Between the Tag and the Screen - Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i ...

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Between the Tag and the Screen - Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i ...

8 B C H A P T E R 6 : C O N C L U S I O Na wide range of different examples of forms. Together the affordances makeup a hierarchy of elements that can be combined in any way, offering a vastrange of design opportunities.The near-field conceptual material has three main advantages. Firstly, itallows designers to efficiently understand the opportunities of design-relatedattributes unique to SR-RFID technology. Secondly, it offers multiple levelsof understanding of the material, which may suit all three levels of activity.Thirdly, it provides an abstract view of the material, which may guidedesigner form-giving without prescribing possible solutions.The near-field material differs significantly from the current understanding ofSR-RFID. In essence, it involves a material that does not exist alone outsideother materials. For instance, to shape the near-fields we must ultimatelytransform radio antennae, computer code and distribution of radios.However, the near-field material allows us to transcend these elements andinstead conceptually shape the effect of them in the form of interactiveopportunities offered by the near-fields. The near-fields may in this way beseen as a container of properties that, although shaped by other means, canhelp focus designer attention on essential features of SR-RFID-relateddesigning.2. CONCEPTUAL MATERIALS ARE USEFUL FORDESIGNING AS SENSE-MAKING TOOLSSUPPORTING COMPLEX MATERIAL PRACTICETo answer the second question I claimed that material as a concept may betied to particular activities. Thus the meanings of materials changesaccording to the praxis and even the activities of individual people.Furthermore, I used activity theory to develop a method for reinterpretingcomplex technologies as design materials. Central to this process is theintroduction of conceptual material. Such material is constructed so as tospecifically support the conceptual development of a design rather than theeventual production of an artefact. Conceptual materials may be consideredtools aimed at supporting form-oriented thinking. The conceptual materialdiffers from traditional conceptions of materials in that it concerns a materialmade to support conceptualisation of new designs rather than the physicalproduction of them.A conceptual material consists of a clear description of the boundaries of amaterial. The boundaries are created to bring forward characteristics of atechnology directly influencing designers’ conceptualisation of form. Thematerial framing is further populated by affordances directed to themotivational, instrumental and operational levels of the design activity.Conceptual material allows the transformation of loosely framed technologyto well-defined design materials. This enables us to present complex101

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