Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Three methods for identifying novel affordances

  • L.H. Shu (a1), J. Srivastava (a1), A. Chou (a1) and S. Lai (a1)

Abstract

We describe three approaches to identify novel product affordances: affordance of absence; insights from lead users, specifically do-it-yourselfers (DIYers); and natural-language searches. While these approaches were separately pursued, we show their connection to each other in this paper. We begin by describing the affordance of absence, inspired by insights on affordances arising from a lack of resources. For example, in the absence of specialized tools, more general tools are used to accomplish similar tasks. Such absence clarifies how other tools could be modified to add relevant features and identifies critical features of the absent tool. In addition, the temporary removal of physical features and objects enables user interaction in ways that may not emerge in their presence. Affordance of absence has the potential to more fully specify affordances for a given object and to help overcome functional fixedness. For the second approach, we describe insights from DIYers obtained from the “IKEA hackers” online community. We consider DIYers lead users for seeking out and exploiting product affordances, often transforming product functions dramatically. We also discuss their projects through the lens of affordance of absence. For the third approach, we outline our natural-language approach to affordance extraction, beginning with consumer product reviews provided for Canadian Tire, a major Canadian retailer. We describe efforts toward automatically identifying less common affordances, and the use of cue phrases to highlight insightful DIY transformations from the IKEA hackers community. Finally, we comment on the potential value of this work for product design in general.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Reprint requests to: L.H. Shu, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, 5 King's College Road, Toronto, ON M5S 3G8, Canada. E-mail: shu@mie.utoronto.ca

References

Hide All
Akrich, M. (1992). The de-scription of technical objects. In Shaping Technology/Building Society (Bijker, W.E., & Law, J., Eds.), pp. 205225. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Alexander, C. (1975). The Oregon Experiment. New York: Oxford University Press.
Borghi, A.M., & Riggio, L. (2009). Sentence comprehension and simulation of object temporary, canonical and stable affordances. Brain Research 1253, 117128.
Burlamaqui, L., & Dong, A. (2014). The use and misuse of the concept of affordance. In Design Computing and Cognition DCC'14 (Gero, J.S., Ed). Berlin: Springer.
Casler, K., & Kelemen, D. (2005). Young children's rapid learning about artifacts. Developmental Science 8(6), 472480.
Chou, A., & Shu, L. (2014). Towards extracting affordances from online consumer product reviews. Proc. ASME IDETC/CIE, Paper No. DETC2014-35288, Buffalo, NY, August 17–20.
Duncker, K. (1945). On problem solving. Psychological Monographs 58, 1113.
Galvao, A., & Sato, K. (2005). Affordances in product architecture: linking technical functions and users' tasks. Proc. ASME IDETC/CIE, Paper No. DETC2005-84525, Long Beach, CA, September 24–28.
Gaver, W.W. (1991). Technology affordances. Proc. SIGCHI Conf. Human Factors in Computing Systems, New Orleans, LA, April 27–May 2.
Gibson, E.J., Riccio, G., Schmuckler, M.A., Stoffregen, T.A., Rosenberg, D., & Taormina, J. (1987). Detection of the traversability of surfaces by crawling and walking infants. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 13(4), 533544.
Gibson, E.J., & Walker, A.S. (1984). Development of knowledge of visual–tactual affordances of substance. Child Development 55(2), 453460.
Gibson, J. (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Glăveanu, V.P. (2012). What can be done with an egg? Creativity, material objects, and the theory of affordances. Journal of Creative Behavior 46(3), 192208.
Hermans, T., Rehg, J.M., & Bobick, A.F. (2013). Decoupling behavior, perception, and control for autonomous learning of affordances. Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, Karlsruhe, Germany, May 6–10.
Hsiao, S., Hsu, C., & Lee, Y. (2011). An online affordance evaluation model for product design. Design Studies 33(2), 126159.
Katz, D., Venkatraman, A., Kazemi, M., Bagnell, J.A., & Stentz, A. (2013). Perceiving, learning, and exploiting object affordances for autonomous pile manipulation. Proc. Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, Berlin, Germany, June 24–28.
Kim, Y.S., Hong, Y.K., Kim, S.R., & Noh, J.-H. (2013). User activity analysis for design for affordance, DS 75-5: Proc. 19th ICED, Design for Harmonies, Seoul, South Korea, August 19–22.
Lai, S., & Shu, L.H. (2014). Do-it-yourselfers as lead users for environmentally conscious behavior. Proc. 21st CIRP Conf. Life Cycle Engineering, Trondheim, Norway, June 18–20.
Latour, B. (1992). Where are the missing masses? The sociology of a few mundane artifacts. In Shaping Technology/Building Society (Bijker, W.E., & Law, J., Eds.), pp. 225259. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Lu, J., & Cheng, L. (2013). Perceiving and interacting affordances: a new model of human–affordance interactions. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science 47(1), 142155.
Maier, J., & Fadel, G. (2006). Affordance based design: status and promise. Proc. IDRS, Seoul, South Korea, November 10–11.
Maier, J., & Fadel, G. (2009 a). Affordance based design: a relational theory for design. Research in Engineering Design 20(1), 1327.
Maier, J., & Fadel, G. (2009 b). Affordance-based design methods for innovative design, redesign and reverse engineering. Research in Engineering Design 20(1), 225239.
Maier, J.R.A., & Fadel, G.M. (2007). Identifying affordances. Proc. 14th Int. Conf. Engineering Design (ICED07), Paris, August 28–31.
Myhill, C. (2004). Commercial success by looking for desire lines. In Computer Human Interaction, pp. 293304. Berlin: Springer.
Resilient House. (2013). SUSTAINABLE.TO. Accessed at http://www.sustainable.to/index.php/projects/detail/resilient-house on February 3, 2015.
Srivastava, J., & Shu, L.H. (2013 a). Encouraging resource-conscious behavior through product design: the principle of discretization. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design 135(6), 061002.
Srivastava, J., & Shu, L.H. (2013 b). Affordances and product design to support environmentally conscious behavior. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design 135(8), 101006.
Srivastava, J., & Shu, L.H. (2014). The affordance of absence. Proc. ASME IDETC/CIE., Paper No. DETC2014-35285, Buffalo, NY, August 17–20.
Still, J., & Dark, V. (2012). Cognitively describing and designing affordances. Design Studies 34(3), 285301.
Stoytchev, A. (2005). Behavior-grounded representation of tool affordances. Proc. 2005 IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, Barcelona, Spain, April 18–22.
Teufel, S., & Moens, M. (1997). Sentence extraction as a classification task. Proc. ACL, 97, pp. 58–65, Madrid, Spain, July 11.
Ulrich, K.T., & Seering, W.P. (1990). Function sharing in mechanical design. Design Studies 11(4), 223234.
Verbeek, P.P. (2006). Materializing morality design ethics and technological mediation. Science, Technology & Human Values 31(3), 361380.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed