Designing Behavior in Interaction: Using Aesthetic Experience as a Mechanism for Design
Philip Roland Ross, Stephan Wensveen


As design moves into the realm of intelligent products and systems, interactive product behavior becomes an ever more prominent aspect of design, raising the question of how to design the aesthetics of such interactive behavior. To address this challenge, we developed a conception of aesthetics based on Pragmatist philosophy and translated it into a design approach. Our notion of Aesthetic Interaction consists of four principles: Aesthetic Interaction (1) has practical use next to intrinsic value, (2) has social and ethical dimensions, (3) has satisfying dynamic form, and (4) actively involves people’s bodily, cognitive, emotional and social skills. Our design approach based on this notion is called ‘designing for Aesthetic Interaction through Aesthetic Interaction’, referring to the use of aesthetic experience as a design mechanism. We explore our design approach through a case study that involves the design of intelligent lamps and outlines the utilized design techniques. The paper concludes with a set of practical recommendations for designing the aesthetics of interactive product behavior.

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