Form and Function Follows Interaction?

In this post I reflect upon the interaction driven approach, of how to explore through the approach and afterwards set in in relation to the exercise that we did at today’s lecture of lasercutting, to grasp what the interaction driven approach could mean?

The field that this course is revolved primarily what Maeng, Youn-kyung & KunPyo, (2012) describe as the interaction driven approach, this approach is led by exploring opportunities through interaction concepts, with a key focus on movement. Further, interaction is being defined as an independent factor that does not rely on the user’s needs (Maeng, Youn-kyung & KunPyo, 2012).

The interactive driven approach provides the opportunities to explore through materials and interactions. Moreover, a key point of this approach is the following “Form and function follows interaction” (Maeng, Youn-kyung & KunPyo, 2012) what does that actually mean? At todays lecture we where asked to try out the lasercut machine and create a lasercut lamp using green paper. At this task we came up with the idea to take advantages of the colour, and create a lamp that consisted of cut out leaves, that could be gathered together, looking like a pile of leaves that the light could shine throughout. The pile ended looking as the following (see below picture).

As the picture shows, the idea came to live through the materials, however, was not easy to gather, therefore if we where to build it once again, I believe we should have created a skeleton with the lamp, instead of leaving it that fragile as it could end up being destroyed just lifting it up.  Therefore, the note that form and function follows interaction, does create meaning in this case. As, the form it is created in is this fragile, function as a lamp, it should be handled very carefully in the interaction, as the lamp would break if moving it without being really careful. One point of failure in this process might be due to, that we did not think of the action before creating the materials and form of the lamp. On the other hand, we could have explored a movement of the interaction with the lamp and get inspiration of something that is not static as a lamp is, but could borrow elements of other movements as for instants a particular movement one might do when sitting beside the lamp, or a intuitive interaction when creating the input (turning on the lamp) and output of the light. Through that approach, the lamp could obtain more playful objectives and perhaps affordances that are playful in another manner than one could imagine a lamp should withhold.

Maeng, Seungwoo, Youn-kyung Lim, and KunPyo Lee. (2012) “Interaction-driven design: A new approach for interactive product development.” Proc. of DIS. ACM.