fields not objects

This post is in a series of commentaries on a class running at Stanford, Winter Quarter 2010 – “Transformative Design” ENGR 231 – [Link]

Pragmatology [Link] – the (non-existent) discipline of things – doesn’t deal in objects. Things are not discrete, but nodes, gatherings of otherwise distributed flows, relations – fields of connection, not objects with attributes.

This point is made so well in a movie I have just been watching.

“Objectified”, directed by Gary Hustwit, is a documentary about our relationships with manufactured objects and the people who design them.

Jonathan-Ive-MacbookAir

Jonathan Ive, of Apple, describes how the aluminium pressing at the heart of the Macbook Air is not so much an artifact as a process – articulating different key stages and components of manufacture as well as the other components of the laptop.

Bill-Moggridge-laptop

Bill Moggridge designed what has been called the first laptop. He describes how his encounters with it, taking it out of a briefcase, opening up the screen, typing on the keyboard, transported him from the physical manipulation of an object into that space behind the screen – an indeterminate world of intangibles, of interactions and experiences. The object, the laptop, dispersed.

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