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A robot platform used for protoyping AI using my Delft AI Toolkit: https://github.com/pvanallen/delft-ai-toolkit

New technologies (such as AI, IoT, and XR) require new design strategies. Because they have new affordances, limits, ethical implications, and unpredictable outcomes, designers have an extra responsibility to be thoughtful about the techniques they use to design with these new design materials. Conventional sketching and prototyping may not dig deep enough to create desirable outcomes, especially in the context of silicon valley techno-optimism.

For more thoughts on the differences that AI/ML creates for designers, see my paper “Reimagining the Goals and Methods of UX for ML/AI”.

Critical prototyping is a sketching/prototyping approach focused on discovery and inquiry. This is…


What if 2017 brought a compelling new AR ecosystem that has a simple in-the-ear Conversational UI, a powerful AR device you own already, and a robust AR commerce and machine learning backend?

Here are three clues for an Apple AR ecosystem that’s voice first, in your pocket, and useful everday.

1. AirPods

The first clue comes from the announcement of the AirPods. These are more than just for listening. Apple’s AirPods are the equivalent of the ear-piece in the movie Her. Simple to slip on, just start talking to Siri. …


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It’s time to rethink Interaction Design.

In the massively augmented Internet of Things world, our current approaches to IxD, AI and Human Centered Design are too solutionistic and task oriented.

My collaborator Betti Marenko and I are proposing Animistic Design as an alternative. We believe that designers can use this new approach to shift focus and create systems that better support creativity, labor, learning, and collaboration.

Not Human Centered Design

This approach means that the human is no longer the center of design.

We envision collections of autonomous, unpredictable devices with distinct personalities and interests, interacting with people and each other. Together they form…

Philip van Allen

Interaction Design Researcher, Consultant, Educator @ ArtCenter College of Design, Media Design Practices MFA - IoT, Interaction, AI. commotion.ai

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