Invited talk on Pleasurable Troublemakers and an Aesthetic of Friction

Dr. Matthias Laschke from University of Duisburg-Essen is visiting Gemini UX.

Welcome to his invited talk:

TIME: Tuesday 10.11.2015 14:15 – 16:00
PLACE: Seminar room C, third floor – Department of Informatics, UiO

Pleasurable Troublemakers and an Aesthetic of Friction

There are plenty of ways to make coffee. Some of them are effortless and require not much more than the press of a button; others are more demanding and involve grinding, dripping, or pulling. Of course, different people prefer different practices, none of them is inherently „right” or „wrong”. Nevertheless, the way we do things, certainly impacts our experience. Consequently, each practice has experiential benefits and costs. Brewing coffee provides feelings of competence and stimulation. Operating the vending-machine is less meaningful.

While brewing coffee can be experientially rich, it is also time consuming and demanding. Not everything that is meaningful and beneficial to us is at the same time convenient and unambiguously fun. This is at the heart of a eudemonistic perspective on designing for experiences and wellbeing. For instance, becoming more physically active is a process „littered” with demanding activities. A recommendable practice is commuting by bike. Unfortunately, using the warm and cozy car can be much more pleasant. And to make it even more difficult, some people do not even know all the practices available to them. Products can help here. They can embody beneficial practices and shape routines through interactivity. The talk presents our Pleasurable Troublemakers. Based on the ‘Aesthetic of Friction’, a particular aesthetic to design for change, troublemakers confront users with situated, behavioral alternatives. However, in order to counteract reactance, troublemakers are also forgiving, humorous and even ironic. Finally, Pleasurable Troublemakers are companions on the long, sometimes unpleasant and bumpy way of behavior change.

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