Lecture Live Blog 03.04.2008

Kengo Kuma, Tea room building as a critical act

  • the construction of the building out of paper is a critique of human spaces and the effect of these spaces on human interaction and condition
    • tea space is built according to the scale of a human (rather than scale of a car, etc..)
    • a notion of temporality, social arrangement, and ritual are in mind when tea houses are constructed
    • material dimensions of tea house connect to the context it is situated in (i.e. natural surroundings)
  • How has this aesthetic been translated from exteriors to modern interiors?
    •  make buildings harmonize with their environments, even when those environments aren’t always natural
    • the construction of an artificial garden might be reflected in the tea shelter that it is constructed within
    • might use natural outside light as a means of lighting the minimalist interior surroundings
    • the material of wood is helps construct a warm aesthetic (particularly when paired with incoming natural light)
      • opposed to cold color of concrete
    • use of glass to pull the outside in (in a natural, bucolic setting)
      • achieving a natural aesthetic instead of paneling with wood
    • tea house geometry is incorporated throughout interior design
      when you do design, you intentional intervene in the world to make it a better place and as you engage in any type of design you are acting as a critic
  • when you do design, you intentionally intervene in the world to make it a better place and as you engage in any type of design you are acting as a critic
    • to design is to critique

Experience design: is it a change in title, or is it an underlying change in methodology?

Interesting shift in the history of Western philosophy
(in medias res)

  •  Nietzsche declared “god is dead”
    • what he did not mean: there was once a god and it died
    • what he meant: there never was a god and we’re finally acknowledging it as a civilization
      • if it is the case  that god is dead, then what is the foundation of philosophy?
  • Anselm declared “I believe in order to understand”
    • thus, believing in god was the grounds of scientific reasoning
    • Nietzche’s statement completely upends this perspective
  • Camus and the idea of the “absurd”
    • no god and no purpose for our existence and everything that tells us what we should and shouldn’t do no longer holds any weight
    • in this world, can we live ethically
    • can their be an atheist saint?
  • In HCI, we are the Camus
    • HCI historically has been a rationalist field
    • many movements over the past several years have rejected this perspective (e.g. McCarthy & Wright)
  • Rationalism 101
    • separation of the mind and body (mind-body dualism)
    • Mind = thinking & knowing
      • truth | understanding | intention
      • abstract symbolic representations & systems of truth (e.g. Nielsen’s heuristic)
      • think first (i.e. form an intention) and then we act
    • Body = material things in the world
      • acting | bodies | the world

Take home question: If god were to come up with a usability framework, what would it look like?

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