Dissertation proposal next week!

02Oct12

My dissertation proposal is now officially scheduled for next Monday! Details from the announcement are below. The full proposal is also available here.

Title: Digital Materiality in Architectures of Interaction

Heather Wiltse

Advisor:  Professor Erik Stolterman

Committee: Professor Erik Stolterman, Professor Mary Gray, Professor Jeff Bardzell, Professor Selma Sabanovic

Date: Monday, October 8
Time: 4:15pm
Location: Informatics East, Room 130

Abstract:

Digital networked technologies have become thoroughly enmeshed in everyday life, forming a backdrop of experience. We live not only with technologies but also through them as they mediate our engagement with the world. The language of the ‘virtual’ versus the ‘real’ is no longer adequate to describe the role of digital technologies and their imbrication in our lives, as digital technologies increasingly mediate very real interactions. However, this mediation calls for closer attention, in relation to practical design concerns as well as more theoretical and philosophical questions regarding the materiality of digital networked technologies, and their role in experience and society.

This dissertation will be an enquiry into these issues. Its purpose is to account analytically for mediated engagement through digital networked technologies used in everyday life; to conceptualize subjectivity in relation to (and through) them; to analyze and theorize the relation between mediating technologies and the activities they make visible; and to provide a theoretical framework that can be used in foregrounding, thinking, talking about, and analyzing these aspects during design and critique. The approach I take is analytical and artifact-centered, with a method that involves both theoretical development and close analysis of small cases. On a somewhat higher level, my purpose is to enable and contribute to a philosophically-grounded understanding of the role of technology in society and human experience.

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