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Sensational In(ter)action: Designing Creative Learning Environments

Eva L. Waterworth , John A. Waterworth

Emotion plays an important role in life, both in personal and work life. In fact, it is part of almost everything we do, including artwork, decision-making and interpreting reality in general. Recently developed information technology may create emotionally-arousing sensations in the user, producing motivation and interest, but on the other hand too much emotion can impede use of devices, everyday creativity and learning. In this paper, we discuss how emotion can be used in design in order both to increase engagement and support creative learning. The idea is based on the notion of Perceptually-Seductive Technology (PST, outlined in Waterworth, 2001) and how PST can be applied to support creative learning in classrooms and other settings. Creative learning is characterised as the intersection of creativity (the production of novel and adaptive ideas) and learning (change persisting over time). Sensational in(ter)action alludes to the need for frequent switches between presence and absence, action and inaction, and between the real and virtual worlds according to a design space defined by the three-dimensional Focus, Locus and Sensus model (Waterworth and Waterworth, 2001a).


creative learning, evolutionary psychology, virtual environments