Composing Everyday Rituals

Addressing these qualities embodied in rituals from an interaction design perspective
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Course taught in English for the master degree (5ects) at TU/e, The Netherlands by Pierre LévyBart Hengeveld.

Description

Our lives are a collection of rituals. The way we wake up, the way we leave or enter our home, the way we prepare our suitcase before going on a trip are just simple examples of the many rituals each of us have constructed and that structure our everyday lives. These rituals are not rigid procedures, but a seemingly established series of activities from which experiential meaning emerges, and by which personal values are expressed.

The aim of this course is to address these qualities embodied in rituals from an interaction design perspective, and to explore the relation between the designed artefacts and the rituals they are involved in. Through this exploration, we will gain insights in the relational nature of these influences between the artefacts, subjects, and the ritual (and by extension the experiential meanings and the expressed values). The main focus will be on how to capture, to clarify, and to compose rituals. The final discussion will address the merits of addressing rituals in interaction design, and how to design for meaningful rituals.

To address this course through a project, we will first focus on a personal everyday ritual, in order to find descriptive elements. We will then explore ways to enrich rituals through a project. Both will be used to contribute to the elaboration of a composing tools for rituals. The final day will close the module by a demonstration of the ritual with the newly designed series of artefacts.

Learning objectives

The learning objectives of this course include:

  • Describing rituals;
  • Implementing ritual-related interaction qualities;
  • Arguing the design decisions taken during implementation and their consequences;
  • Assessing or evaluating the ritual-related qualities in interaction.