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SXSW Interactive 2013

Architects + UX or the Art of Social Choreography

Architects started as makers of mass. Bricks, stones & timbers were their design products. Later, this idea evolved into the thought that the spaces carved out by building material as the true art of architecture. Freed from the heaviness & opacity of material, they could concentrate on the inhabitants of space as their true clients. The enabled how a person & society interact.

Similarly, the “user experience” field began with the study of the interactions between people & computers. UX designers bridged the cognitive gap between people’s minds & the logical 1’s and 0’s of machines. As “user-centered” design & social media continue to grow, UX’ers realize they create frameworks in which brands build connections to customers, even facilitating interaction between those users: Interaction Design. A 2D space that gives people agency to participate in desired patterns. Social Choreography.

User experience, you are social choreographers. Ok, lets talk about what that really means.

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  1. Why are there so many architects in user experience and interaction design? Is there some kind of mind meld or is it because some people call themselves information architects?
  2. What on earth does Social Choreography mean? Is this an idea for good or for evil?
  3. How does this idea make my designs better? Don't we want people to have total agency over what they do?
  4. Can looking at architecture help us solve the problem of where to find the next generation of interaction designers? Also, are you a geek or a nerd?
  5. What are the tools we can borrow from analysis and theoretical architecture that help us be better in UX? [Hint: Diagrams! And research!]


  • Abigail Gray, VP, Experience Design, Head, Fluid


Abigail Gray, VP, Experience Design, Head, Fluid

Meta Information:

  • Tags: architecture
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Design and Development
  • Level: Advanced
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