From interface to interplace: the spatial environment as a medium for interaction

  • Thomas Erickson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 716)


Today's human-computer interfaces are cumbersome, sterile, and uninviting; they stand in stark contrast to the richness and depth of the everyday world. The thesis of this paper is that spatial environments have great potential as interface metaphors, particularly as computers begin to serve as a medium through which human-human interaction occurs. One section of the paper focuses on ways in which MUDs—textbased, multi-user dialog systems—use spatial metaphors to support social interaction. Then the paper examines how real spaces structure and enrich human interaction, drawing on observations from the literature on urban design, landscape architecture, and related disciplines. Ultimately, we hope that a better understanding of these issues can lead to the development of spatially-based interfaces which support human-human interaction.


Geographic Information System Traffic Light Urban Design Apple Computer Spatial Environment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Erickson
    • 1
  1. 1.Human InterfaceAdvanced Technology Group, Apple Computer, Inc.Cupertino

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