Interaction design with focus on material forms and aesthetics of interactive objects. This is how you could sum up Maliheh Ghajargar’s research interests.
Maliheh, tell us more about your research!
Broadly, the main area of my research is in Interaction Design and design-driven Human-Computer Interaction, HCI. I am interested in designing interactive artefacts and creating forms (physical, temporal, interactive, etc.) that are understandable, usable and meaningful for users. My PhD research has been mostly focused on designing interactive artefacts for reflection (Tools for Reflection) with the purpose of triggering sustainable behaviours in user.
In summary, my research interest is in interaction design, with a particular focus on material forms and aesthetics of interactive objects.
Why is this research important?
We are already living in the era of Ubiquitous Computing as Mark Weiser had envisioned, back in 1991. In this era we wear micro-computers and our mundane, everyday objects and spaces are increasingly computed, complex and interactive. This brings design challenges but also opportunities. I believe my research in this area is important as it seeks to understand and suggest solutions to the challenges it creates but also makes the best of use of the opportunities it provides.
In the design of such artefacts, I believe the main challenge is that we not only need to design the interaction itself, but also need to understand how the interactivity, material forms and aesthetics can be synthesised to create a pleasing and meaningful user experience for a specific situation.
On the other hand, Ubiquitous Computing enables various design opportunities. I believe this is highly relevant for instance in my research area related to designing interactive systems for reflection and sustainable behaviours, whereas interactive objects can be used to evoke thoughts by gathering user data from different sources on user activities, interact with the user and to foster sustainable behaviours. I believe Ubiquitous Computing could be a valuable technical enabler together with other factors, to achieve such a design purpose.
Why did you want to come to Malmö University?
I knew that Malmö University has a quite long history in Participatory Design and Interaction Design. I appreciate participatory approaches in design and sought to integrate it more and more in my own design research. I also knew about Malmö’s critical and inclusive approach in Interaction Design, which integrates theory and practice of design by creating synergies between university, users and industries, which I appreciate!
» View Maliheh Ghajargar’s publication list on Google Scholar