Thinking Physically: Affordance Treasure Hunt

we embarked upon an affordance treasure hunt as an exercise for our thinking physically class. given a set of criteria we had to identify objects which satisfied the criteria for the indicated user set. i’m still anchoring my understanding of affordances, assisted by reading j.j. gibson’s introduction to the topic and donald norman’s discussion about “perceived affordances” in his book “the design of everyday things”. affordances are intersections between the physical properties of an object and the capabilities of the animal attempting to interact with it.

rob faludi came in to speak about affordances and provided the treasure hunt:

  • an affordance for you.
  • something that object doesn’t afford you
  • and affordance only for someone else
  • an affordance for a non-human
  • a perceived affordance that isn’t real
  • a real affordance that isn’t (easily) perceived
  • an attempt to lock out an affordance
  • an attempt to extend an affordance
  • any affordance you think will surprise us [the class]

here are the results of my treasure hunt. i’ll fill in missing items as i come across them.

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