Showing posts from November, 2013

Book note: Jonas Löwgren and Bo Reimer "Collaborative Media"

A couple of days ago I got the new book by Jonas Löwgren and Bo Reimer "Collaborative Media--production, consumption and design interventions". (Jonas and I have worked together and we published the book "Thoughtful Interaction Design" some years ago.)

I am very excited by this new book from Jonas and Bo. I have yet only read bits and pieces of it, but I can already see the value of their work. The authors make a great argument for the concept of collaborative media that they introduce as more appropriate than the existing concepts used for similar purposes, such as, digital media, social media or new media.

The book consists of three parts. The first is about the phenomena that they study, about definitions, and about how to research such a phenomena. The second part consists of some case studies from their own research practice. The third part contains insights and conclusions about the use and  research of collaborative media. As I would expect from these author…

Cool Virilio quote

I have earlier on this blog written about the thinker Paul Virilio. He is famous for his critique of modern technology and of our inability as humans to see the intrinsic (an unavoidable) danger of the technological systems the contemporary society is dependent upon. I have for some time searched for a particular quote from Virilio and today I found it. He says in an interview:

"To invent something is to invent an accident. To invent the ship is to invent the shipwreck; the space shuttle, the explosion. And to invent the electronic superhighway or the Internet is to invent a major risk which is not easily spotted because it does not produce fatalities like a shipwreck or a mid-air explosion. The information accident is, sadly, not very visible. It is immaterial like the waves that carry information."

(Virilio, Paul and David Dufresne (Interviewer) and Jacques Houis (Translator). "Cyberesistance Figher - An Interview with Paul Virilio." in: Apres Coup Psychoanalytic A…

Special page with "Book reviews and book notes"

As you may know if you have been here before, I do write book reviews and book notes now and then. I have know a specific page "Book reviews and book notes" where I try to collect links to the reviews and notes I have published. It may not be a complete list but I think most of them are there. It makes it easier if you are looking for reviews and notes. Hope it may be helpful.

Book review: Harmut Esslinger "A fine line: how design strategies are shaping the future of business"

I have known about the design firm frog for many years, but I have not really known much about their founder, Hartmut Esslinger. Esslinger published a book in 2009 called "A fine line: how design strategies are shaping the future of business"where he tells the story about his own life as a designer and about frog. Esslinger has an impressive list of achievements and can probably be seen as one of the most influential designers in the world when it comes to high-tech.

It is always fascinating to meet the thoughts of someone who has been so successful and also has
intentionally tried to formulate his design approach in an overall 'philosophical' way. Esslinger shows clearly that it is possible to be both personal and unique while also formulating general principles and ways of thinking. The book balances on the line between design thinking and strategic business thinking. Esslinger makes a strong and convincing case that design is not only about making good products a…

Book note: Robert Nozick again!

Well, in the last couple of weeks I have been returning to Robert Nozick's writings. The reason is that I had to check something in his book "The Examined Life" and when I browsed through the book I realized how much I liked it. That in turn led me to look for another of his books in my bookshelf "The Nature of Rationality" and to order his last book "Invariances -- the structure of the objective world".

These are some ambitious titles! After spending some hours with this books I am again captivated and delighted by his way of writing (even though I already knew it). His books are wonderful to read. The writings are vibrant and crisp. It feels more like listening to someone who really know what they are talking about than reading a text.

I am trying to figure out what it is that intrigues me about the texts. First of all, I like the almost ridiculous ambition of Nozick's projects. He is trying to explain rationality, life, nature, and the real wor…

Book note: Robert Nozick "The examined Life - Philosophical meditations"

After being hidden in my book shelf for quite some time, the book "The examined Life - Philosophical meditations" by Robert Nozick surfaced the other day. This is a book that came out in 1989 and is maybe the most approachable of books by Nozick, even though that is questioned by some. The book has been called an overambitious and almost silly attempt to achieve the impossible.

The book is unusual for a philosophical treatment, since it has a quire personal tone and deals with issues that are way too big for the format. This personal tone and relevance for everyday life reflects the title of the book. The term "the examined life" is a reference to the famous expression by Sokrates "“The unexamined life is not worth living".

Nozick is not known for this particular book. Many reviewers see this as a strange non-philosophical exploration of topics that are less "philosophical" in a traditional sense. Those who do review the book mostly discuss the …

An Analytic Turn in HCI Research

Over the last few years I have explored and played with the idea of an analytic turn in HCI research. My reasons for this exploration are several--some reasons are fairly simple and straightforward while others more complex and subtle. The most obvious reason for me to turn to analysis is that I am looking for a more object/artifact/thing oriented approach in HCI research

The turn in HCI research toward user-centeredness and user experience have in many cases gone too far. This research has strived to become more inclusive of aspects outside of the traditional ones, such as functionality, efficiency, etc. The complete focus on the user has led to  wonderful developments in the field that were highly needed and that have made a great impact. At this time though, with the ambition to consider "everything" important, a lot of research in interaction design and HCI is becoming far too broad, leaving a core without concreteness and without any analytical strength that would make…