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11. Networks and Mobile Technologies


Read chapter 11 of The Culture of Design (3rd edition) 'Networks and Mobile Technologies'

Mobile technologies such as smartphones or tablets have altered the way we use public space, travel, work, interact with our friends and many other things. This chapter focuses quite a lot on the way that distinctions are blurred through these:  between work and leisure, between the office and home, between the body and technolgies, between professional and amateur application design and so on. It shows how users and producers are more implicated into networks that include objects, relating this to actor-network theory. It also shows how on the one it distributes creative production whilst also concentrating economic power in the hands of global corporations.



1. Mobile technologies and everyday life


Keep a diary through a day of your use of digital mobile technologies. Pay attention to how you use it as an instrument but how you adapt to it. In the latter case, this might be, for instance, how you use your body to interact with it and how you interact between it and the spaces you use. Supplement this with your own photos or drawings of moments through that day, drawing attention to design elements in virtual and real space and how these are tied up. Present this as an investigative scrap book.



2. Intellectual property and design


Included in this chapter is a discussion of 'the competition of monopolies' and 'scripting and metadata'. This draws attention to how design is closely bound up with the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). Many global companies such as Apple and Samsung have been involved in long court cases with regards to this issue. Discuss and speculate on how (IPR) affects the work of designers. What opportunities and constraints does it produce? How does open source benefit or challenge designers?



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