CMNS 354 Week 3 Tutorial notes

Invention vs. Discovery

Contingency- when we look back a the history of a technology it is easy to see the evolutionary path, but this can be a byproduct of our position in time – looking back.

The actual motivation and ideas that shape original gadgets are different than how we may view it from our position. Rather than “how do we make this more efficient?” designers may have been simply asking “how do we build something to interact with this?”

Don’t design the device, design the solution to the situation. Do not ask “how can we build a better mouse,” ask “How can we better interact with machines.”

Internalist – Technological development is driven by a demand for improved performance.

External – Technolocical development driven by power relations or social and political forces acting on the evolution of a product.

Design > proliferation > new interaction patterns > New attributes of functionality > design

Ex/ The history of SMS in mobile phones was socially influenced, not designed into the product.

Lash-ups: Objects are social relations made durable

Ex/ Non-universal connectors are a site of political struggle. Designing a popular connector puts a company in a great position of power. Objects designate their operating controls, and are designed to be used by certain body parts, and assume certain attributes of their users and use environments.

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