Friendly but Not Friends: Designing for Spaces Between Friendship and Unfamiliarity
ACM Press, New York
While urban life requires us to maintain a healthy social distance and anonymity from others, a recurring design goal has been to push against this anonymity and assist in the formation of communities. In contrast, our aim in this paper is to design for keeping others at a comfortable distance, without seeming rude or uncongenial. Building on findings from 20 interviews and two design workshops, we present three design explorations that illustrate opportunities to support a sense of friendly connection in local, communal spaces, without promoting the formation of friendship or other long-term engagements, or requiring the effort and commitment they would necessarily demand.