Form-Giving: Expressing the Nonobvious

Smets, Gerda; Overbeeke, Kees and Gaver, William. 1994. 'Form-Giving: Expressing the Nonobvious'. In: CHI '94. Boston, United States. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

The design of richly informative interfaces would benefit from an account of how visual forms convey information. In this paper we suggest that the study of~orwz-giving in Industrial Engineering might provide a foundation for such an account. We present three studies of designed synesthesia, in which objects’ forms indicate non-visible attributes such as taste or smell. These studies illustrate
the rich possibilities for conveying information with form, possibilities which are routinely exploited in industrial design. We believe that similar opportunities exist for interface design, and that further studies of form-giving may help in taking advantage of them. Results of a student exercise expressing computer metaphors in 3D forms will be discussed.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Identification Number (DOI):


Interface design, visualization, forgiving, affordances, ecological approaches

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Design > Interaction Research Studio



Event Location:

Boston, United States

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

02 Dec 2015 12:45

Last Modified:

20 Jun 2017 13:58


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