We began by saying that interaction design can no longer be confined to measuring efficiency and effectiveness but should also entail creating experiences of fulfillment and satisfaction. Our approach was to see sourdough baking as a “thoughtful practice” (Heldke in Curtin & Heldke 1992) and a vehicle that allows us to launch our inquiry into time. The goal was to emphasize the value of prototyping a felt time repertoire in interaction design.
Our research through sourdough baking unfolded the blurred separation between the self and the ingredients, the control in a dynamic interplay and felt time transformations. Prototyping for embodiment, re-imagination and transformation with felt time may be part of a formulation of a fictional world, an approach that may use ‘impossible’ designs (Dunne & Raby 2013; Hey & Dolejšová 2019) and ‘unfamiliar’ perspectives (Loke & Robertsson 2013; Sheets-Johnstone 1999, 2011; Wilde et al 2017). We propose that prototyping felt time through sourdough baking offers a new ‘generative idea’; that is, a fruitful intellectual seed promising to prototype in ways quite different from that of a landscape seeded with the clock-time norm.
But it is not trivial to transfer learnings on felt time in sourdough baking to interaction design, a field that has a brief history and little tradition of craftsmanship compared with sourdough baking. Sebastien has a limited number of variables to play with, and these are framed within a strong cultural tradition. He is aware of how others assess his work because the conservatoire and the guild that preserves and transmits the traditions of craftsmanship and practice, are still active in the culinary culture of today.
In interaction design, the quantity of new materials is continuously being increased, as new ones are invented and developed. The interaction design process and interactive technology is open and undefined, malleable to particular problems. The designer shapes the exploration, decides what materials to use, and sets a goal in each situation.
Sourdough baking is easy to get engaged with. It is easy to love and understand. Not only because it provides a tasty result, which is certainly a good thing. But also, because in the way it creates bread, it teaches us something crucial about the potential of re-imagining time, as felt and shaped in ensemble with the world.
Starting the Research
Methodology & Process
Acknowledgments & References