ul{ margin-left: 40px; list-style:none; }

October 2, 2020

The Perception of the Environment

Meaning is there to be discovered in the landscape, if only we know how to attend to it.

As undergraduate, I took a course called Landscapes in Literature because I assumed we would be reading about "happy daffodils dancing in the wind" (Wordsworth) or treks through foggy heaths (Brontë), but the professor had a similar outlook to Tim Ingold on what constituted a landscape in literature. We started off with "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman working our way to "A Journal of a Plague Year" by Daniel Defoe. Both of these works in particular deal with how mental or physical states affect their perception of the environment that they live in.

A key part of the class was writing about the meaning of landscapes depicted in the works that we read. The professor encouraged us to write the most "BS papers you can. Make me believe it." when interpreting the text. This caused me take both a critical and creative eye to the texts I was reading. Critical to discover what are the patterns of the landscape, and creative to convey meaning to the those patterns.

October 2, 2020

Phenomenology in HCI

Extremely simplified, experience is limited to the bodies capability to experience. Perception is the interpretation of that experience. Consciousness is how our perceptions construct our reality. Phenomenology is the interaction and dissection of these constructs.

I found this article interesting because while never directing mentioning this article touched on many of themes present in Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, who is sometimes referred to as the philosopher king. Additionally, I would consider, The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, a HCI design specific application of these principles. I will explore these connections below.

Phenomenology, Meditations, and the everyday.

II. XV — All is as thinking makes it so.


III. X — Remind yourself too that each of us lives only in the present moment, a mere fragment of time: the rest of life is past or uncertain future.

Consciousness as a temporal structure. Here Aurelius is exploring how our "primal impression" is the one that grounds us in the present. And to spend too much time in "retention" and "protention" phases detracts from the experience of now ~ where the melody lives. As designers I interpret this to mean, give only the information that is needed in the present, in consideration of past and present but not overvaluing.

IV. IV — Constantly bring to mind all that you yourself have already seen changed. The universe is change: life is judgement.


IX. ILII. II — You will find that none of these who excite your anger has done anything capable of affecting your mind for the worse: and it is only in your mind that damage or harm can be done to you — they have no other existence.


Designed by Rachel Arredondo