Simulated and Immersive Environments 1/3 (2013): Space Action Meaning

The paper uncovers and establishes connections between phenomenology, tangible interaction and play. The notion of phenomenology touches upon what makes us human and on the role of technology in life. Phenomenology proposes that living is not about abstract existence, reasoning and problem solving; but about bodily existence and lived experience; activities which are always connected to location and situation, and appropriating these. The paper follows (among others) Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty who highlight and develop different aspects of phenomenology, to people like Suchman, Dreyfus and Dourish who apply ideas of phenomenology to computer interaction. Since the 1980s an increasing awareness and influence of phenomenology on the academic discourse and (since about 2000) in mainstream digital media design can be spotted. Phenomenology turns out to be a powerful approach to creative work within the domain of interactive systems. In the paper, participants create artworks, interactive installations and games. The specific technical realisation (e.g. Arduino hardware and Processing or Kinect and XNA) depends on what is best suited to the design, and is discussed on a case-by-case basis.
Simulated and Immersive Enviroments I (2012, semester 1) (also) looked into tangible interaction, but from quite a different perspective. Therefore, it is not a prerequisite for Simulated and Immersive Environments III.
For year 2 students the learning outcomes center on the development and realization of unique interactive installations incorporating graphics, sound and physical devices. Appropriate development techniques are identified and facilitated in a collaborative setting. In addition to that, year 3 students identify and discuss relevant conceptual questions in the area of tangible interaction in relation to their own work. The notions of space, movement and time will play important roles in this approach.

Bounce Invaders (an entry for the Space Invaders tournament) Face Invaders (an entry for the Space Invaders tournament) (photo: jc-r) Bubble Girl (the winning entry for the Space Invaders tournament) (photo: jc-r) Space Ship War (an entry for the Space Invaders tournament) (photo: jc-r)
Defence Game (prototype test) Hectic Objectives interface (prototype test) Collaborative Artillery (prototype test) Popuzzle (prototype test)
Popuzzle (final presentation) Railroad Chicken (final presentation) Planet Guardians (final presentation) Collaborative Artillery (final presentation)

Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Simulated and Immersive Environments 1/3: Space Action Meaning, Course, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, 2013, Semester 1.