Natural Laws of Interaction (Was: About using Architecture as a model)

24 Feb 2004 - 4:40am
12 years ago
1 reply
840 reads
CD Evans

Hi there, sorry for the late subject drift.

I'm not sure about the qualitative / quantitative divide being the key
in determining the real stumbling block here. I do agree, however, that
our area is completely 'siloed' into specializations that are keeping
good design/architecture from happening. I like the qualitative and
quantitative assessment, but it proves, to me, to be more of a
perspective for strengthening the duality of the field and not
providing any real bridge amongst the various silos, never mind the
tech/art divide.

The main problem is the programming languages. They aren't designed for
architecture. No offence to anyone who codes day in an day out, but
these languages more closely resemble spoken languages or, for lack of
a better analogy, they resemble chemical compounds. While this may
sounds like a way forward, we all know what happens when people try to
'steer' spoken languages. The real problem is that the programming
'compounds' aren't proven to be mature enough to start crafting, never
mind forging.

In order to design a programming language for architecture, it may have
to base itself on physics, more than chemistry. Now, I'm in way over my
head here, so forgive any ignorance, but let me have a crack at it
anyway, eh. If programming languages resembled representations from
physics, a set of 'natural laws' as opposed to existing constructions,
we might have some rules that would stand the test of architecture
without offending anyone.

I've seen a bit on new languages over the years, but I've not really
seen anything that comes close to distilling natural laws. I think
Lanier had some ideas in the VR heyday about visual constructions that
might be in the same train of thought, but I think it was too
abstracted to work toward natural laws.

Is it just impossible to find naturally occurring laws in a completely
created environment? I don't think so. I've done a bit of work in this
area, planning a language based on determining natural interactions. It
has been shelved for now, but with some help.. etcetera. My main point
here is .not. to get my project off the ground though, it is to inspire
another way of thinking about code. I don't think we can have
architecture here until we find the laws that make interaction

Has anyone seen, heard of, or started on something like this? A
"Natural Laws of Interaction"?

CD Evans

At 11:52 am -0500 29/1/04, Lord, Ralph wrote:
My business partner and I use an architect analogy, not as a direct 1:1
matching comparison in all aspects of software and construction, but as
a broad high-level way to get people to think about the need to have
someone who works between the users (buyers) and the developers
(builders) and is responsible for the behavior of the product. Our
focus has been on teams where there is NO, that is NONE, NADA, ZILCH
history of any interaction design and no team roles responsible for user
experience, interaction design or even the UI (other than the
developers). The broad analogy communicates the intended point that
someone needs to be focusing on the qualitative aspects of the system
rather than having an almost exclusive focus on the quantitative


25 Feb 2004 - 7:14pm
mYamamoto at jp...


If you guys allow me to go back the past discussion,
we can use architecture analogy in Interaction design but be careful that
analogy should be recognized as a analogy.
History of architecture is longer and there are many tries and errors in
methodological level and practical level in the history.
And it is true that the area of industrial design have been using
architectural analogy since Bauhaus era,
with the psychological complex that Architecture is superior in any design

However, there should exist some invisible conflicts and problems in any
contexts of profession. So in architecture.
For example, social expectation for architects are more aesthetic oriented
than that for interaction designers.
Architects does not and can not look back the past piece of their work to
see how the product is used by users,
because it is too expensive to change in structural level. And they do not
care the functionality of their past works.
And nature of building and software application or web site is very

By the way urban planning and interaction design is some how similar....
Masayasu Yamamoto

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