Affordance

What are affordances? As Norman says, any use of a thing is it’s affordance. Everything can be used for various purposes – some more obvious than other, some sane and some you can make up with your creativity. For example, a pen. The soft material near the tip is an affordance because you can use it to hold the pen without pressing it too hard. The hook on top is an affordance because you can use it to clip your pen to the notebook or your pocket. The tip is an affordance because it can be used to draw or write. The lean figure and lightness of the pen is an affordance too, because it lets you play an amazing game of pen fight. Another affordance, it’s a stress reliever because you can keep fidgeting with it, rolling it around between your fingers or doodle on your notebook, which gets me to another affordance – it helps you kill time! We can go on and on here really.

In our Post-Industrial Media studio, we study the affordances of mobile videography. What our phone lets us or affords us to do. For example, it is easy to take anywhere and everywhere. It saves time as setting up professional cameras’ is a long process. It affords us to experiment because it is economical. Spontaneity, accessibility, covertness, intimacy, serendipity and a wider range of effects are all affordances of mobile videography. Choosing one affordance, we can explore and make various films that we would not have thought of making otherwise. We connect affordances to produce experimental films.

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