From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Renaissance and Computer-Human Interaction Meet at CHI

Specialists in computer-human interaction from around the world assembled in Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance, from April 5-10 for CHI ’08. This Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) conference focused on core factors in ergonomics – the balance between art and science, design and research, practical motivation and the process that leads the way to innovative excellence. 

The Chi ’08 promotion quotes one of the Italian city’s most distinguished historic figures, Leonardo da Vinci, whose work epitomized art and science in balance:  “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” 

CHI brings together industry exhibitors and HCI professionals and students, who tackle problems in modern computing.  The workshops and speeches covered everything from software infrastructures, design and evaluation methods, universal access, and the societal and global impacts of computing. 

Irene McAra-McWilliam, a professor at Britain’s Glasgow School of Art, sees the product as both a useful object and a mediator of relationships and particular cultural codes. As design develops to include the relational sensibility used in interaction design, she said, so it reinterprets and refreshes existing practice. “With the design of networked products such as iPods and mobile telephones it has become crucially important for designers to consider the dynamic of the relational sensibility as well as the aesthetics of three dimensional form.”

Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, equates great design to great experience. He says design has to be viewed in a holistic manner, and “executing great design must involve every person in the food chain that produces the product. This not only has deep implications on what designers do, it also compels us to rethink who or what is a designer, and who is not.” In order to do great design in the future, he added, the implication is that “the most important thing that we need to design is design itself” – as a distinct and critical profession.

Source: CHI ‘08