I’ve been reading Paul Dourish’s Where The Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction, a good introduction to issues and perspectives of designing with embodied action in mind, although he doesn’t really get very far with actual guidelines. Favourite quote (which opens the section on ‘Wittgenstein and the Meaning of Language’):
Like Elvis Presley, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) had a professional career that fell into two distinct phases.
Vegas Wittgenstein? Maybe.
Nothing radically new in the book, but a decent overview of the field, with a nicely phenomenological slant (no mention of Bachelard though). For me, the most interesting discussion was of places versus spaces — something I’ve discussed here, briefly. Dourish and his colleagues seem to have similar views:
..the difference between space and place is an analytic one; space refers to the physical and mechanical aspects of the environment, whereas place refers to the ways in which space becomes vested with social meaning through the emergence of mutually consituted practices and behavioral norms when that space is populated…In fact there are many examples of such social practices developing in environments or media that do not base themselves on “real-world” models…There are places that succeed without an underlying model of space to build upon. “Space” is only a means to an end.