Showing posts from July, 2010

Book review: "Designing Things" by Prasad Boradkar

It is always nice to find a new book with an intriguing title that resonates with ones own interests. That happened when I recently found the book "Designing Things - A critical introduction to the culture of objects" by Prasad Boradkar.

This is one book in a growing stream of writings focused on 'things', objects, and artifacts. There seems to be an increasing interest in the material world and especially in the world that consists of designed objects. There exists of course a long history of  research and studies with the 'thing' in focus, but never with the same intensity and richness as right now.

Boradkar has written a book that takes this growing interest in material things as a starting point. The book is presented as providing a 'map of the rapidly changing field of design studies'. Boradkar does indeed present a 'map'.  Even though there is an underlying theoretical perspective that the author favors, most of the book, with its diffe…

The DRS 2010 Conference

Back home after the DRS 2010 conference in Montreal. I had a good time these and the conference went well, except for the really hot weather. I had the opportunity to listen to some really interesting papers, participate in some great discussions, and also meet old and new friends.

I found the quality of the papers to be  better than ever before in the DRS conference history. This is a good development and I hope it will continue. However, there were some interesting discussions on the future of the conference and what its purpose is in relation to all the new design conferences that are within different disciplines. What can a general design conference deliver that the more focused ones can't. I think there is a possibility to make the conference into the top general design conference that is not connected to any particular design discipline. But this also makes it important that the conference and the papers takes on the challenge to be non-disciplinary and general in a sense th…

New writings...

Lately two articles that I (together with some colleagues) have been working on for quite some time have been published. Here are the references and the abstracts:

Janlert, L. and Stolterman, E. 2010. Complex interaction. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 17, 2 (May. 2010), 1-32. DOI=  (

An almost explosive growth of complexity puts pressure on people in their everyday doings. Digital artifacts and systems are at the core of this development. How should we handle complexity aspects when designing new interactive devices and systems? In this article we begin an analysis of interaction complexity. We portray different views of complexity; we explore not only negative aspects of complexity, but also positive, making a case for the existence of benign complexity. We argue that complex interaction is not necessarily bad, but designers need a deeper understanding of interaction complexity and need to treat…