The laptop : design or desire?

ATKINSON, Paul (2001). The laptop : design or desire? In: COOPER, Rachel and BRANCO, Vasco, (eds.) Desire designum design : 4th European Academy of Design conference proceedings. Aveiro, Portugal, Universidade de Aveiro, 390-395.

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The laptop computer has largely managed to retain its initial status as a marker of executive sensibilities – an electronic briefcase of cutting-edge technology. The first true laptop was the ‘Compass’ computer by GRiD Systems, which has been presented as a result of the convergence of technologies - a product that was ‘ready to happen’. This rhetoric of determinism [in this context, ‘design’] is, at odds with the long history of attempts to produce a portable computer [the desire]. This paper aims to use the case study of the laptop computer to highlight the tension between the discourses of technological determinism and the social construction of technology.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Depositing User: Paul Atkinson
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2014 11:57
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2015 05:50

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