Roundtable Statement


Session Title:

  • Lovely Veneer: The underbelly of good design

Presentation Title:

  • Roundtable Statement




  • Roundtable: Lovely Veneer: The underbelly of good design

    The potential for aesthetics to influence human experience has been explored across many disciplines, from HCI with regards interface, interaction and usability, to Art and the role of beauty, the sublime, affect, and more provocative issues such as trust, identity and provenance. In business, aesthetics are an integral part of product development and branding, and are employed to invoke key qualities and experiences for products and services. Many technologies now present opportunities for interactions not restricted to the visual realm, making use of a range of affordances and modalities and furthermore are social machines, visualising data and giving alternative views through which compelling narratives can be developed. However, visual appearance does not necessarily represent the systems that underpin our interactions, and furthermore can be deliberately misleading, for example by mimicking, intuitive interaction styles that draw inspiration from nature (eg Galaxy S4), and social interactions that engage empathy and humility (eg Siri). Computation power infuses our lives through the technology we carry with us in our pocket, and as objects and devices become more connected they bring man and machine closer then ever before. The surface and the interface of these devices, which include touch, gesture, affect and the patina of objects, guide our intuitive sensemaking but can we still trust our innate and intuitive affective instincts, and do we require new values and ethics to guide the design of future technologies, services and spaces?