again to try to capture this feeling physically. Antonio iterated on different interface designs using a variety of metaphors (Lockton et al, 2019c), interested to see how these might provide a more qualitative and nuanced representation of productivity and procrastination as opposed to solely quantitative feedback. The final design used two metaphors as a form of qualitative display: a smooth clay ball that becomes dented when focus is lost (Figure 1, left), and a clear sheet of crystal that becomes progressively more shattered when browsing patterns steer predominantly towards "non-productive" sites ( Figure 1, right); they then become smooth and intact again when the wearer's focus increases. ...
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Interaction designers tend to use quantification as a default to present information and a way to enable interactions with technologies. There is a notion that quantification is valued to be the most actionable and legitimate form of presentation, while our actual experiences of the world are largely qualitative. But can we design 'qualitative interfaces'? What would they be like? In this paper, we explore insights and experiences from four years of applying the notion of qualitative interfaces in interaction design student projects in two countries. We introduce, review, and compare projects across different application areas ranging from running training schemes to electricity use, and discuss questions around the relationships between the underlying phenomena and links to the ways in which they are displayed or represented, around the variety of ways in which students arrived at their designs, and suggest considerations for others interested in this kind of approach.
... Traditionally there have been research methods in social sciences, ethnography, cognitive anthropology, HCI, cognitive ergonomics and human factors, educational research, and other fields, which use different kinds of exploration, from formal analysis of mental models to informal clustering techniques. But there is the potential for more creative explorations, involving sketching [53,102], 'materializing' abstract concepts [71], developing new metaphors [73], or story completion [20]. These 'creative research methods' [62], or inventive methods [77,79] are emerging as new ways for Research through Design to be a form of critical enquiry relevant to other disciplines [e.g. ...
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Our everyday technologies could have appeared terrifying to our ancestors: instantaneous disembodied communication, access to knowledge, objects with ‘intelligence’ that talk to us (and each other). Black boxes and intangible entities are omnipresent in our homes and lives without our necessarily understanding the hidden flows of data, unknown agendas, imaginary clouds, and mysterious rules that govern them. Have humanity's ways of relating to the unknown throughout history gone away, or have they perhaps transmuted into new forms? In an ongoing project, we have inventoried examples, encounters and reflections on contemporary technology, framed through the perspective of the haunted, spectral and otherworldly. In this paper, we excerpt this collection to illustrate the value and opportunity of an unfamiliar, disquieting perspective in helping to frame the frictions, beliefs and myths that are emerging around interactions with everyday technologies. We posit and demonstrate ‘spooky technology’ as an accessible framework to reflect and respond to our increasingly entangled relationships with technology.
... These actions may yield useful outcomes in their ability to prompt refection and can ofer greater options within situations which are challenging in their complexity or lack of satisfying outcomes. Here, we might see an opportunity for HCI methods to aid refection through, for example, the use of card-decks or prompts that ask one to consider a wide range of scenarios or situations with an open playfulness which could otherwise become constrained at later stages of a design process [48,49,63]. Furthermore, within a collaboration that split across design and the production of artistic artifacts which predominantly sit outside of our feld, we saw promise in future translational work between HCI and other disciplines. ...
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Given the ongoing environmental crisis and recent calls within HCI to engage with its cascading efects on the more-than-human world, this paper introduces the concept of the eco-technical interface as a critical zone at which designers can surface and subvert issues of multispecies relations such as nonhuman instrumentalization. The eco-technical interface represents the sites at which human, nonhuman, and technological interfaces overlap, ranging from remote sensing for conservation to smart devices for precision agriculture to community science platforms for species identifcation. Here, we highlight the pervasiveness of the eco-technical interface as a set of sites for further HCI inquiry, engage with the politics and instrumentalizing tendencies at three particular sites, and demonstrate tactics for cultivating attunement to, refexively accounting for, and subverting instrumentalization in multispecies encounter.
... Keywords: metaphors, systems, design Figure 1. New Metaphors (Lockton et al, 2019b), exhibited at RSD8, includes a range of metaphors which can be used to illuminate abstract properties of systems, from 'things growing on things' to 'finding a niche'. 420 2 ...
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Editorial The RSD10 symposium was held at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2nd-6th November 2021. After a successful (yet unforeseen) online version of the RSD 9 symposium, RSD10 was designed as a hybrid conference. How can we facilitate the physical encounters that inspire our work, yet ensure a global easy access for joining the conference, while dealing well with the ongoing uncertainties of the global COVID pandemic at the same time? In hindsight, the theme of RSD10 could not have been a better fit with the conditions in which it had to be organized: “Playing with Tensions: Embracing new complexity, collaboration and contexts in systemic design”. Playing with Tensions Complex systems do not lend themselves for simplification. Systemic designers have no choice but to embrace complexity, and in doing so, embrace opposing concepts and the resulting paradoxes. It is at the interplay of these ideas that they find the most fruitful regions of exploration. The main conference theme explored design and systems thinking practices as mediators to deal fruitfully with tensions. Our human tendency is to relieve the tensions, and in design, to resolve the so-called “pain points.” But tensions reveal paradoxes, the sites of connection, breaks in scale, emergence of complexity. Can we embrace the tension and paradoxes as valuable social feedback in our path to just and sustainable futures? The symposium took off with two days of well-attended workshops on campus and online. One could sense tensions through embodied experiences in one of the workshops, while reframing systemic paradoxes as fruitful design starting points in another. In the tradition of RSD, a Gigamap Exhibition was organized. The exhibition showcased mind-blowing visuals that reveal the tension between our own desire for order and structure and our desire to capture real-life dynamics and contradicting perspectives. Many of us enjoyed the high quality and diversity in the keynotes throughout the symposium. As chair of the SDA, Dr. Silvia Barbero opened in her keynote with a reflection on the start and impressive evolution of the Relating Systems thinking and Design symposia. Prof.Dr. Derk Loorbach showed us how transition research conceptualizes shifts in societal systems and gave us a glimpse into their efforts to foster desired ones. Prof.Dr. Elisa Giaccardi took us along a journey of technologically mediated agency. She advocated for a radical shift in design to deal with this complex web of relationships between things and humans. Indy Johar talked about the need to reimagine our relationship with the world as one based on fundamental interdependence. And finally, Prof.Dr. Klaus Krippendorf systematically unpacked the systemic consequences of design decisions. Together these keynote speakers provided important insights into the role of design in embracing systemic complexity, from the micro-scale of our material contexts to the macro-scale of globally connected societies. And of course, RSD10 would not be an RSD symposium if it did not offer a place to connect around practical case examples and discuss how knowledge could improve practice and how practice could inform and guide research. Proceedings RSD10 has been the first symposium in which contributors were asked to submit a full paper: either a short one that presented work-in-progress, or a long one presenting finished work. With the help of an excellent list of reviewers, this set-up allowed us to shape a symposium that offered stage for high-quality research, providing a platform for critical and fruitful conversations. Short papers were combined around a research approach or methodology, aiming for peer-learning on how to increase the rigour and relevance of our studies. Long papers were combined around commonalities in the phenomena under study, offering state-of-the-art research. The moderation of engaged and knowledgeable chairs and audience lifted the quality of our discussions. In total, these proceedings cover 33 short papers and 19 long papers from all over the world. From India to the United States, and Australia to Italy. In the table of contents, each paper is represented under its RSD 10 symposium track as well as a list of authors ordered alphabetically. The RSD10 proceedings capture the great variety of high-quality papers yet is limited to only textual contributions. We invite any reader to visit the rsdsymposium.org website to browse through slide-decks, video recordings, drawing notes and the exhibition to get the full experience of RSD10 and witness how great minds and insights have been beautifully captured! Word of thanks Let us close off with a word of thanks to our dean and colleagues for supporting us in hosting this conference, the SDA for their trust and guidance, Dr. Peter Jones and Dr. Silvia Barbero for being part of the RSD10 scientific committee, but especially everyone who contributed to the content of the symposium: workshop moderators, presenters, and anyone who participated in the RSD 10 conversation. It is only in this complex web of (friction-full) relationships that we can further our knowledge on systemic design: thanks for being part of it! Dr. JC Diehl, Dr. Nynke Tromp, and Dr. Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer Editors RSD10
... Two decks of cards were produced, the Thing 1 and Thing 2 decks: Thing 1 cards consisted of photographic images of natural and artificial phenomena whereas Thing 2 cards contained only text describing an abstract concept. Used in workshops, an image card and a text card were paired to form new and thought-provoking metaphors (Lockton et al. 2019). ...
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In this article, we present the rationale, development and preliminary evaluation of a novel set of materials to encourage and improve the consideration of users and their needs during the process of architectural design. Our focus is specifically on two areas: user-centred design principles and spatial cognition research. To this end, we developed two decks of flash-cards, termed the Architectural Strategies Cards (72 cards) and the Spatial Cognition Cards (111 cards). We conducted preliminary evaluations of the cards in the design studio and in design thinking workshops with multidisciplinary groups of students and with architectural practitioners. Our results suggest that the cards improve designers’ immersion into the perspective of building-users in a playful way and introduce scientific concepts effectively. In conclusion, we argue that serious-games and card-based methods should be part of the multiple approaches necessary to encourage and improve user-centred thinking, and integrate research findings into evidence-based design at large.
... Potentially, these metaphors could be translated into design patterns to support the exploration of new angles of consideration in design activities (e.g. Lockton et al., 2019). More broadly, we hope that this paper might prompt reflection on the extent to which HFE methods support inclusivity with reference to both members of the HFE community who apply methods, and end users. ...
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There have been recent calls for Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) to expand its reach and focus to address larger scale societal and global issues. An area of growing awareness is the issue of the gender data gap, whereby women are under-represented in research data, leading to inequitable outcomes when research findings are used to design real world technologies, products, environments, processes, and policies. The aim of this paper is to showcase how structured HFE methods can be used to address the gender data gap. We applied the Sociotechnical Systems Design Toolkit which involved using causal loop diagrams and abstraction hierarchy modelling from Cognitive Work Analysis to understand the system in which the issue occurs and key pain points, followed by the application of the Design with Intent Toolkit to generate design ideas. A total of 43 ideas were developed that could be implemented by universities to address the research data gap. The application demonstrates the utility of HFE methods in tackling complex issues and offers an opportunity for the HFE community to reflect upon the importance of gender sensitive research practices and gender equity more broadly.
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Can creative methods drawn from design research practice be leveraged to help people think about, express, and discuss their own mental health? Tackling communication hurdles around mental health is a societal challenge which creative methods of inquiry are well placed to address: where verbal expression alone fails, the affordances of multisensory tools and artefacts have potential to provide a language for expression, discussion and peer support, and to create collective pictures of a community's mental health. In this chapter, we introduce a multi-faceted exploration of how mental health issues can be materialised in individual and group contexts. Personalised Potions, Empathy Rock Garden, Emotional Modelling, and Lexicon of Feelings are four 'making' activities developed and facilitated by students at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, USA. Each activity takes a unique approach to materialising emotions, using different material qualities and facilitation techniques, enabling varying levels of anonymity, synchronicity, and collaboration, but are united in their ability to create a safe space for externalisation of complex internal emotions. Our approach is centred on exploring participants' making activities and the artefacts emerging: while acts of making may have therapeutic properties, our main interest is in observing the patterns, themes, metaphors, and material mappings which are produced.
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Chatbots have grown as a space for research and development in recent years due both to the realization of their commercial potential and to advancements in language processing that have facilitated more natural conversations. However, nearly all chatbots to date have been designed for dyadic, one-on-one communication with users. In this paper we present a comprehensive review of research on chatbots supplemented by a review of commercial and independent chatbots. We argue that chatbots' social roles and conversational capabilities beyond dyadic interactions have been underexplored, and that expansion into this design space could support richer social interactions in online communities and help address the longstanding challenges of maintaining, moderating, and growing these communities. In order to identify opportunities beyond dyadic interactions, we used research-through-design methods to generate more than 400 concepts for new social chatbots, and we present seven categories that emerged from analysis of these ideas.
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In this paper we introduce the concept of Phone as an Emotive AI sidekick through a set of novel interactions where in a multi-axis actuated robotic charging stand we made acts as a 'body' for the AI on our phones. The novel interactions begin with how the robotic platform embodies and thus communicates our devices' understanding of the world, continues with the affordance for more varied expressive output, and works towards extending current phone functionality to be far-field, context-driven interactions.
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This forum highlights conversations at the intersection of design methods and social studies of technology. By highlighting a diversity of perspectives on design interventions and programs, we aim to forge new connections between HCI design and communication, science and technology studies, and media studies scholarship. --- Daniela Rosner, Editor
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The goal of this one-day workshop is to open space for disruptive techniques and strategies to be used in the making, prototyping, and conceptualizations of the artifacts and systems developed and imagined within HCI. Specifically, this workshop draws on strategies from art, speculative design, and activism, as we aim to productively "trouble" the design processes behind HCI. We frame these explorations as "disruptive improvisations" - tactics artists and designers use to make the familiar strange or creatively problematize in order to foster new insights. The workshop invites participants to inquire through making and take up key themes as starting points to develop disruptive improvisations for design. These include modesty, scarcity, uselessness, no-technology, and failure. The workshop will produce a zine workbook or pamphlet to be distributed during the conference to bring visibility to the role these tactics of making in a creative design practices.
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As we move toward commercial usage of ubiquitous computing and augmented reality, it is important to think about how computing should communicate with us when it is distributed in our environment. This paper proposes that qualitative indexical visualizations based on learned understanding of physical phenomena (Experiential Augmentation) can enhance our interaction design language and aid digital interfaces in communicating in a real-world context. We present a study that gathers data on how participants interpret such visualizations, and propose a model with which to analyze their responses. Finally, we also give a set of design recommendations for those interested in creating similar augmentations.
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Creative writing, from poetry to journalism, is at the crux of human ingenuity and social interaction. Existing creative writing support tools produce entire passages or fully formed sentences, but these approaches fail to adapt to the writer's own ideas and intentions. Instead we posit to build tools that generate ideas coherent with the writer's context and encourage writers to produce divergent outcomes. To explore this, we focus on supporting metaphor creation. We present Metaphoria, an interactive system that generates metaphorical connections based on an input word from the writer. Our studies show that Metaphoria provides more coherent suggestions than existing systems, and supports the expression of writers' unique intentions. We discuss the complex issue of ownership in human-machine collaboration and how to build adaptive creativity support tools in other domains.
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Generative metaphorical design while rich is possibility, is not easy to do. In response, we have developed Metaphor Cards, a toolkit for supporting metaphorical design thinking. In this pictorial, we introduce Metaphor Cards and provide a how-to-guide for design researchers to make and use their own sets. To demonstrate this process, we provide a case study documenting our development of a set of Metaphor Cards for designing information systems for international justice. We conclude with reflections on the benefits and limitations of the Metaphor Card toolkit and suggestions for how to adapt Metaphor Cards to other domains and technologies.
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Optimism and positivity permeate discourses of smart interactive network technologies. Yet we do not have to look too far or too deep to find anxieties knotting up on the horizon and festering below the network's glistening surface. This paper contributes a set of concepts, tactics, and novel design forms for addressing network anxieties generated through a design-led inquiry, or research through design approach. We present three technically grounded metaphors illustrated with examples selected from our exploratory design process. Weaving together concepts from surveillance studies, cultural studies, and other areas of the humanities with our visual and physical design work, we help draw attention to under-addressed concerns within HCI while proposing alternative ways of framing and engaging design issues arising with network technologies.
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We present a body of work undertaken in response to the challenge outlined by Harper et al. in their paper, ?'What is a File?' [9]. Through a conceptual and design-led exploration of new file metaphors, we developed the 'file biography', a digital entity that encompasses the provenance of a file and allows the user to keep track of how it propagates. We explored this through prototyping and utilised it in two user studies. In the studies, we (i) asked people to sketch out file biographies for their own content, and (ii) deployed a tool enabling users to build their own simple file biographies across multiple versions of Word documents. We conclude that new file metaphors may need to play different roles for different types of digital content, with a distinction being drawn between content that is 'in production' and virtual possessions that are, in a sense, a 'finished' artefact.