Interaction History Workshop at IxD11

December 20th, 2010 | No Comments »

Every year, the Interaction conference has been a highlight of my year. Sure I’m biased since I co-chaired Interaction10 (BEST EVAR) but this year it’s a different flavor of excitement, and not just because I’m excused from any conference organization. (More time for friends, beer and actually attending talks is good stuff.)

Karen McGrane and I together are co-running a workshop on the history of interaction design before the web, Interaction History for Interaction Designers. I don’t believe anybody has attempted a workshop like this before, at least I haven’t heard of one. Karen and I have figured out a way to combine our respective complementary dorky technology passions into a workshop that promises offer a unique view onto the field of interaction design. I’m excited.

We are aiming to fill a gap in the education of interaction designers by simply asking, where did our core interaction principles come from? I mean the REALLY core ones. It should be a common understanding by now that interaction design existed long before the web did, even if it wasn’t named as such. People have been combining electricity and technology into products for over a century now. There have been many design decisions along the way, some through expediency and some through smarts. But a lot of the principles in these early products and computers have formed how we think about, interact with, and design technology.

So in this workshop, we’re going to examine key innovations in the history of technology to see how interaction design has evolved, how we’ve layered meaning upon meaning to where we now use advanced technology without thinking about it. We’re bringing in old radios, old products, images of old computers and software and more to dig deep into what “interaction” means.

It’s bound to be a workshop that will really stretch your mind. Interested in attending? Sure you are. Interaction11 is incredibly already sold out, but if you’re attending and have some free time on Wednesday morning, come join our workshop. You can read more about what we’re planning at the Interaction11 site.

See you in Boulder!

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