Studying Aesthetics in a Musical Interface Design Process Through ‘Aesthetic Experience Prism’

Luhtala, Matti and Niemeläinen, Ilkka and Plomp, Johan and Turunen, Markku and Tuomisto, Julius

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper introduces ‘The Aesthetic Experience Prism’, a framework for studying how components of aesthetic experience materialize in the model’s of interaction of novel musical interfaces as well as how the role of aesthetics could be made more explicit in the processes of designing interaction for musical technologies. The Aesthetic Experience Prism makes use of Arthur Danto’s framework of aesthetic experience that consists of three conceptual entities: (1) metaphor; (2) expression; and (3) style. In this paper we present key questions driving the research, theoretical background, artistic research approach and user research activities. In the DIYSE project a proof-of-concept music creation system prototype was developed in a collaborative design setting. The prototype provides means to the performer to create music with minimum effort while allowing for versatile interaction. We argue that by using an artistic research approach specifically targeting designing for aesthetic experience we were able to transform the knowledge from early design ideas to resulting technology products in which model’s of interaction metaphors, expression and style are in an apparent role.