In praise of interactions.

If I refer you to my ‘101 things list’ written just over 2 weeks ago, you will notice that number 3 has partially been crossed off. That’s because after 3 years of umming and aahing, the light bulb has finally gone off: I know what I want to do a Master’s in.

After a Bachelor’s in Interior Architecture, doubt started growing around me like ivy grows around a tree. How does one decide what they want? When they… Just. Don’t. Know.

I was drawn to urbanism, exhibition design and even sustainability. Journalism was also a field I wanted to consider. When I started writing for a design magazine, I thought to myself “maybe I am not meant to design but to write about design”.

It is with a big sigh and a broad smile that I can finally say… I now know: I want to work in interaction design.

IBM THINK Exhibit in New York City (@Lincoln Center, Broadway & 65th Street) -- September 23-October 23, 2011.  It explores the potential of science and information technology to make the world work better. A massive 123-foot digital visualization wall streams real-time data from the area surrounding Lincoln Center, from traffic to air quality to water consumption.

IBM THINK Exhibit, New York City, 2011.  A 123-foot digital visualization wall streams real-time data from the area surrounding Lincoln Center, from traffic to air quality to water consumption.

Our lives are brimming with interactions. From the smile of a stranger to this very moment where I am writing this and you, reading it. Interactions can be found in our everyday lives, when we greet the bus driver (seems to be a very British thing –never in Bulgaria has anyone paid attention to the bus driver), hold the door for a colleague or listen to music.

When I think of it, interactions are at the core of my novel too. Cause and effect. Interdependence. Kind actions and rash decisions rippling across decades, affecting the most unexpected of individuals. The intricacy and the sometimes intangible magic in the complex, interconnected lives we all live. (This might be the best description I’ve given of my novel so far)

Electroland

Electroland – interactive, LED tiles are triggered by human traffic.

Interactions also exist in nature. Although they may not be as reciprocal as human interactions, they still imply communication. The moon moves the oceans, sunflowers turns to the sun, grass grows greener after a rainfall. The exchange is there, we just don’t see it.

 

Electroland (1)

Building façade mirroring the ever-changing LED pattern .

Your smartphone is an interactive device. So is the Wordpress app you might be on right now. But I am interested in the environment. The way a space responds to human beings, and vice versa. The way an exhibition space or display is designed to convey knowledge in a different, more fun and engaging way. The way a public space can become an ever-changing, artistic canvas controlled by human presence.

The world of architecture has been static for far too long. And I am not revolutionising anything here. I am not the one who will introduce movement, motion sensors or light-sensitive blinds in the field of architecture. But you never know… I might have a few ideas up my sleeves.

Now… onto the next question. Where shall I study it?

*

Thanks for reading.
Hop on my Facebook and Twitter caravans.

 

12 responses to “In praise of interactions.

    • Yes. I’ve needed those.
      Well it started as a conversation with my boyfriend during which I realised I’ve always loved exhibition design. I did some research and one thing led to another… I discovered programmes on interactive design and suddenly, I knew.
      Pretty much every one of my projects at uni revolved around interaction and I’ve noticed I am always drawn to such exhibitions and urban squares.
      It’s a shame it took so long to realise but now I’m glad I didn’t rush into a different MA. (Sorry for the length of this reply…)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fascinating! The whole concept of interaction underlies every facet of life, as you say, for humans and animals. I think if how interactions between doctors and patients has been disrupted by the requirement for electronic records and doctors now facing computers for the duration of a visit instead of observing the patient. Tiny changes to interactions with monumental consequences.

    This is a wonderful post and writing prompt for me. I will be returning to think more about it and click your other links.

    Congratulations in your Masters decision!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sammy! You are right. So much interaction has been lost with the progress of technology and in a way, I feel bad for wanting to pursue a career so dependent to technology. But maybe it’s about finding the right middle.

      Like

  2. I’m very excited, for you of course, but also for myself. You’ll be taking me into a world I know nothing about, and I’m eager to be on the periphery of your journey. I’m particularly interested in the way exhibition spaces can interact with passers-through. I’ve read a tiny bit in this field, but it’s sieved out of my memory.

    (As an aside on bus drivers: in Jordan whenever a village to village bus stopped, the passengers would greet the driver, kiss him on both cheeks and exchange gossip – at least I think that’s what they were doing: body language said so.)

    Like

  3. Gosh I didn’t know there was such a thing as interaction design, and yet you can study it at Masters level! Wow, you live and learn! It’s good to make a decision, and instinctively know in your gut that it is right. You are so right, these decisions cannot and must not be rushed. I’m so glad you made it out of the limboland, it is not a good place to be stuck in. Well done and good luck in this new phase of your life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep! It’s not the most common but it applies to many fields (from psychology with human behaviour and interactions to app design and of course responsive architecture and such…)
      Thank you!! :)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: 101 Things. 1001 Days. | A Writer's Caravan·

  5. I learned about a new profession today: interactive design. Thanks to you Elissaveta. It sounds fascinating. Those photos and graphics are interesting too. If you feel passion about your profession you will soar in it.

    Liked by 1 person

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