Commit 483d9df4 authored by colmoneill's avatar colmoneill

longform reorganisation + modifs to text up to now

parent 1be3b638
Title: Dissertation abstract
Title: Dissertation introduction
Date: 2017/01/01
# Abstract :
The move away from manual crafts towards on-screen counterparts has been ongoing since the first generations of software, in the late 1940s. It is a regular phenomenon in this day and age. Computer and software technologies promise —potential— for accessibility, flexibility, scale and speed of innumerable tasks. Many types of software are available for ranges of jobs, from every day actions to very complex and specific professional needs. This study first presents an understanding of what *craft* means today, now that different professions —say electrical circuit designers and photo editors— use very similar utilities. We look at how the practices and cultures that stem from manual crafts have been affected by their transformations to work within an operating system. It becomes clear that some labours have improved, while others have only —at best— been accelerated by the morphing. Therefor this study puts forward that a confusion between efficiency and efficacy when transforming a craft into a computer program can put severe weight on the origins and traditions of that field, and ultimately make the tool feel hermetic. <!--(tentatively answering the question relative to why it is important that tools and practice transfer culture and knowledge)--> This observation drives the inquiry toward the user and the (re-)learning —curve. What is the users position in the new scheme of actions that is software? Is s/he supposed to know all of the reasoning's and practices or is one to accept that *this is the order of things* without any context? Then, we note that the workplace has also been shifted, first out of physical tools, onto personal computers, and now again onto ‘the cloud’. What is the reasoning behind this third step? Is it necessary? Who is this helping, and what extra barriers does it place between practice and field knowledge? Finally, this study posits that a few re-considerations, of the user and the way s/he is talked to by the software —and it's makers—, could be a very simple but important change towards a broader understanding of what is happening and why, with huge benefits for all involved.
# introduction :
A [foreword](http://tangible.tools/dissertation-introduction.html#foreword) and a [formal introduction](http://tangible.tools/dissertation-introduction.html#introductionformal) to this dissertation exist, but are not included in the academic longform for word count reasons. Accessible via sentence linktext.
This thesis deals with modern graphic design. It is written from a personal perspective on the field, and how I think it is understood. I feel like graphic design has become understood as purely utilitarian. A decorative function of communication. With the text, I follow an intuition the misunderstanding comes from the ways it is practiced, on computers, with computers and for a computer based distribution. I believe this misunderstanding exists inside and outside the field, but this thesis will concentrate on my perceptions as a designer from within.
Researching this intuition requires the investigation of three main points; firstly, the notion of craft. How can craft be defined, and how has it's understanding changed with the with the adoption of general purpose computers as tools. Secondly, a dive into the confusion between efficiency and efficacy in software tools. Efficiency being an avoidance of waste, efficacy being the ability to produce a desired effect. The interchangeability of these two notions lead me to understand the nature of some software tools, how they interface with me as a user, and how that interfacing effects the use and understanding of the tool. Lastly, the learning curve of alternative interfaces is considered, what the payoff of a more invested relation to software tools may be, and what I believe is at stake when interfaces try to dissapear.
The secondary thematic of this text is interfacing —as an active verb. I refuse to accept the constructs that make up the digital world as totalities, I rather see them as wrappers and conventions that masquerade as do-all solutions. I think the field of graphic design needs to adapt to being practiced on computers. Too often my tools try to mimick the physical traditions instead of harnessing the potential that computation can bring to graphic design. The industry must go beyond the digitally illeterate positions that industry standard software keeps it's users in. By this I mean that the access to digital litteracy is shared between softare makers and software users, but as a user I think I have much more to lose than software makers do.
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Title: Dissertation introduction
Title: Dissertation introduction longform outdated
Date: 2017/01/01
# Abstract :
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