Next: Deconstructing CHI
Existentialism, the philosophical theory that emphasizes the
existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent
determining his own development, is proposed as a basis for
`existential media' --- technology that (1) gives the user the
deference of assumed competence, e.g. a computer that assumes
that the user is able-minded rather than stupid, and (2)
synergizes with the user rather than functions as a separate entity that
replaces the user.
The goal of the `Existential User Interface'
(EUI) is not increased productivity (e.g. making
individuals more useful to society), but, rather, to reclaim the
personal space (prosthetic territory) lost by invasive technology. A
good example of `existential media' is clothing. Clothing affords us
a great deal of self-determination, and serves as a useful metaphor
for `existential media'. (It is no coincidence that clothing also
formed the substrate upon which the `existential computer' invention
was first realized.) The SONY ``Walkman'' is another example of
`existential media'. Its ability to reclaim personal space lost to
``muzak'' (a use of technology that has stolen much of our solitude)
affords the user a great deal of self-determination.
Sun Mar 9 16:09:27 EST 1997