PhD Dissertation Defense by Paul Gordon Clifton
Committee: Ali Mazalek (advisor), Michael Nitsche, Tim Welsh, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, and Hugh Crawford
Space is an important component of digital media criticism and has been discussed from several perspectives including the design of video game spaces, interactions, and information architecture. Recent research from the fields of cognitive science and psychology has shown strong links between the body and different aspects of spatial cognition, such as perception, navigation, and mental representation. As the realm of digital media design has expanded the ways that interfaces engage the body, new opportunities for the exploitation of the spatial affordance of digital media have become possible. By analyzing tangible and embodied interfaces (TEI) from a spatial cognition perspective, I have defined a design space and a set of guidelines for interfaces that support, augment, and alter spatial cognition through the design of embodied interactions and spatially focused interventions.
In this dissertation, I present the necessary background information and analysis of TEI systems to define the design space that encompasses this research. I then present a set of guidelines, drawn from two case studies for the design of tangible and embodied interfaces that engage spatial cognition.