Exploring the Aesthetics of Felt Time
Abstract: By building a felt time repertoire, designers can sensitively feed a sense of time into their design work. And this in turn can help them produce an interaction gestalt that is richer, more sensual. My research on this suggests that this is not entirely easy, however. One has to develop a ‘feel’ for time. My research exploration began when I worked on designing a biofeedback data system, Affective Health, struggling with the tension and division between clocktime and the users’ unceasingly changing, ‘felt’ experiences. By turning to artistic practice, of music and culinary arts, I hoped to find keys to this question. Through connecting interaction-design research to these practices, I could start unfolding possibilities of temporal aesthetics in interaction design. I point to a space where designers can expand their understanding of felt time and playfully explore the sense of time that interactive systems and physical materials can deliver. Through the aspects below I point to the importance of being sensitive to felt forms and expressions of time to approach the temporal gestalt in interaction. • Through my research I have strived to move outside clocktime and re-imagine the sense of time that interactive systems deliver.• One part of this space is felt rhythms and how they shape temporal experiences.• In common to those rhythms are the rest and pause moments that form their vitality.• One way of working with rhythm is to see how felt shapes and rhythms of time resonate through the temporal gestalt in interaction.• Aesthetic sensitivity, felt timers, can help us to orient ourselves in time.• By approaching time as plastic: time as a form and shape that we can hold on to, squeeze and weave together, we can start finding tools for remoulding the sense of time in systems, artefacts and services.• Finally, I have worked with aesthetic transformations that can encourage people to start experiencing temporality from new perspectives and with a different approach.
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