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The Chaotic Nature of Human Experience: An Alternative Approach to Determinacy in Understanding Emotions and Experience

Bilge Mutlu , Jodi Forlizzi

The emphasis on human experience and experience in the Design Research literature is growing along with the importance of human-centered approaches to design. However, the fundamental connection between emotions and experience is not well understood mostly due to the lack of research in the nature of human experience in the design research literature. Many approaches tend to determine the 'rules' or 'laws' that govern the emergence of emotions. These approaches are limited by their deterministic nature in evaluating the outcomes of experience and emotional responses to design.

In this paper, we present an alternative stance to the deterministic approach in explaining emotions and human experience. We attempt to explain the emergence of emotions as a part of an indeterministic system of experiences. Additionally, we present an indeterministic framework that formalizes the nature of human experience, and a set of guiding principles suggesting directions for design practice.


experience, emotion, Time, complexity, chaos, indeterminism, events, probability, systems, human- centered design