This chapter begins by revisiting affordances: the way that our perceptions are tuned to be able to instantly and instinctively understand the action potential of objects around us: what we can do with them. However, in the constructed environment we have to deliberately design objects so that they create the right impressions from doors that look as though they can be pushed or pulled, to knobs that feel as if they turn in the appropriate direction. Happily humans are natural affordance seekers, actively finding ways to engage with the world around us and learning cultural conventions and device idiosyncrasies. This seeking includes epistemic action: things we do to learn about world, blurring the distinction between action and perception. The very softness and pliability of our bodies help us act, a fact that can be used to design robots, create better tools for people, and even help fold a bed sheet.
Keywords: Affordances, Perception, Information ergonomics, Ergonomics, Embodied cognition, Cultural convention, Social convention, Epistemic action