0. Introduction
1. key terms and interaction samples
2. application
Digital Drawing Pins
In the case of a computer we are talking about a machine that lacks an initial specific purpose that can only be understood as a tool or as a simulation of various tools and their functions through applications. Functions are more a matter of the software than the hardware in these cases. However, a tool that lacks corporeal characteristics does not have any form that conveys information on its purpose or handling. In order to illustrate the respective uses, graphical user interfaces that communicate product semantics are employed in varying degrees of abstraction within the simulation.
A possible approach to explaining the often complex functions of such hubs is the use of metaphors depicting familiar symbols from our everyday culture in attempted formal objective analogies. For media designers, the increasing virtualisation of action processes is posing the following problem ever more frequently: The facts to be visualised have no corresponding equivalent in the "real" world. What is generally understood requires common ground, therefore it is hard to create new self-explanatory symbols. However, our known visual repertory and our everyday experiences have not been solely based in the real world for quite some time.
Media Design and Bodily Extension
For this reason, this project distances itself from the tool-usage metaphor and addresses the link between conciousness and the computer medium as a bodily extension. The quality of the hub has to be described by the type and degree of the link under these conditions. A person experiences his surroundings through his perceptive functions and is therefore linked to his surroundings structurally. A link to the computer medium can be considered succesful if it transmits experiences that a person can have in their natural surroundings with the available media. Or in short: when the medium is experienced as part of the environment. Formal criteria and content criteria were developed in media theory to be applied to the link and interface design. An environment should not be conveyed through the depiction of familiar objects, but rather by the possible experiences within the environment.
Natural surroundings can be recognized by the fact that they allow spontaneous action. Orientation is based on bodily movement in part, "spatial bodily movement." The body and the environment are experienced differently. The body is experienced via sensory and motoric processes and experiences not linked to these processes stem from our environment, "everything that is not the body is the environment and vice versa." (Gerhard Roth). In order to transport this information via a hub a series of tactual, computer-adequate motoric experiences, i.e. gestures has to be created in which everyday bodily memory can be applied in the simulated situation. Even minimal body motion when using a mouse can satisfy the bodily requirement under certain circumstances. The objective is not to create tools that facilitate navigation in a virtual world, but to create environments that can be accepted as part of everyday reality.
Ulf Harr
Florian Koch
Frank Linnenbach