Sunday, February 05, 2006

Expanding the Design Space

To continue a theme on this blog -- a really good example of the importance of material in design is to be found in the field of cameras. In an article on CNET this is shown clearly. The article is about how our understanding of what a camera is and how it looks and how it is used, is challenged. And the cause is of course that new cameras use digital material as carrier of content. The article mention several examples of how the change of material transform a whole industry.

For instance, when a camera offer wireless networking, the notion of a camera changes. Maybe it is not a tool for capturing a place in time, instead maybe it is a tool that connects two places in real time -- whatever that means.

So, the camera article shows that the change of material really expands the space of possible designs. We are not witnessing any kind of stabilizing of products or services in the field of digital technology, instead we are only in the very beginning and the design space is still growing rapidly. This is, of course, a huge challenge for designers (in all design disciplines) since it is difficult to develop a (field specific) repertoire of design experiences and competence that over time can create a stable foundation for future design tasks. But, this is the way it will be for a long time.

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