Experiences of wonder, awe and transcendence cannot easily be described in words; they cannot be planned or anticipated but only invited. Designing to support them, therefore, cannot use the direct approaches of classic UX methods but requires instead an oblique approach. We have to use new methods.

Transcendent experiences cannot be easily defined or reliably anticipated but we can invite them. This renders inadequate the direct approaches of classic UX work: we must instead take an oblique approach. This workshop explores, through art, poetry, play and meditation, new ways of contemplating new design spaces, full of human connection and spirit.

Elizabeth Buie and Alastair Somerville will offer participants in this workshop the first US look at some exciting new tools and techniques aimed at supporting this breathtaking new area of practice. Elizabeth developed these tools at Northumbria University’s School of Design, as part of her PhD research on design for transcendent user experience (TUX). This collaborative workshop offers participants the opportunity to experience these emerging design tools and to engage in shaping the future of interaction design for greater, deeper human experiences.

What topics will be covered?

Human perception and cognition
Phenomenology and the nature of experience
Flow experience 
Transcendent user experience 

What exercises will be done?

Guided meditations
Mindful sketching
Board game playing - Elizabeth Buie's Transcendhance game
Design fiction

What will the audience take away from this workshop?

• Core concepts and language for design to foster human experiences of awe, flow and transcendence
• Key differences between flow and transcendent user experience
• Practice with new tools, frameworks and oblique methods for designing for personal experiences of transcendence thru art, design and technology
• How to use storytelling, poetry and play in describing innovative products and services

Any requirements for attending?