Monday, October 1, 2012

Affordances: Discussion Questions

Get into your groups and answer the following questions

How do  you understand this definition/description of affordance? Please put into your own words. What if anything may or may not be problematic about this interpretation of the notion of affordances?
  • Affordances can be seen as an enabler/disabler, but also tied to a context that when it's thought through and tested through subjective experience. 
Pick three aspects/environmental conditions of this room or the third floor of FAC. Describe each of these aspects as an affordance. What activity is implied by the material? What sorts of sensory input does this  condition/object offer the user? One way of doing this might be able to put yourself in the place of an alien. What about the object or condition compels you to act upon it in a particular way?
  • Window
    • How do we know that there is space outside of the window? How do we know that the glass is keeping the space outside and inside divide? How do we know that there is a drop outside the window? 
    • Our own perception of space is how we identify the window as an affordance. The window enables light and clarity from outside but disables jumping out the window. A window can be imply. How would an alien know that the image outside is real? 
  • Chair
    • Chair can enable stability and rest. The affordance of a chair could of been taught through etiquette and visual experience of other people sitting in a chair. 
  • Switch
    • This affordance is one that we always have to have a personal experience to figure out what it does, turn on, and etc. We were always taught that physical action lead to a reaction. 

What do you think is the difference between usefulness and utility with respect to affordances?
  • The only real difference between usefulness and utility is that utility is predefined and broad and usefulness is more personal and can be adapted to each person. 

What might be a false affordance? Create a situation other than that of the cat on the glass floor who is afraid to walk because the glass is transparent and there is a drop in floor? Think about how zoos keep animals in w/o cages or slapstick comedy.
  • Heresay can be a false affordance. For example, our parents telling us of their prejudice against something that they had an horrible experience with influences our view of it and we begin to also have that view even though we personally never experienced it. 

Are we aware of all of the affordances of an object or a condition?  Do you think affordances are cultural? Are they different for people with disabilities?  
  • No, we become aware of the affordance through experience and until we have that experience we are unaware of all the possible affordances of the object. Yes, we do think affordances are given a cultural context. We also think that people with disabilities have a different experience with affordance than others. This can also relate to a child because the child has a different body type and little experience with things in the world. 

Draw parallels between the idea of affordances and intentionality and art. What is the relationship between metaphor and affordances? I think this might be worth thinking about this.
  • When we are thinking of construction art and we are thinking of medium and the cultural context of that medium. We always perceive an art piece based on our past experience with other art pieces. This can be related to film and music as well. 

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