Interaction Aesthetics In and Beyond the Flow

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Claudia Núñez Pacheco


Although almost two decades have passed since the term aesthetics of interaction made its appearance in design-oriented Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), the actual understanding of the concept remains fuzzy and focused on the description of qualities of what constitutes an aesthetic experience. However, by trying to describe specific aesthetic qualities emerging from technology encounters, we risk offering endless definitions of potential aesthetic traits, mostly fixated on pleasurable interactions. This approach may discard other interactive expressions that could potentially lead us to meaningful insights. Drawing on the similarities between John Dewey's aesthetic experiences, Eugene Gendlin's process model, and Martin Heidegger’s analysis of tool use, this article offers a theoretical framework towards a broader, systematized view of aesthetics of interaction. To do so, the discussion exemplifies a series of phenomenological experiences ranging from transparency to breakdown: two opposites in the understanding of how technologies reveal themselves.

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NÚÑEZ PACHECO, Claudia. Interaction Aesthetics In and Beyond the Flow. Diseña, [S.l.], n. 15, p. 48-69, aug. 2019. ISSN 2452-4298. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 11 july 2020. doi:
Original articles