Physical Interaction Design Resources

I’ve been interested in and thinking about what I call “physical interaction design” for a while now. Physical interaction design being one of the points where interaction design and industrial design intersect.

Seems that others are thinking about it too…

Ira Laefsky, a researcher associated with Dave Farber’s Distributed Systems Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, contacted me today.

He’s involved with the development of a physical workstation for remote telecollaboration while engaged in document-based work and is looking for resources concerning “the design and development of physical systems that have interactive controls and displays, as well as industrial design aspects and embedded software.”

I wasn’t much help to Ira, as he was already aware of Baumann and Thomas’ “User Interface Design for Electronic Appliances,” Bergman’s “Information Appliances and Beyond” and Jenny Preece’s recent “Interaction Design.”

Ira correctly pointed out that all of these seem more oriented to screen design than the development of physical systems.

So, brad lauster (dot com) readers, do any of you have any pointers for us? Please leave a comment if you do!

2 thoughts on “Physical Interaction Design Resources”

  1. Dave Farger’s quote reminded me of a MOMA exhibition that I saw last year called Workspheres, which was an amazing display of workplace designs and concepts. Some may be more conceptual than what you’re looking for but can still provide great inspiration.

  2. You might want to check out some of the projects from the Archinect Communication Booth competition. (I really wanted to enter this competition but got sidetracked by work. It’s still on my list of pet projects to do though) Here’s the competition brief:

    and the winning entries:

    Of course the good people at IDEO are doing lots of work in this area so they’d be good to talk to. Pontus Walgren, Jane Fulton Suri, and Marion Buchenau are some names that come to mind. If you head over to London anytime soon you should visit the Wellcome Wing at the Science Museum. IDEO designed a lot of the physical interactive exhibits and they’re just amazing.

    Exhibit designers like Ralph Applebaum might also be interesting to look at.

    Btw, thanks for the encouraging words re: my site. I’m sort of new to weblogging so that was nice to hear.

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