Reality-based Interaction Design. A review of tools and products for people participation in the challenges of sustainability

De Luca, Vanessa (2018) Reality-based Interaction Design. A review of tools and products for people participation in the challenges of sustainability. In: DESIGNA 2018 - International Conference on Design Research, 28-29 November, Covilhã, Portugal. (In Press)

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Our environment evolves in relation to changes in lifestyle, consumption and production behaviors, and with the evolution in communication and interaction interfaces. Interactive technologies play an important part in this change working as personal devices, social and communication platforms, and also as networked sensors systems. Among the main emerging trends are Internet of Things (IoT) and Gamification, which constitute in fact the latest trends for interacting with reality and at the same time learning from the environment through an increasingly participatory experience. While this technical progress is fast, changes in nature are slower though sometimes irreversible. The development of the achievable scenarios for ecological and economical sustainability lacks in design approaches for the promotion at large scale of an ecological mindset. This paper positions its findings on a participatory design mind-set that acts as a key to fostering a more sustainable world. There is the need to integrate the ecological perspective as active part of the Design discussion and to bridge the communication among actors involved, people, interfaces and territory, in a more reciprocal way. This paper could provide insights and suggestions for the most effective use of reality-based interaction design in future research. By the review of case studies from different sectors, the article illustrates the current models of user’s engagement offering an overview of design features, revealed dimensions, as well as gaps for multidisciplinary design integrations. The innovative models offer several opportunities to: engage people into the design discussion, stimulate more active approaches and increase the awareness on both local and global changes.

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