Physical Computing #1

Desire exists within humans and animals – it is our fundamental trait that allows us to maintain our existence. Desire drives us to eat, drink, and keep warm. Without these autonomic desires, we would cease to exist. Our intrinsic desires to keep ourselves alive is what drives us to learn new skills and to problem solve. When we see a problem in between ourselves and our desires, human nature drives us to overcome this problem using problem solving. We are then constantly interacting with our environment, each and every single day of our lives and will be until our eventual death. This is not only good physical interaction, but ingenious physical interaction. 

If physical interaction, at its base level, is two parties engaging with each other to achieve a common goal, then the best physical interactions would be those we don’t have to think about. Good physical interaction begins with the desire to work towards either the common goals of the parties involved or evoke the best behaviours from parties involved. For example, the interaction between a human and a toilet is an excellent physical interaction. Both parties benefit from the actions that are hardwired into their design. 

Let us break down this interaction (which in this example we will imagine goes well for each party):

A) The human is programmed (has the desire) to relieve themselves and is able to do so  comfortably through the use of the toilet. 

B) The toilet receives and disposes of waste

The programming within the human has done its job, and with the help of the toilet, it has done so comfortably and efficiently. Although Crawford would certainly assert that the toilet is simply reacting and not interacting, I want believe the toilet has interacted with the human and therefore benefited by being communicated with, fulfilling its purpose and destiny and giving meaning to its existence. Both Human and Machine have benefited each other. Good physical interaction is working together to fulfill goals and or the common goals shared between two physical entities, regardless of what they may be.


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