1. Poster
2. This site is an ever growing, pruned home as I learn about interface design. After making a poster in the spring of 2020 which hasn't gotten (and probably won't ever be) printed, I've adapted it as this site to not only house the original file, but also reorganize and reshuffle its contents.


From the warn function on AOL to poking people on Facebook, online communication is ever reliant on metaphors and analogies for interaction. Maybe we like the subtlety of physical gestures and small visual cues too much to not apply them in digital space. And yet the web is often collapsed, flattened, seen in aerial view—how does this position the visitor? What other metaphors can we bring to our (e)nvironments? How else can we imagine the physicality and spatiality of the web?

“Dematerialization of Screen Space”

In her essay “Dematerialization of Screen Space,” Jessica Helfand calls for a “reconsideration of spatial paradigms in an immaterial world.” She posits a framework that departs from Enlightenment era Cartesian logic and instead encourages us to rethink how time relates to digital design. The flexible, ever shifting nature of the internet creates boundaries in flux, which she encourages designers to interrogate as they explore and familiarize themselves with online worlds.

Designing Design

Hara stresses the importance of slowness and incrementalism to take time to reflect on technological change. He proposes a new methodology that sees the computer as a medium to create sensory experiences that engage with the audience in a more immersive, haptic way.

“The Touch Through Time: Transmission Technologies of the Avant-Garde”

Ina Blom writes of the “televisual touch” that avant-garde artists such as Shigeko Kubota and Nam June Paik explore in their video work—this is a tactility that leads to new forms of embodiment which both expand and collapse the dimensionality of video art.

“Interface Aesthetics: An Introduction”

Huff’s article highlights the boundaries of the screen as defined by the frame of the device. His emphasis on the interface reveals the intricate relationship artists have with their (here, digital) tools. One might ask how an emancipated art practice can take form: does this mean an independence (by separation) from tools, or a hybridized, integrated workflow?

“A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design”

Bret Victor analyzes Microsoft’s 2011 Productivity Future Vision video and points out how, “from an interactive perspective, [this fiction] is not visionary” and rather “a timid increment from the status quo, [which] from an interaction perspective, is terrible.” Victor stresses the versatility and sheer complexity of the human hand and its potential for (more intuitive) interaction, critiquing the largely two-dimensional, limited gestures that both current and proposed visions focus on.

“This is Not my Beautiful House: Examining the Desktop Metaphor, 1980–1995”

The desktop metaphor likens the computer monitor as one’s desk. This analogy works in concert with skeuomorphism in interface design, in which material objects help articulate the graphical user interface. In macOS, for instance, folders are represented as their physical counterpart, images appear with a slight border to imitate photo paper, and Trash is a gray bin.

“My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be?”

Laurel Schwulst’s work focuses on the poetic potential of the web—what is a website? If it were a room, what kind of space would it be? What would it be as a type of weather, a sound, a body of water?

“Designing for Decay”

In this article, fruitful school encourages an approach to web design that acknowledges the end of things: how might we build websites with their death date in mind?

“Import/Export, or Design Workflow and Contemporary Aesthetics”

In The Language of New Media Lev Manovich offers a theory of new media, exploring the potential of emerging digital artifacts through a lens informed by “old media” such as film and photography. Manovich discusses compositional and medium-specific conventions, such as the rectangular frame, in his analysis of how new media works “create the illusion of reality, address the viewer, and represent space.”

two-way links

Working in information technology, philosophy, and sociology, Ted Nelson founded Project Xanadu, a hypertext software using parallel pages that includes visible connections that go both ways. (The current web’s links are only one-way—Nelson’s work seeks to achieve and honor his concept of hypertext from the 1960s, where linked citations provide context.)