Thesis Info

Thesis Title
The Human-Digital Devide: The application of Rapid Prototyping and Haptic technology as Industrial Design tools for senorally rich interaction
2nd Author
3rd Author
MA Digital Modelling and Rapid Prototyping
Number of Pages
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts. England
Thesis Supervisor
Dr. A Peacock
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Faculty of the Creative and Cultural Industries. School of Design.
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
Industrial Design, Human computer Interaction, RP, Haptics
Abstract: 200-500 words
Emergent technology has always impacted design methodology and the processes employed to develop and communicate creative design ideas. This thesis explores the emergence of Rapid Prototyping and Haptic Force Feedback technology as tools for the development of design concepts. The investigation is developed upon a theoretical hypothesis that considers the human-computer interface and the sensory information afforded and constrained by human interaction with digital technology. Through evidence gathered during Action Research, the thesis suggests the synthesis of digital technologies, within the industrial design process, may lead to a reduction of sensory information. The enquiry moves from this to consider this reduction and narrowing of sensory information as acting as a sort of barrier to intuitive concept design which allows the rational, sequential nature of computing to encroach upon and inform the more intuitive, fuzzy process of creative design conceptualisation. The thesis then moves from these observations to suggest the boundaries within which these digital technologies operate - their constraint, the processes by which they are applied within design development, favour a certain kind of relationship between practitioner and medium, a certain state of experience if you will. A sensorially narrow interaction favouring sight with limited tactile or kinaesthetic information passed between user and interface. A metaphorical, symbol based process of design representation. This state of interaction, augmented by the digital interface, constrains the intuitive, fuzzy nature of idea generation and conceptualisation. Haptic Force Feedback and Rapid Prototyping technologies are considered within the context of this hypothesis as tools to allow a richer sensory experience during conceptual idea development within Industrial Design. These technologies are placed between the practitioner and digital technology and are proposed to afford a wider sensory interaction. The study is concerned with drawing out and evaluating these affordances. To consider how far they go in crossing the human-digital divide; to augment digital design development and shift its experiential affordances towards the sensually rich and so move closer to the intuitive nature of creativity.