Based on many experiences of developing interactive systems by the authors, a framework for the description and analysis of interaction has been developed. The dimensions of this multimodal interaction space have been identified as sensory modalities, modes and levels of interaction. To illustrate and validate this framework, development of multimodal interaction styles is carried out and interactions in the real world are studied, going from theory to practice and back again. The paper describes the framework and two recent projects, one in the field of interactive architecture and another in the field of multimodal HCI research. Both projects use multiple modalities for interaction, particularly movement based interaction styles. © Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007.