Matter of transformation, designing an alternative tomorrow inspired by phenomenology
Hummels, C., & Lévy, P. (2013). Matter of Transformation: Designing an Alternative Tomorrow Inspired by Phenomenology. Interactions, 20(6), 42–49. https://doi.org/10.1145/2533713
In this month’s cover story, Caroline Hummels and Pierre Lévy propose an alternative, value-based vision for design: Can we create alternative ways to engage with the world based on trusting our senses? Where intuition is as valuable as logic? Where commitment and engagement are valuable assets for growth? Where people can take a first-person perspective and be in the moment, instead of forever worrying about efficiency? Growing out of a long history of work in the Designing Quality in Interaction group at TU Eindhoven, Hummels and Lévy’s vision is rooted in phenomenology and the ideas of 20th-century philosophers such as Dewey, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Over the course of the article they build their case for this new approach, highlighting projects that illustrate aspects of the vision they outline. As the cover image hints, even typically mundane objects such as vending machines can produce rich, aesthetically rewarding experiences when their design is inspired by phenomenology and its associated values such as embodiment.