15 Weird Postures Forced Upon Us By Technology

Sophie (Qian Liu)

Headline:  15 Weird Postures Forced Upon Us By Technology

Date: 02/20/2013



People create technologies, and technologies are also shaping new behaviors and gestures on people.  The crux of Curious Rituals is an eBook from the Art Center College of design. It studied and illustrated the odd and inhuman gestures that technology has formed on people. Gestures like Periscope,  “You lift your phone above the crowd to take a photo,” and Conversation Generator, that show your phone screen to your friend and say “Oh hey, check this funny thing from my Instagram/Facebook/Twitter feed”.


The Periscope
I’m so guilty of this one, and yet I despise it when people in front of me block the stage.


Security Blanket
Maybe you run into a friend and someone else you don’t know, and you’re not part of the conversation. There’s an (every) app for that.


Fussy Owner Syndrome
“Comforting micro-gestures” with our phones serve as a comforting distraction in social situations, even when we’re four feet from a friend at dinner.


The Active Companion (Phone Holding)
There’s one pocketless pair of workout shorts I own that gets me with this every time.


Conversation Generator
“Oh hey, check this funny thing from my Instagram/Facebook/Twitter feed that you probably don’t care about. And yes, please put a kink in your neck to get the viewing angle just right.”


“Technology innovations have culture consequences.” These new body-base habits illustrated in Curious Rituals are exactly what Anne Balsamo wants to tell us about those culture consequences cause by innovations. Technology is really creating new behaviors on people, and on the other hand, technology builder should also be aware of these phenomenon when they are making innovations. It is also funny to see my own practice in these illustrations that I have never been aware of when they are happening.  I think if there is a way that designers want to make a social change, think about how innovation creates culture and social consequences would be really helpful.

Link: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671822/15-unnatural-postures-forced-upon-us-by-technology#1

Global Issue: Technology

Primary Design Lens: Behavior formed by technology

Secondary Design Lens: Techculture/social change

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2 Responses to 15 Weird Postures Forced Upon Us By Technology

  1. Barbara says:

    This post made me think of an old (now dated) study conducted by Sadie Plant for Motorolla. The document can be found here: classes.dma.ucla.edu/Winter03/104/docs/splant.pdf

  2. Barbara says:

    Sophie, this is a great topic we can all relate to–let’s discuss in recitation (maybe alongside Jaime’s post that raises related issues). We can argue that not only is culture being changed, but also our bodies (as cultural objects). To think of these gestures as “rituals” (as you note above), places them in solidly in the cultural realm–the technocultural realm.

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