Approaching technologies with designerly thinking will become key element to change our world to become more meaningful.


The point of my practice was to enable people to take time and think about current movements in aesthetic technological culture from a new point of view. My engineering and designing of a new system within an existing architectural environment was inspired by Fischli and Weiss’s The Way Things Go; my original attempt to show the way in which Things Go in today’s everyday life, a jumble of digital elements and the physical world, seemed to be a cliché in a sense which turned out to be a failure during my first installation. As I was first developing the system, I was obsessed with the idea of achieving technological perfection. I was aiming to create a version of the invisible and pervasive networking technology that was described in Mark Weiser’s essay of ubiquitous computing.
However, I realized that the most meaningful aspect of my project was not the fact that it was displaying the connection of the tangible and what used to be called the virtual in a polished manner. Rather, the process of building the hybrid system from scratch was the part that genuinely inspired people. For example, if I were to make a mistake in my digital coding, the circuit would short circuit between the head-gear motors that were driven by four 24V batteries. I was also dealing with high voltage electronics with simple technologies that involved relays connected to the I/O controllers. Also, I was using low and high-end technology from wifi networking with four computers to run the installation, a robotic finger made of servo motors to regular DC motors.

I learned something most people in today’s technological culture do not realize: no matter how simple it may seem from the perspective of a user, creating a seamless interactive system between humans and technology requires endless effort. In addition, I realized that approaching technology through the use of designerly thinking would become a key element in terms of changing our world to become a more meaningful and playful habitat. Revealing how the technology was made seemed to be a significant aspect of my work. Later, before my final exhibition, I succeeded in creating what I regard as a display of technological infrastructure behind the hybrid chain reaction system. The visual appearance resembled a super sized circuit board that was embedded in an architectural space.
Photo by Mikey Tnasuttimonkol  
Photo by Austin Lee and media deisgn program peers  
Photo by Mikey Tnasuttimonkol  
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2010 © Austin S. Lee,