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Which clippings match 'Representation' keyword pg.1 of 12
23 OCTOBER 2014

Describing social and material interactions through formal methods

"To some extent, Formal Methods sit uneasily within interaction design. Human beings are rich, complex, nuanced, engaged in subtle and skilful social and material interactions; reducing this to any sort of formal description seems at best simplistic. And yet that is precisely what we have to do once we create any sort of digital system: whether an iPhone or an elevator, Angry Birds or Facebook, software is embedded in our lives. However much we design devices and products to meet users' needs or enrich their experiences of life, still the software inside is driven by the soulless, precise, and largely deterministic logic of code. If you work with computers, you necessarily work with formalism.

Formal Methods sit in this difficult nexus between logic and life, precision and passion, both highlighting the contradictions inherent in interaction design and offering tools and techniques to help understand and resolve them.

In fact, anyone engaged in interaction design is likely to have used some kind of formal representation, most commonly some sort of arrow and sketch diagram showing screens/pages in an application and the movements between them. While there are many more complex formal notations and methods, these simple networks of screens and links demonstrate the essence of a formal representation. Always, some things are reduced or ignored (the precise contents of screens), whilst others are captured more faithfully (the pattern of links between them). This enables us to focus on certain aspects and understand or analyse those aspects using the representation itself (for example notice that there are some very long interaction paths to quite critical screens)."

(Alan J. Dix, 2013)

Dix, Alan J. (2013): Formal Methods. In: Soegaard, Mads and Dam, Rikke Friis (eds.). "The Encyclopedia of Human–Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.". Aarhus, Denmark: The Interaction Design Foundation. Available online at https://www.interaction–


abstract system models • Alan Dix • arrow and sketch diagram • context awareness • context-aware interfaces • design methods • design products • deterministic logic • dialogue models • digital devices • digital interactions • digital system • executable models • formal abstraction • formal analysis • formal description • formal design methods • formal methods • formal notation • formal representations • formalised principleshuman-computer interactioninteraction designInteraction Design Foundation • material interactions • notation • physical context • physical interactionphysigrams • product design process • product development methodologyrepresentationrich descriptionsrich user experienceshaping our relationship to the material worldsocial interactionssoftware modellingspace syntax • specification language • state machines • state transition network • structured approach • system behaviour • tangible interfacestechnology affordancesusability testinguser experienceuser-based evaluationworld around us • world representations


Simon Perkins
12 MAY 2013

Can Histories Be True? Narrativism, Positivism, and the MetaphoricalTurn

"Narrativism, as represented by Hayden White and Frank Ankersmit, can fruitfully be analyzed as an inversion of two brands of positivism. First, narrativist epistemology can be regarded as an inversion of empiricism. Its thesis that narratives function as metaphors which do not possess a cognitive content is built on an empiricist, 'picture view' of knowledge. Moreover, all the non–cognitive aspects attributed as such are dependent on this picture theory of knowledge and a picture theory of representation. Most of the epistemological characteristics that White and Ankersmit attribute to historical narratives therefore share the problems of this picture theory.

The article's second thesis is that the theories of narrative explanation can also fruitfully be analyzed as inversions of positivist covering–law theory. Ankersmit's brand of narrativism is the most radical in this respect because it posits an opposition between narrative and causal modes of comprehension while simultaneously eliminating causality from narrativist historical understanding. White's brand of narrativism is more of a hybrid than is Ankersmit's as far as its theory of explanation is concerned; nevertheless, it can also be fruitfully interpreted as an inversion of covering–law theory, replacing it by an indefinite multitude of explanatory strategies.

Most of the striking characteristics of both White's and Ankersmit's narrativism pre–suppose positivism in these two senses, especially their claim that historical narratives have a metaphorical structure and therefore no truth–value. These claims are had to reconcile with the factual characteristics of debates by historians; this problem can be tracked down to the absence in 'metaphorical' narrativism of a conceptual connection between historical narratives and historical research."

(Chris Lorenz, 1998, Wiley–Blackwell)

Lorenz, C. (1998). "Can Histories Be True? Narrativism, Positivism, and the "MetaphoricalTurn"." History and Theory 37(3): 309–329.


causal modes of comprehensioncausality • cognitive content • conceptual connection • empiricism • emplotment • explanatory strategy • factual characteristics • Frank Ankersmit • Hayden White • historical chronicles • historical narrative • historical narrativeshistorical researchhistorical understandinghistoriesknowledge • metahistory • metanarrativemetaphormetaphoric reference • metaphorical narrativism • metaphorical representation • metaphorical structure • metaphorical turn • narrative explanation • narratives • narrativism • narrativist epistemology • picture theory • picture view of knowledge • positivismrepresentation • storied ways of communicating • storied ways of knowing • truth claims • truth-value


Simon Perkins
28 DECEMBER 2012

Documentaries were always forms of re-presentation

"But as a strategy and a form, the interview–oriented film has problems of its own. ... the film–maker with intertitles, making patently clear what has been implicit all along: documentaries always were forms of re–presentation, never clear windows onto 'reality'; the film–maker was always a participant–witness and an active fabricator of meaning, a producer of cinematic discourse rather than a neautral or all–knowing reporter of the way things truely are."

(David MacDougall p.260, 1985)

MacDougall, David. "The Voice of Documentary", in Movies and Methods: Volume II, Bill Nichols ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Fig.1 Dana Perry and her son Evan Scott Perry, at age 3, HBO documentary "Boy Interrupted" [–interrupted]



authorial intrusionauthorship • Bill Nichols • documentariesdocumentary • documentary interview • documentary representation of reality • documentary truthfilmfilm scholarshipfilm theoryfilmmaking processreal liferealismrealitiesrealityrepresentationrepresentational modesrepresentational strategies • semiological methods • structuralist-semiology • textual referencetheoretical perspectivestruthtruth and realitytruth of perception


Simon Perkins
06 OCTOBER 2012

A social mirror to the prevalence of casual homophobia on Twitter

"This website is designed as a social mirror to show the prevalence of casual homophobia in our society. Words and phrases like 'faggot,' 'dyke,' 'no homo,' and 'so gay' are used casually in everyday language, despite promoting the continued alienation, isolation and – in some tragic cases – suicide of sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) youth.

We no longer tolerate racist language, we're getting better at dealing with sexist language, but sadly we're still not actively addressing homophobic and transphobic language in our society.

Let's put an end to casual homophobia. Speak out when you see or hear homophobic or transphobic language from friends, at school,

in the locker room, at work or online. Use #NoHomophobes to show your support. And visit one of our resource websites to get more involved."




#NoHomophobes • alienationcasual discrimination • casual expression • casual homophobia • casual reference • critiquecultural signalsdata analysisdykeeveryday • everyday language • faggotgay • gender minority • homo • homophobia • homophobic language • information designintoleranceisolation • LGBTQ • locker room • metrics • minority • mirror • no homo • NoHomophobes • racist languagerepresentationsentiment analysissexist language • sexual minority • so gay • social activismsocial changesocial commentsocial differentiation • social mirror • social normssocial responsibilitysuicide • transphobic • transphobic language • TwitterTwitter streamwords and phrasesyouth


Simon Perkins
08 AUGUST 2012

Evocative Research in Art History and Beyond: Imagining Possible Pasts in the Ways to Heaven Project

"This article discusses a particular project that attempted to make art–historical research evocative as well as analytical by employing rich, interactive multi–media. This reliance on evocative material extended techniques practiced by television drama–documentaries and considered their legitimacy and potential within academic art history."

[...what might "evocative research" mean?]

3). Esche–Ramshorn, Christiane and Stanislav Roudavski (2012). "Evocative Research in Art History and Beyond: Imagining Possible Pasts in the Ways to Heaven Project", Digital Creativity, 23, 1, pp. 1–21




15th century • 16th centuryAHRC • Armenia • Armenian history • art history • Christian Orient • Christiane Esche-Ramshorn • Digital Creativity (journal) • Ethiopia • Ethiopian history • European Renaissance • evocative enquiry • evocative researchGeorge Lakoffilluminated manuscriptinteractive multimediainteractive narrativeinteractive storytellinginterpretation • Isaac Newton Trust • Janet Murray • microhistory • multifaceted • new historicism • new mediapractice-based researchrenaissancerepresentationresearch methodologyresearch methods • Stanislav Roudavski • theory building • Ways to Heaven • world history


Stanislav Roudavski

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