Designing for the everyday

⌈Résumé⌋ Addressing the ordinary through design

Course taught in English for the bachelor degree (5ects) at TU/e, The Netherlands by Pierre Lévy.

By playing this movie, you accept the Policies & Terms of Google.
By playing this movie, you accept the Policies & Terms of Google.
By playing this movie, you accept the Policies & Terms of Google.

The everyday is the reality in which we act and perceive through unremarkable experiences. It is about going to sleep, waking up, cleaning, eating, dressing and undressing, reading, drinking tea or coffee… It is therefore in the flow of the infraordinary (Perec, 1989) and the banal, away of the extraordinary and of the memorable. What the everyday is actually less a matter of activity value than a matter of ‘specific mode of manifestation’ (Dewolf, 2008).

The aim of this course is to address the qualities embodied in the everyday from an interaction design perspective, and to explore the relation between the designed artefacts and the everyday they are involved in. The main focus will be on how to capture the everyday and to design towards it. A continuous discussion throughout the elective will address the merits of addressing the everyday in interaction design.

To address this course through a project, we will first focus on a personal everyday ritual, in order to determine descriptive elements. We will then explore ways to approach the everyday through a project.
The final day will close the module by a demonstration of the design addressing the students’ inquiry on the everyday, and a discussion on these designs.

Describe your street. Describe another one. Compare.
Make an inventory of your pockets, of your bag. Wonder about the origin, the use, the future of each of the objects you take out.
Question your tea spoons.
It matters little to me that these questions are fragmentary, barely indicative of a method, at most of a project. It matters a lot to me that they seem trivial and futile: that’s precisely what makes them as essential, if not more so, as so many others by which we have vainly tried to capture our truth.
(Perec, 1989)

⌈Learning objectives⌋
  • Describing everyday rituals and the everyday;
  • Implementing details related to the everyday through interaction design;
  • Arguing the design decisions taken during implementation and their consequences;
  • Assessing or evaluating the everyday-related qualities in interaction.