Before defining physical interaction, I want to emphasise that  human beings are usually driven by what they want, what they like, and what they have to do something, and many of good interaction occurs in these circumstances. For example, I went jogging in Central park this morning because the weather was so sunny and the park was stunningly peaceful with a bunch of trees and green places. While I’m jogging, I could perspire, get vitamin D somewhere in my body, and meet vigorous people and pets having good emotion.

However, I’m not sure this kind of phenomena could be included as a sort of defining ‘interaction’, because the sun never listens or response to my words, according to Chris Crawford (but plants are a little bit different).  It seems that most of the physical interaction occurs with people to people communication, people to devices and devices to devices because undoubtedly we are in this era of communications and device proliferation. If we focus on physical computing and media, the good physical interaction would be surely created by eye-catching design and technology. But thinking of human beings, I believe that good physical interaction always accompanies good emotion.

The more weather is rainy or cloudy, the more the possibility of creating good physical interaction would lessen. Creating good physical interaction with design and technology is hugely important, but I assure that we also have to consider how to carve out good conditions which could influence to create good physical interaction.

And these would be good examples of digital technology that are not interactive, ‘Suspension of Disbelief’ created by Troika and ‘The Weather Project’ by Studio Olafur Eliasson.


Suspension of Disbelief, 2013, Troika 


The Weather Project, Tate Modern, 2003, Studio Olafur Eliasson

Using digital lighting technology, two artists groups materializes marvelous effects in certain spaces. Anyone who experiences these works would feel great appreciation and have good emotion. These kind of works are not interactive, but affect our spirits and thus help us to create good interaction with people and to lead a better life.