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25 NOVEMBER 2014

The Notebook: A Place for Thinking

Filmed at Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ireland. "Notebook Material" Des Ward Student artwork in notebooks – 1st year groups on the IADT BA Art programme: 2009 – 2014.

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TAGS

2014 • a place for thinking • art and design practiceattunementbookcommonplace bookcommonplaces • Des Ward • discernment • drawingdrawing as enquirydrawing ideasdrawing on paperdrawing studiesDun Laoghaire Institute of Art • experimental speculation • experimental thinkingfirst year art and design • IADT BA Art • idea generationideas start on paper • Irish Museum of Modern Art • making processmark makingnotebook • physical experimentation • place metaphor • poetics of creative research • poetics of thinking • poetics of thought • Republic of Ireland • Seamus Heaney • sketch-thinkingsketchbooksketching ideas • skilled practice • thinking places • thinking processthinking through drawingthinking toolstracesvisual problem-solving

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 JUNE 2014

Calm Technology: designs which require only peripheral attention

"The most potentially interesting, challenging, and profound change implied by the ubiquitous computing era is a focus on calm. If computers are everywhere they better stay out of the way, and that means designing them so that the people being shared by the computers remain serene and in control. Calmness is a new challenge that UC brings to computing. When computers are used behind closed doors by experts, calmness is relevant to only a few. Computers for personal use have focused on the excitement of interaction. But when computers are all around, so that we want to compute while doing something else and have more time to be more fully human, we must radically rethink the goals, context and technology of the computer and all the other technology crowding into our lives. Calmness is a fundamental challenge for all technological design of the next fifty years. The rest of this paper opens a dialogue about the design of calm technology. ...

We use 'periphery' to name what we are attuned to without attending to explicitly. Ordinarily when driving our attention is centered on the road, the radio, our passenger, but not the noise of the engine. But an unusual noise is noticed immediately, showing that we were attuned to the noise in the periphery, and could come quickly to attend to it.

It should be clear that what we mean by the periphery is anything but on the fringe or unimportant. What is in the periphery at one moment may in the next moment come to be at the center of our attention and so be crucial. The same physical form may even have elements in both the center and periphery. The ink that communicates the central words of a text also peripherally clues us into the genre of the text though choice of font and layout.

A calm technology will move easily from the periphery of our attention, to the center, and back. This is fundamentally encalming, for two reasons.

First, by placing things in the periphery we are able to attune to many more things than we could if everything had to be at the center. Things in the periphery are attuned to by the large portion of our brains devoted to peripheral (sensory) processing. Thus the periphery is informing without overburdening.

Second, by recentering something formerly in the periphery we take control of it. Peripherally we may become aware that something is not quite right, as when awkward sentences leave a reader tired and discomforted without knowing why. By moving sentence construction from periphery to center we are empowered to act, either by finding better literature or accepting the source of the unease and continuing. Without centering the periphery might be a source of frantic following of fashion; with centering the periphery is a fundamental enabler of calm through increased awareness and power.

Not all technology need be calm. A calm videogame would get little use; the point is to be excited. But too much design focuses on the object itself and its surface features without regard for context. We must learn to design for the periphery so that we can most fully command technology without being dominated by it.

Our notion of technology in the periphery is related to the notion of affordances, due to Gibson and applied to technology by Gaver and Norman. An affordance is a relationship between an object in the world and the intentions, perceptions, and capabilities of a person. The side of a door that only pushes out affords this action by offering a flat pushplate. The idea of affordance, powerful as it is, tends to describe the surface of a design. For us the term 'affordance ' does not reach far enough into the periphery where a design must be attuned to but not attended to."

(Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, 1997)

"The Coming Age of Calm Technology," Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, In Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing, Peter J. Denning and Robert M. Metcalfe, New York, Springer–Verlag 1997.

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1997affordancesambient awarenessaround usattentionattunementbecoming invisible • blend into the background • calm • calm technologycalmness • distributed computing • Donald Norman • encalm • encalming technology • engaged interaction • everyday thingsexcitement • explicitly • human computer interactioninteraction designJames GibsonJohn Seely Brown • Mark Weiser • peripheral attention • periphery • sensory phenomena • sensory processing • technological change • technological design • technology affordancesubiquitous computing • William Gaver • Xerox PARC

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 OCTOBER 2011

Laban Movement Analysis: qualitative aspects of nonverbal behaviour

"Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) originated in the work of Rudolf Laban, and has evolved into a highly detailed practical system that describes qualitative aspects of nonverbal behavior. In its current development, it operates as a phenomenology of movement and mind, as it requires that the observer look at the movement itself, prior to interpretation and without prejudice, while acknowledging the intrinsic connection between movement and subjective experience. Movement Analysis increases kinesthetic sensitivity for the observer, because it places in the foreground of the observer's experience, those aspects of movement which are individual–specific: that is, those movement choices which an individual makes within a particular context. Movement Analysis as a system of observation assumes that a significant degree of individual freedom in movement quality is always present within biological, cultural, and contextually defined bodily repertoires."

(Janet Kaylo)

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attunementbodies in spacebodily engagement • bodily repertoires • body experiencechoreographycorporealdance performance • dance therapy • everyday movementexpressive repertoirefigures in spaceforensic detail • freedom of movement • intimacyintimateintimate movement • kinaesthetic sensitivity • kinesthetic • kinesthetic participation • kinetic exchange • Laban Movement Analysis • language for describing movement • LMA • movementmovement analysis • movement analysis methodology • movement and subjective experience • movement efficiency • movement experience • movement life • movement lives • movement performance • movement quality • movement vocabulary • nonverbal behaviourobservationpatterns of movement • phenomenology of mind • phenomenology of movement • physical presenceposturepuppetryreal-life • Rudolf Laban • seeing • seeing another • sensitivity to others • sensory abilitysubtlety • system of observation • theatre performance • therapeutic • understanding movementwatching

CONTRIBUTOR

Elisza Ribeiro
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