• Brigid M. CostelloEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


To design a rhythm with a focus on predictability involves creating patterns of repetition and change. Although they can be closely intertwined, each will tug at an audience’s attention in different ways. Where repetition can create a soothing predictability that might lull or mesmerise, change can bring an unpredictable energetic vitality that arouses. Repetition draws attention close. Change pushes attention outwards towards an openness of patterned possibilities. These two can occur synchronously across multiple layers of a rhythm, creating a change that is repetitious or a repetition that changes. Patterned layers of repetition and change create complexity within rhythmic experience. How repetition and change pull the audience’s attention produces a flow of fluctuating highs and lows that transport the audience along together with a rhythm; one instant soothing with predictability, the next arousing with unpredictability. Both are valuable within playful interaction design and help to produce the to and fro rhythm of the free movement within a play experience. Repetition is something that choreographer and dancer Rhiannon Newton uses to create a form of permanency within the transient art form of live dance. Her performances often involve nuanced changes within a field of repetition, changes that draw her audience into a particular state of very focused attention. Newton also works with rhythm at many different temporal scales and provides inspiration for thinking about rhythmic possibilities within interaction design. Following Rhiannon Newton's interview, this chapter looks first at the satisfactions of repetition and then explores creative strategies for breaking habits and creating uncertainty. In both, predictability and unpredictability interact together and against each other, creating tension, shifting focus and producing intensities.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Arts and MediaThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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