Notes from IxDA-SF’s “Breathing Life into Buildings”

Tom and I went last week to go see “Breathing Life into Buildings: Interaction Design for Physical Spaces” hosted by the San Francisco chapter of the Interaction Design Association. Here are some brief notes I took.

First speaker was Emily Golembiewski of HOK. Her main point was that “Buildings are systems that can be understood.” Their form can be determined by a combination of the audience and the functionality. In order to understand how buildings work, “signs are not the answer.” Instead, there should be a logic to the system that can be understood through use.

Second speaker was Brian Walker of IDEO’s Smart Spaces. His talk was mainly around designing for “moments that matter.” Not every moment in a location (service) should be memorable, but those that are are made up of “time + space + emotion.” It is important to pick key “halo” moments that influence all the other non-moments, but make sure that you are picking the right moments–they aren’t always the ones you expect. (e.g. In a hotel, entering the room is a great halo moment, not check-in.) You want to design spaces so that there is a feeling of “serendipity, not staging.”