Designs, Vol. 7, Pages 69: From Meaning to Expression: A Dual Approach to Coupling

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Designs, Vol. 7, Pages 69: From Meaning to Expression: A Dual Approach to Coupling

Designs doi: 10.3390/designs7030069

Authors:
Lukas Van Campenhout
Ward Vancoppenolle
Ivo Dewit

Coupling is a key concept in the field of embodied interaction with digital products and systems, describing how digital phenomena relate to the physical world. In this paper, we present a Research through Design process in which the concept of coupling is explored and deepened. The use case that we employed to conduct our research is an industrial workplace proposed by Audi Brussels and Kuka. Our aim was to enrich this workplace with projection, or Spatial Augmented Reality, while focusing on operator interaction. We went through three successive design iterations, each of which resulted in a demonstrator. We present each of the three demonstrators, focusing on how they propelled our understanding of coupling. We establish a framework in which coupling between different events, be they physical or digital, emerges on four different aspects: time, location, direction, and expression. We bring the first three aspects together under one heading—coupling of meaning—and relate it to ease of use and pragmatic usability. We uncover the characteristics of the fourth aspect—coupling of expression—and link it to the psychological wellbeing of the operator in the workplace. We conclude this paper by highlighting its contribution to the embodied interaction research agenda.

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