Sketching Imaginative Experiences: From Operation to Reflection via Lively Interactive Artifacts
Kenny K. N. Chow


This article presents a cognitive approach to designing for reflection via lively interactive artifacts, which contingently present dynamic information metaphorically, stimulating the imagination through conceptual blends. Operating a lively artifact initially echoes a familiar scenario from an apparently unrelated domain, triggering an imaginative blend between the current and the familiar scenarios to promote immediate understanding; the lively artifacts then show contingent changes that prompt reinterpretation and reflection through successive blends with alternate scenarios. Grounded in ideas related to the embodied cognition thesis from cognitive science, the liveliness framework includes a protocol of cognitive processes with a diagrammatic tool assisting designers and/or researchers in sketching intended immediate and successive blends, scrutinizing sensorimotor correspondences, projecting potential reflection, and planning experiments for collecting samples of cognitive responses from participants. By comparing the predicted with the sampled, one can construct a spectrum of possible interpretations. The application of the protocol is demonstrated though two case studies of lively interactive artifacts, including an existing mobile interface and a newly designed digital-tangible interface, which aim to encourage users to reflect on battery and tobacco consumption respectively.

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