Can I Have Your Attention Please?

March 18, 2020

Undesired notifications and messages saturate our attention, diverting our scarcest resource from one’s preferred activities and true interests. A new need for protecting our time and intellectual resources is rising.

Self-proclaimed cyborg anthropologist, Amber Case studies the symbiotic interactions between humans and machines and how our values and cultures are shaped by new technologies. In 2016 she published a quick read on the subject of Calm Technology principles giving new insight into the field:

The New Principles of Calm Technology

1. Technology should require the smallest possible amount of attention.
2. Technology should inform and create calm.
3. Technology should make use of the periphery.
4. Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity.
5. Technology can communicate, but doesn’t need to speak.
6. Technology should work even when it fails.
7. The right amount of technology is the minimum needed to solve the problem.
8. Technology should respect social norms.

Source: Case, Amber. Calm Technology, Sebastopol: O’Reilly, 2016. Print

The "Calm" design philosophy can interestingly be applied to a wide array of architectural topics; i.e. lighting glare control and noise reduction.

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