INTERACTIONS.ACM.ORG 92 INTERACTIONS NOVEMBER–DECEMBER2018
FORUM INTERACTION AND ARCHITECTURE
at the scale of architecture (scaling
the interaction rather than the user
interface). Second, the interaction
model for successful HBI needs to be
imagined as asymmetrical rather than
symmetrical to allow for the scaling of
individual interaction to architectural
scale. Finally, our advice is to start with
established, well-known, and small-scale interaction models typically
found in buildings (e.g., light switches)
and then try to reimagine these in an
interactional moment—in short, try to
imagine how everyday HBI can be fun,
playful, and easy, and still have large-scale effects.
1. Dalton, N. S., Schnädelbach, H., Wiberg,
M., and Varoudis, T., eds. Architecture and
Interaction—Human Computer Interaction
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2. Alavi, H., Lalanne, D., Nembrini, J.,
Churchill, E., Kirk, D., and Moncur, W.
Future of human-building interaction.
Proc. of CHI Extended Abstracts. ACM,
3. Steenson, M. Architectural Intelligence.
MIT Press, 2017.
4. Wiberg, M. The Materiality of Interaction.
MIT Press, 2018.
5. Brown, B., Bødker, S., and Höök, K. Does
HCI scale? Scale hacking and the relevance
of HCI. Interactions 24, 5 (2017), 28–33.
6. Dunne, A. and Raby, F. Speculative
Everything. MI T Press, 2013.
Fatemeh Moradi is an assistant professor
in informatics with an orientation toward digital
fabrication at Umeå University, Sweden. Her
research is focused on the Internet of Things,
ubiquitous computing, and ways of integrating
interactive technologies into our built
Mikael Wiberg is a full professor of
informatics at Umeå University, Sweden.
He has held positions as chaired professor
in HCI at Uppsala University and as research
director for the Umeå Institute of Design. His
research interests focus on the materiality
of interaction and ways of integrating
architectural thinking with interaction
design. He is the author of The Materiality of
Interaction: Notes on the Materials of Interaction
Design from MIT Press.
Mikael Hansson is a master’s student
in human-computer interaction in the
Department of Informatics at Umeå University,
Sweden. He is the designer of the Light Dice
system presented in this paper.
could play around with, that might
actually invite further interaction.
During the design process, we
experimented with form factors. We
finally decided on two interactive and
networked dice, each with a plus and
a minus sign. Each die has a built-in
accelerometer, a microcontroller, and
wireless networking; by rolling these
dice (the playful mode of interaction)
or combining them in a deliberate way
(e.g., placing the two dice with the plus
signs facing upward), an individual
or even a group of people can interact
with them at individual scale while
seeing the effect at architectural
scale—how it affects the lighting in the
room. Here, the combination of two
plus signs would brighten the light; two
minus signs would dim it; and one plus
and one minus would reset the light to
the initial value.
Although this is a simple example,
we hope the Light Dice project
illustrates how interaction design can
scale by working with asymmetrical
interaction models that allow for
individual interaction while the impact
of these interactions—the output—is
at architectural scale.
SOME IMPLICATIONS FOR
As previously mentioned, from
a research point of view, we are
interested in adding a fourth dimension
to scaling in HCI, where interaction
that occurs at the small scale also
affects the large scale. By working with
asymmetrical interaction models, we
see an opportunity in bridging from the
individual to the built environment—
that is, to scale the interaction. Still,
there are many design challenges ahead
of us. For instance, what works as a
proper interface for input in the built
environment? In this article we have
focused on reimagining the traditional
light switch, but what else might work,
both at an individual level and as part
of a public space? Further, should
anyone be allowed to interact with
everything on an individual level when
the output is at architectural scale?
Just consider thermostats in public
spaces. Some thermostats allow for an
individual to change the temperature
only a couple of degrees up or down,
but few such systems implemented in
public spaces allow for any individual
to completely shut the heating system
off or turn it up all the way. As we start
this journey of scaling interaction, such
questions involving control, roles, and
responsibilities come into the picture
In this article, we have also
elaborated on how the notion of scale
could work to bridge from the small-scale interface to human-building
interaction. First we addressed the
need for such a bridge given the current
trend toward the design of smart
homes and intelligent environments.
Following from that, we presented a
design project, the Light Dice, aimed
at illustrating what the scaling of
interaction could look like in practice.
We focused on playful interaction
in this particular context to move
away from purely functional user
interfaces. It was also an opportunity
to present interaction design that not
only operates on architectural scale
but also enables individual playful
interaction with the atmosphere of a
building. The dimensions we focused
on in this design project concern novel
ways of interacting with lighting as an
important dimension of the perceived
atmosphere of a room.
Through this work with the Light
Dice, we have also arrived at a couple
of implications for moving forward.
First, we think it is not necessary to
scale the user interface to architectural
scale to enable HBI. Instead, the user
interface can be kept small, but the
effect of the interaction can operate
DOI: 10.1145/3274574 © 2018 ACM 1072-5520/18/11 $15.00