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

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

B E T W E E N T H E T A G A N D T H E S C R E E NRedefining computational technology as conceptual materialEven though this study has only investigated SR-RFID as conceptualmaterial we may find that the problems found in this study related to usingSR-RFID in design may also hold for other computational technologies. Forinstance, because computational technologies, in essence, are composites,they consist of multiple technologies that together make up the properties thedesigners work with (Vallgårda & Redström, 2007). This makes mostcomputational materials complex systems consisting of differenttechnologies, wherein all of the components may be independently shaped.Such complexity makes it likely that more computational technologies thanSR-RFID may be considered ill-defined design materials and may benefitfrom a design-oriented re-conceptualisation. This makes it of interest to see ifthe conceptual material may be applied to other computational technologiesin the future. I have not researched whether seeing SR-RFID aspreconditioned for non-design practices and as predetermined for particulartypes of applications may be applied to other computational technologies.However, if this is the case, it seems likely that the conceptual materials maybe used to resolve such problems on other technologies than SR-RFID aswell.Based on the near-field material we may describe how we may reconceptualisecomputational technologies as conceptual materials. Each ofthe problems presented above may direct us to a need the conceptual materialmust answer. In doing so, we may devise a system that can help us analysecomputational technologies with the purpose of transforming them intoconceptual materials. This is summarised in the following three arguments.1. Conceptual materials need to be shaped in line with needs of thedesign activity. Here, we need to see the material from a perspectiverelated to the design activity for which it is created. This activitydiffers from other disciplines and, thus, may need to addressdifferent perspectives on the computational technology than the onesthat are needed in, for instance, engineering.2. The subject matter of the conceptual materials needs to be clearlydefined with definitive boundaries. The technology needs to bereduced to its essentials and specified accordingly so that it ispossible to understand and design its properties in a clear way.3. Conceptual materials need to be defined as abstract from, and notthrough, possible solutions. To be considered as a material, thecomputational technology needs to be detached from particularsolutions so as to enable designers to appreciate its abilities asopportunities for novel creations.76

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