On Friction in Motion
How visible should the designer be in the design? When is the user's experience enhanced not by a design's ease and seamlessness, but rather by friction and restraints that are choreographed into that usage?
The January 30th, 2012 launch of a semester long collaboration between three graduate design studios at Columbia University GSAPP and Audi's Urban Future Initiative brought together an interdisciplinary group of designers to explore how motion is represented within the architecture of today's physical and digital world.
During the roundtable discussion, Mark Wigley, dean of Columbia University GSAPP asked the panel to respond to questions regarding the emergence of mobility within design. Panel participants included Abe Burmeister of Outlier Tailored Performance Clothing, Glen Cummings of MTWTF, Rob Giampietro of Project Projects, Michael Rock of 2x4, interaction designer Chris Woebken and Peter Vidani of Tumblr.
The conversation focused on what it means to incorporate friction in design, questioning how regulation, constraints, and the degree to which the designer's presence is felt affects user's experience. If friction is reinterpreted as the speed of absorption, how can a design capitalize on the push and pull between designer and user? To what degree should the designer control the end narrative and usage?