Which do we design for, mind or body?

Thursday’s class discussion, Dave mentioned the prison in Manovich’s  book. It is saying in cinema, two hundred people stay at a dark room, they don’t move, they don’t speak, they are all sitting at their designated seats orderly and watch a same huge white board( movie screen) for three hours, doesn’t it equal to prisoner who are kept in a prison? 

One hand, I would say film, picture  do enrich our life and make us thinking and experiencing different situation, environment which may never gonna happen in our real life;

On the other hand,  I would argue that the way films or pictures, or whatever visualization stuff  which impact on our eyes directly.. I say eyes are slave of our mind/consciousness, when your mind want to see something, your attention focus on it ,at that time,  it may cut off the link between your touching sense with your brain, temporally you lose your touching sense. I think everyone have this experience that when you keep thinking and thinking, you won’t notice what happen in front your face- you are temporally blind which means it cut off the link between eyes and brain .  Human’s mind are ego and selfish, it never get satisfied with what you have seen, and it always wants more. It  even don’t care about the durance of physical body limit. When we are attracted by the fantastic effects in a movie, we totally indulge in it ,  we ignore what time it is, where we are,  it is a rich dinner for mind, but if it goes too long, it is disaster for your health. New digital Technology  bring us a more efficient way to our life and work, but it is along with side effect.  Because I used to stare on the screen and play computer game twenty hours per day without any moving of head. Consequently, every time I sit front of computer monitor for two hours, my neck hurt badly and even headache. I had fantastic visual experience, I own these experience, but now headache, 

Neck and back pain, big abdomen are what I own.


 our mind can go further beyond our constraints. I don’t know since when it becomes possible that human’s mind can release get out of the body restrict and set itself free, and people use rock and tree’s branch as tools to do hunting, cooking, and then they shape these tools to what they image in order to meet their needs better. I guess long time before digital technology appeared, human have great imagination picture, but only digital technology, picture edition software,  to visualize their feeling and express to audience. Using a metaphor we say mind soaring in the sky. But finally your mind will fall down- you can’t let your mind thinking continuous for twenty four hours because you have to eat food, drink water. You want to meet the mental need, but still you have to care about physical need, because if you won’t, you are dying, you lose the chance to continue these experience.

In conclusion, I think the Material is the fundamental of all your thought,  I think we should design for whole body in a healthy way,  not just for mind/or visual experience. We design things to satisfy our visual experience,  but it also bring potential  danger to body. In long term, it is not the sustainable way for human being. I don’t want to see  human have a huge head and regressive body in the future,  I want to see human get improved mentally and physically when involved in digital technology or any new technology.

When we design something, there is a call for balance between mind need and body need.

One thing I like Wii  is that it create a participatory environment make my whole body involved in the game, giving the physical exercise, not just eyes, and fingers dancing in a video games.


  1. airlee

    After this messy post, I got headache and back pain again, and messy thoughts.

  2. thismarty

    I wouldn’t worry about humans evolving into the massive-headed-tiny-bodied things that you fear, at least not due to our interactions with digital media.

    For one, the vast majority of humans do not regularly interact with digital technology much at all, and that situation probably won’t change substantially for a while. For another, evolution takes a long time to make changes like the ones you describe. And for three, humans have arguably, largely removed themselves from evoltuion.

    I know this wasn’t your point, but I really wanted to comment on this item, since it is interesting to me, in a Jared Diamond kind of way. 😉

    So, go ahead and watch another movie!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s