Architecting Emotions

2018 Workshop


Understanding the words and design patterns for respect and compassion in our interactions as humans and technologies


Emotion in the moment of perception affects how both human and artificial intelligences make meaning and take action. As Information Architects, we also need to offer clarity to designers and users so they can understand and communicate their emotional needs and wants. Our ability to enable connection and compassion is impossible without learning new skills in emotional clarity.

This workshop uses ideas from Non Violent Communication and NeuroErgonomics to enable participants to understand:

  • how emotion in perception and meaning making works
  • how to understand emotional clarity in interaction design for both human and artificial intelligences
  • how important emotion is to the future of humanogic design 

This workshop will mix theory and practice to provide new ways of both understanding and communicating emotion in design discussions and usability work. Rather than viewing emotion as a barrier to human/artificial intelligence relationships, we can apply tools to empower and enable. Understanding clarity of emotional communication is also a key issue in the new design areas of neuroergonomics and neuroplasticity. These areas underlie Humanogic Design – merging human and artificial intelligences and cognition.

The workshop will use examples from existing assistive technology to demonstrate sensory and cognitive integration of humans and technology and show how emotional design is crucial to success. We need to understand this emotional Emotion is both a barrier and an opportunity space for Humanogy. This workshop provided a foundation to understand how and why it matters and practice in using new tools to design architectures and interactions that are compassionate and even, in the future, mind expanding.

About the speaker(s)

Alastair Somerville is a sensory design consultant. He provides expert advice on cognition and person-centered design to companies and public organisations who provide both physical and digital products or services. He facilitates workshops on sensory and emotional design for corporations and major conferences, including SouthBy Southwest (SxSW) and UX Week. He is currently involved in cognitive accessibility projects for public transport in London and design for happiness in visitor attractions.