Between the Tag and the Screen - Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i ...

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Between the Tag and the Screen - Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i ...

4 B C H A P T E R 2 : T H E C O N T E X T O F S T U D YDefining SR-RFID as material may be seen as counterintuitive when viewedfrom the perspectives of industrial design and architecture. Here, materialsare often associated with matter and directly refer to physical materials likemetals, wood and polymers (Doordan, 2003; Fisher, 2004; Manzini, 1986).However, an increasing range of research takes up computational technologyas materials (Dearden, 2005; Hallnäs & Redström, 2002; Löwgren, 2001;Mazè & Redström, 2005). The second article referred to herein addressesthese perspectives (Nordby, 2010). However, this exegesis text will elaboratefurther on how material qualities can be investigated in relation to design.Repertoires or precedenceAs my research into RFID technologies focuses on material properties asseen in relation to design, material repertoires for designers are of interest.Schön’s perspectives help us to understand how we can support design byway of the notion of repertoires. He uses repertoire to describe images, ideas,examples and actions that practitioners draw upon to address the designsituation (Schön, 1983). A repertoire of familiar situations offers exemplarsfor engaging the unfamiliar and the emergent in the act of designing. Arepertoire does not directly overlap a new situation but may be used as aframe of reference for the assembly of new solutions to a (design) problem.The notion of designers’ repertoires that appears in both design and in HCIliterature allows us to place weight on the activities of designing. We maythus relate Schön’s research to interaction design (as well as industrialdesign) as a practice that may also deal with reflection in action andpractitioner knowledge.In HCI there have been many moves toward gathering knowledge frompractice into communicable repertoires usable for design. Most notably inHCI, Alexander and colleagues’ pattern languages (1977) have been adoptedas a means of expanding interaction among designers’ repertoires. In HCI, apattern is a ‘proven solution to a re-occurring design problem’ (Borchers,2000). We can further hierarchically organise these solutions into a patternlanguage. Pattern languages, originally created for architecture and urbanplanning, served as a way of communicating well-known solutions toproblems.The notion of pattern languages was later adopted by computer science andmost recently as a method in HCI in which they provide a framework forcapturing and communicating design knowledge. Löwgren (2007c) movesfurther in this direction by noting that as interaction design is seen as acreative design discipline, patterns of more inspirational qualities are useful.He introduces the notion of I-patterns or inspirational patterns, which relaxthe need for a successful solution. Key to these kinds of repertoires is userrelatedproblems at the centre of the organisation.31

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