Thesis Reframe # 5

The slideshow below charts the progression of changes in my researchable question. The text below is “version 5” within this progression.

Each element in the proposal below, including the question, is not a refined presentation of ideas- but a first stab at this new question. I will be developing this question will post a more formal proposal early next week.

Researchable Question

How can the changed in a physical state of a tangible calendar aid management and reflection on “work-life” balance? 

  • How can tangible interface aid in the perception of time and time commitments?
  • What role can physical changes play in encouraging time for leisure or work?
  • How can a tangible environment account for calendar management behaviors (planning, rewards, xing out, to-do’s, looking forward, etc) in order to encourage reflection on the past- focus on the present- and expectation of the future?


  • Tangible interface: concrete physical expression of abstract or non-physical information which can be directly manipulated by a human
  • Physical states: what will this include (not sure) smell, volume, vision, haptic, touch, texture, brightness, size, shape
  • “Work-life” balance: healthy attention to leisure/social life/family and work/productivity (sub: managing expectations-internal/external)

Justification: why it is important to design, theories that support, why it is important to society, how you came to this idea, what and why and who can benefit

  • Argument for calendar: The calendar is another flat interface? No because we really need to reflect on how we are using out time. Or the calendar as a disconnected piece of paper on your refrigerator- a nostalgic time keeper
  • Argument for making physical: prolonged interaction with immaterial information, even the work we produce is immaterial (I find myself loving house chores or envying the pot hole filler on the side of the road)
  • For endowing physical characteristics to information: when we pair other modalities to understanding certain information it is easier to comprehend and manipulate. Also the perception/impact is stronger.
  • Audience: people who need work-life balance: for personal use but also good for the worker who is having blurrier lines between work + play + home; people who have flexibility in their job schedule- not the 9-5 job.

Limitations: narrowed setting, experience etc

  • Focus on the representation of one month: enough time to have a feel of the future past and present; enough time to develop a habit; enough time to provide a variety of activity
  • Focus on the personal experience of a calendar: focus centered around singular person viewing/experiencing/manipulating- not designing for many
  • Elements of state change: small scale/large scale? aka- a room or an envelope?
  • Modes of state change- smell sight, touch, size, texture etc.
  • Technological limitations: within 10 year reach, now? What would be practical?

Assumption theoretical and technological, futurecasting, not proving theory but starting with it, technology in future

  • Designers role: the designers role is to provide the experience of the information and make it accessible for people to make the complex able to be understood. The designers role extends past dealing with the palate of the visual- incorporating our entire phenomenology. Design is opening in this way.
  • Physical embodied + complex information = easier to comprehend
  • Responding to future of computing which is increasingly tangible, ambient, out of that computer box
  • Responding to the information society in which we live, the jobs which rely on the manipulation of immaterial information

Bibliography themes

  • Use of calendar: circles, physical models, boxes, paper/digital, behaviors, ad hoc calendars
  • Work-life balance: future of work, health, managing commitments, social/family life, taking time to rest, looking back, self reflection, flexible schedules
  • Tangible computing: current and future trends, possible and far out, home and work use
  • Embodiment: perception of physical and digital information, perception of time, philosophy, looking forward, past present future, metaphor

One Comment to “Thesis Reframe # 5”

  1. i have to say i love the shift from “met with denise” the first time and “met with denise again.” Question: can you rethink physical in relation to digital capacities?

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