Space as a medium for interaction design

Thinking with space

How we manage the spatial arrangement of items around us, is an integral part of the way we think, plan and behave.

–David Kirsh

Experts arrange and rearrange objects into little spatial programs to allow themselves to work habitually, lessening the need for constant reflection.

Computers, space and people


We can make interactions easier by building interfaces that exploit our skills for physical interaction with objects.

We act in the world by exploring the opportunities for action that it provides to us.

— Paul Dourish

Using artefacts to manipulate information

‘Spatial models provide a natural metaphor for collaborative systems design. [Space can be used] as a way for people to manage their accessibility, orient toward shared artifacts, and provide a “setting” for particular forms of interaction.’

— Paul Dourish

By redesigning computing to be spatial we can reawaken our spatial perception and our physical and social skills that are currently lying dormant.

Fragments of the future

Cameras and QR codes are some of the attributes that make up Amazon Go’s platform (source)
Interactive Light’s flexible rules allow for many combinations of interaction styles
Users can move around items in the model and directly see the impact.
Dynamic Land enables people to create their own tools

Every scrap of paper has the capabilities of a computer, while remaining a fully-functional scrap of paper.

— Dynamicland

A workshop of tomorrow

Pawns, blocks and objects can all be used in applications
The workbench as the centre of a project
Placing an object in a specific spot connects it to its digital twin
With a simple hand gesture visualisations can be dragged of the objects and transformed at a larger size
Top view of the workbench





Senior UX designer. Interested in the space between words and things.

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