A Working Theory of Contextually Appropriate Environments

Environments Studio IV • 51-360 • Prof. Dan Lockton
Proj. #1: Intelligence(s) in Environments • Work-In-Progress



Some previous experiments (with Lucas Ochoa) exploring what non-glossly digital experiences could be like, extending ideas of a hybird environment explored in CeeMat: Dynamic Seeing Tools for Learning, Understanding, and Prototyping Physical Computation.

Examples of products blurring their boundaries by opting to not use sharp bright-pixel displays are few and far between, but Nest and Teenage Engineering have been exploring the space recently. The Teenage Engineering device harkens back (most recently) to the HTC Dot View case from 2014, and many more things before as well.

Nest E Thermostat
Raven Tech + Teenage Engineering H|R Remote Control/Face

I’ve been thinking about the problem of blurry edges in the context of screens for some time, but the first time I realized it was really an environments problem was whe watching the below clip of Bill Moggridge from Objectified. He talks about how you ‘enter’ a completly new environment as soon as you look at the screen of the computer. This made me think about how having these ‘screens’ everywhere in our lives (as menus at restaurants, schedules outside class/conference rooms, etc.) may cause us to be constantly pulled out of our environment —which could be one of the contributing factors to the current mania many of us are feeling.

more to come...

Environments Studio IV
Designing Environments for Social System (51-360); taught by Prof. Dan Lockton

January 2018