Technology as experience
My current preoccupation with the role of emotions in shaping people’s interactions with technology is in part driven by John McCarthy’s and Peter Wright’s book, Technology As Experience, which draws on John Dewey’s pragmatism and Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories on aesthetics to highlight the role of emotion in everyday experience. McCarthy’s and Wright’s interests lie mainly in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) and on the surface have little connection to sustainable design or architecture. However, if sustainable design is to have any chance of engaging with people and gaining widespread public acceptance it needs to offer experiences that are as attractive as they currently enjoy and so it is important that we as researchers and designers understand how these work.
Existing analyses of interactions between people and technology are derived largely from social theory and tend to neglect the individual. They miss the crucial aesthetic dimension of such interactions which provides openings for emotional involvement and the pleasure and enchantment of using technology. Occupying a low energy building needs to be pleasurable rather than a chore. Otherwise, it’s not going to happen.
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