Peter (Zak) Zakrzewski (Thompson Rivers University, Canada)

Designing XR: A Rhetorical Design Perspective for the Ecology of Human+Computer Systems

ISBN: 978-1-80262-366-6, eISBN: 978-1-80262-365-9

Publication date: 14 February 2022


Zakrzewski, P.(. (2022), "Prelims", Designing XR: A Rhetorical Design Perspective for the Ecology of Human+Computer Systems, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. i-xiii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Peter (Zak) Zakrzewski

Half Title Page

Designing XR

Title Page

Designing XR: A Rhetorical Design Perspective for the Ecology of Human+Computer Systems



Thompson Rivers University, Canada

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2022

Copyright © 2022 Peter (Zak) Zakrzewski. Published under an exclusive license by Emerald Publishing Ltd.

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ISBN: 978-1-80262-366-6 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80262-365-9 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80262-367-3 (Epub)

Endorsement Page

Never hope to realize Plato’s Republic. Let it be sufficient that you have in some slight degree ameliorated mankind, and do not think that amelioration is a matter of small importance.

… without a change of sentiments what can you make but reluctant slaves and hypocrites?

– Marcus Aurelius

Dedication Page

This work is dedicated to the memory of my late Father Wojciech Zakrzewski, who first introduced me to the “live and let live” doctrine at age six.


List of Figures xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction: The Birth of a New Domain 1
The Birth of a New Domain 3
The Birth of a New Realm 5
Designing XR: A Cautious Prometheus 6
But Wait, No Prototype? 9
Rhetorical Power of Design: A Reflection on 20 Years of Practice 10
Methodology: From a Critique to a Proposal for a Possible Future 12
A Chapter-by-Chapter Exploration of a Field That Does Not Yet Exist 14
Chapter 1: What is Mind? 17
What is Mind? 19
The Turing Machine and the Mechanical Platonic Foundations of Digital Computing 22
A Mathematical Demon 26
Imitation Game: Reduction and the Misplacement of Agency 27
Brains or Computers: Intelligence as a Product of Hunks of Matter 29
Consciousness: The Collateral Energy of the Anthropogenic Universe? 33
Mind as Machine 34
Cellular Automata: The Emergence of Complex Behaviors from Simple Rules 35
Toward the Ecology of the Augmented Mind 37
The Hive Mind 38
Swarms and Brains 39
The Uni-minded Honeybee Democracy 42
Mind is a Battlefield 45
Mixing Humans and Non-humans: Part I 47
Augmenting Minds: Purpose, Judgment, and Decision-Making 49
Chapter 2: Probing the Frame: Immersion is Not Interaction 51
The Comtean World 52
The Rise of the Machines 53
Human–Computer Symbiosis: The Birth of a Cultural Imperative 54
The Human-centered Turn in HCI 55
Operationalizing the Human Experience: Being in the Augmented World 56
Computer as a Medium 58
Object Orientation: Introducing the Non-human Agents 59
The Non-random Mutations of Parametric Design 60
The Unnatural Selection of Parametric Design 63
Integration + Decomposition 63
Shattering the Black Mirror: The Tangible User Interfaces 64
From Ownership to Agency: Conscious Selfhood and Virtual Bodies 65
The Internal Landscapes of Our Embodied Selves 66
From Behavior to Program: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology 68
Pathetic Fallacies 70
Operationalizing Emotion: A Closer Look at Affective Computing 71
Fingerprinting Emotions 74
The Emergence of Virtual Reality 76
Spatial Computing 77
Augmented Reality: Hamlet in the Cockpit 78
The Body Keeps the Score 80
Bravemind: XR Healing 82
Crossing the Line 82
Immersion Is Not Interaction: The Five Design Affordances of Immersion 83
World Building Media Environments 85
System-level Control: The Age of Social Engineering 87
Designing for Eight Sensory Channels 88
Social Physics: Environment and Behavior 94
Reality Mining 96
Procedurality, Control, and Creative Choice 98
Multi-minded Systems: Going Beyond Behavior as a Product without Choice 101
Immersive Media Environments as Sophisticated Bio- and Neurofeedback Mechanisms 103
The Honest Signaling of Biomarkers 105
Neurofeedback 106
The Mobile Brain/Body Imaging 108
Integrative Thinking: Living in the Post-Comtean World 110
Chapter 3: Designing the Artificial: Balancing the Ego-logical and Ecological Thinking 111
On Paradigmatic Incommensurability 112
The Unsettled Territory of Legitimate Knowledge Production 113
The Hypothetico-deductive Approach 114
The Interpretive Research Paradigm 117
Phenomenology and Intersubjectivity 118
Reflection and Reflexivity: A Design Knowledge System to Guide Us 119
The “0100” Kinds of People Who Make the XR World Go Round 121
Neither Art Nor Science: Design as Meta-discipline of Purposeful Transformation 122
The Liberal Humanist Turn in Design 124
T-Shaped People: The Trans-disciplinary Research Paradigm 124
Design Mindfulness 126
Perspective Taking 127
Data without a Face 129
The Circle of Empathy 129
Systems Thinking: Design as Ecological Practice 132
Wickedness and Complexity 134
Abductive Thinking: Making Propositional Statements 136
Feeding Forward 137
Pragmatism: The Best Obtainable Version of the Truth 137
Designing Purposeful Strategic Proposals 138
Participatory Design 139
Desire, Desirability, and Social Viability 140
Teleology: Design as a Meta-level Purposive Activity 144
The H+C ID Logic Model 146
Chapter 4: The Ecology of the Augmented Mind: Designing Immersive Human+Computer Systems 151
Meta-level Position: The Power to Create Immersive Systems 152
Meta-level Position: The Power to Transform Immersive Systems 153
Building Universes that Don’t Fall Apart 155
Immersion, Behavior, and Play 155
H+C Networks as Communication Behavior Spaces 157
The Foundational Premises of H+C Immersion as a Framework for System Design 158
Mixing Humans and Non-humans: Part 2 160
Designing Digital Objects as Actants within a Network 163
Actors and Actants: Mixing Humans and Non-humans: Part 3 166
semantics, or information Bonding in Multi-minded systems 168
H+C Networks as Systems of Communication Behaviors 169
The Content and the Relationship in Communication Systems 170
Feedback and Equifinality 172
Relationships: The Defining Characteristic of System Dynamics 173
Schismogenesis: Interactions as Patterns of Communication Behaviors 173
System Iteration and Regulation 174
Self-leadership: Determining the System Function 175
The Disciplined Process of Thinking and Deciding 177
Figure-ground: Visualizing the Actor–Network Relationships 178
The Five Life Phases of H+C Systems 179
Chapter 5: Extended Reality Experience Design: The Multimodal Rhetorical Framework for Creating Persuasive Immersion 183
Conversations with the Network 184
Immersive Persuasion: From Procedural Rhetoric to Multimodal Rhetorical Composition 185
Participatory Media Environments 188
The Transformative Potential of Rhetorical Design 190
Rhetoric and Informed Choice 192
Rhetorical Conflict Resolution 193
From the Discursive Chain to the Non-discursive Network of Ideas 195
Image-based Communication 195
H+C Immersion Design as an Act of Rhetorical Persuasion 196
Rhetorical Canons as Phases of the Design Process 197
Game Mechanics: Balancing the User Goals and System Function 198
The Six Principles of Persuasion 200
The Rules of Pre-suasion 201
The Evolved Human Capacity: (At Least) Five Ways to be Rational 202
The Multimodal Rhetorical Framework for XRX Design 203
Jobs-to-be-Done: The Rhetorical Lens of Utility 204
The Survival Value of Beauty and Pleasure: The Rhetorical Lens of Esthetics 205
The Behavioral Rhetorical Lens: The Unconscious Response 208
The Social Rhetorical Lens: Idea Flows Run Social Networks 209
Life is a Dramatically Constructed Thing: The Reflective Rhetorical Lens 211
Conclusion 213
Bibliography 215
Index 225

List of Figures

Fig. 1. From Reality and Terminals to Environments of Ubiquitous Virtuality. 84
Fig. 2. The Five Distinguishing Design-level Affordances of XR. 85
Fig. 3. The XR Immersion Design Knowledge System. 120
Fig. 4. Perspective Taking. 128
Fig. 5. The H+C Immersion Design Logic Model. 148
Fig. 6. The Seven Dimensions of H+C Immersion Design. 161
Fig. 7. Mapping the Actantial Interaction Touchpoints (Digital Objects) in XR Systems. 165
Fig. 8. The Layered H+C Immersive System Design Model. 180
Fig. 9. The Five Rhetorical Lenses of XRX Design. 204


I would like to express my gratitude to Sharon Irving, Edward Slopek, Steven Bailey, Donald Gillies, David Tames, Carlos Teixeira, Alexander Manu, and Fiona Allison for their support during research, writing, and publishing of this work. I am also grateful to the various researchers and thinkers listed in my bibliography for offering me the ideas, which shaped my own understanding of ecological mind augmentation.

Special thanks to my Co-editor Bruno Lessard for the early support of this project, and for countless hours of editing and providing valuable feedback.