Lev Manovitch in Tallinn University

October 8, 2007

Interaction with information as an aesthetics experience

prof. of new media in university of California, San Diego

manovitch 1

born in Moscow

How the design – material and interface form – of information devices have dramatically changed – witnessing paradigm shift, which has not been described.
Our lives have been meditated by information devices, but we are not noticing, realizing this design change.

Focus on mobile phones
Compare your first and current phones: information objects have been redesigned as aesthetic lifestyle objects.
‘Prada phone’
This lifestyle, fashion trend has happened in all price categories.

Where does the shift came from, what it means?
Larger trend – aesthetization of mobile tools, interfaces
Where does this trend start – 10 years ago from Apple iMac, appealing to senses instead of being just the office tool.
Sensations of colors, transparency, touching the surface

Democratization of design – this paradigm shift is not reducible only to the economic changes

Everyone is involved nowadays in cognitive, symbolized processing

Computer as a multifunctional tool – communication, culture, social life dimensions of these tools

Interfaces at work and at home were different at 50ies – today the interfaces for pleasure are the same interfaces that are used at workspaces.

Consumer market has opened up because of leisure user practices with this information technology in order to distinguish it from the work practices and business aesthetics.

Modern design formula came to be replaced with new formulas.

How this larger aesthetization trend changed our information usage practices?

Until 1990ies: Best interface should be invisible, that the user does not notice.

Interface was modeled not to track attention, it was in coherence with office life items and artifacts.

This paradigm is going to disappear

New paradigm: interface is going to become visible

The more we interact with our information devices, the more we interact with the interface itself. Interaction with the interface becomes significant in your information life.

New paradigm reflects this new reality – designs no longer try to hide interfaces, interaction with the interface is treated as the significant event, as an orchestrated experience rather than some necessity.

Interface interaction is becoming into some game.

manovitch 2

Affordance of using Photobooth in lecture: Manovitch demonstrates on large screen the mobile usage.

Piaget’s child development: touch -> images -> cognitive symbolic processes
Interface design has same mentality development

We are talking on top of interface design the appeal to different senses in interface designs.

Current design is in accordance with classical culture – integration with different elements.
Current design is tradeoff between technology and marketing, it is not in coherence, it is schisophrenic.

Theatricalization of interfaces is his main message.

To build and stimulate senses for cognitive learning experiences

There is also one new trend in design: disappearance of technological objects as such, which become integrated into our spaces.

Manovitch demonstrates ipod design, white design is almost giving the illusion of becoming invisible.

Next stage: from technological fetish (prada phone) to dissolvment to everyday life, invisible infrastructure

Architecture and design as an empty medium – becoming into interface, it refuses to communitate by itself

Rethinking of Lev Manovitch main message and ecological approach of design

1. Manovich stated that: tools are vanishing and becoming into seamless interfaces
It seems then that affordances of the activity-side become stronger and stronger perceived, while the affordances of the object side, where interface is embedded are decreasing in the perception of the user?

Questions to Manovitch in IMKE wiki


One comment

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