Interaction definition

World dictionary defines Interactivity as a “two-way transfer of information between a user and the central point of a communication system, such as a computer or television.”
In a nutshell, this “transfer of information” is perceived as a form of a dialogue between a human and a machine.
When I think of dialogue, i think of a scenario where the ideas are actively exchanged, discussed. There is a focal point to the dialogue and it resides in dialogue’s erratic nature.
After all, we can never guess what the person we are conversing with will say next, how they will respond to our words, touch, look, gesture. This is what true interactivity is to me. The moment of the uncertain, the moment following the generated information.
Now, when I think about human/machine relationship I do not, for most part, think of interactivity. We program machines to perform a specific function for us. We design objects to carry out that function in the quickest, most convenient way for us. Performing and carrying out a function to me is not dialogue. There’s no room for surprise, well, yes, there is a huge element of surprise when a machine breaks or malfunctions. Maybe, just maybe, that is the ONLY real moment of interaction between the human and the object. We pressed a button and the machine did not perform its function. This frustrates us, we throw the damn thing out or try to fix it.
As I mentioned in last class, I am interested in designing and programing objects and spaces in a way to engage, surprise, keep guessing, generating information that will then in turn evoke a response from us.

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