What Matters?; Putting Common Sense to Work

A cognitive psychologist and an industrial design engineer draw from their experiences trying to make technology work for people to reflect on the foundations of Cognitive Science and Product Design. This work is motivated by the sense that there is a large gap between the type of experiences studied in laboratories and experiences of people working with every day technology. This has led the authors to question the metaphysical foundations of cognitive science and to suggest alternative directions that might provide better insights for design. An important inspiration for this alternative direction is Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality described in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila. The goal is to move beyond ‘information processing’ and the computer metaphor, toward ‘meaning creation’ as inspired by recent discoveries in dynamics and selforganizing systems. This book takes the reader on a journey beyond the conventional dichotomy of mind and matter to explore a world of ‘what matters’ in hopes of inspiring the design of human-technology systems that work beautifully.

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