Global Perspectives on the Ecology of Human-Machine Systems - Vol. 1

By John Flach; Peter Hancock et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Designing with Affordances in Mind

Brian S. Zaff Logicon Technical Services, Inc.


9.0 Introduction: The Ecological Approach

The ecological approach owes much to the thinking of Gibson ( 1950, 1966, 1979). From the ecological perspective, the activities of an individual are assumed to always be constrained by an interaction between the individual's capabilities and the properties of the environment that envelops that individual. In order to understand the individual's activities and to design artifacts that meet the individual's needs, it is necessary to understand the ways in which that individual's capabilities interact with the surrounding environment. From an ecological perspective, the individual and his or her environment is conceived of as an inseparable pair, in the sense that one cannot be defined, let alone understood, without reference to the other. It is easy to appreciate the fact that the individual simply could not exist without an environment, but it is equally true, although perhaps not as obvious, that the environment, insofar as it exists as a niche for a specific individual, could not be defined without the individual that it environs or surrounds ( Gibson, 1979).

The concept of organism-environment mutuality is one of the fundamental tenets of Gibson's ecological approach to perception and action and has significant implications for the practice of design. This principle serves to identify the ecosystem as the primary unit of analysis. Thus, instead of units that are physically defined in a fashion independent of the individual, from the ecological perspective, the units are defined in terms of the physical relationship between the individual and the environment. With regard to the activities of an individual, the ecosystem defines the sum total of all things that are possible for the

-238-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Global Perspectives on the Ecology of Human-Machine Systems - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 416

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.