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The evolution of gift giving
- 2004
Master's Thesis PDF (1.5mb)

This essay outlines how gift giving has evolved in a historic, social and consumer sense and builds a framework for improvement for society and designers.

Marcel Mauss’ famous 1924 text Essay on the Gift (L’Essai sur le don) introduced us to why we give and launched gift-giving as a major source of study. He taught us that Gifts are a primary source of social exchange within a society and valuable for the formation and maintenance of bonds in our social networks. Though Mauss wrote about remote tribes in Polynesia, his conclusions seem to hold for our own societies: just a quick glance at the countless gift-giving events in our consumer societies warrants this parallel. However, while Mauss built theories on gift-giving he had trouble applying them to our modern consumer societies.


Don't let history kill your product
- 2004
PDF (120k)

What designers can learn from economic history.


Designing for Social Networks
- 2004
PDF (100k)

Recently, several books have discussed social network theory and how it can be applied to the field of business and marketing. However, these ideas should not be lost to or ignored by designers as adapting these rules for design can help us build better and more meaningful products.


Simulation: Deceit or Conceit
- 2003
PDF (35k)

This is a working paper to begin to distil a framework for understanding the various complexities surrounding technology-based simulation. How it can be understood, what it is, and where and how it should be applied.


Gender Perception of Chaos and Order
- 2003
Project summary PDF (9k)  Video Quicktime (12mb)

A 4minute video exploring gender perceptions in chaos and order. Despite this abundance of references to the meaning of ‘chaos and order’, we discovered that there is really no ‘consensus’ on these definitions. However, if people believe that emotions are a positive force, then they tended to see women as rational and men as chaotic. On the other hand, if thy see emotions as a negative trait, then they saw men as rational and women as chaotic. Everyone seemed to agree that women are more emotional than men. It did become clear in this study that the perception of emotion plays an important role.

Proxemics and Voice Interfaces
- 1998
PDF (30k) 

This paper documents my search to find ways to create more intimate and personal experiences for voice interfaces. The basic assumption is that proxemics plays are large part in social communication and these cues were non-existent in current voice interface. I then discuss proxemics in detail and the importance it plays in our physical world and how new technology in 3D audio is able to reproduce these audio cues.


Seductive Computing (summary)
- 1998
PDF (692k)

When someone or something is attempting to seduce, it is in essence attempting to change our behavior or feelings towards it... All five senses can be pulled in at varying levels, which create unique experiences of seduction.

A Proposal for a Degree in Interaction Design
- 1997
PDF (26k)

The computer industry, ever evolving, is entering a new era in which human needs and concerns form the backbone of product design. Software, hardware, user interfaces, in fact all technology, is shifting away from being both designed and created by engineers and is moving toward the separation of these duties. This shift demands the new profession of the "interactive designer" to be born to the industry a profession that stands with one foot in technology and the other foot in the world of human concerns.
 JB > Thoughts