"Shaping Things is about created objects and the environment, which is to say, it's about everything," writes Bruce Sterling in this addition to the Mediawork Pamphlet series. He adds, "Seen from sufficient distance, this is a small topic."
Activity theory holds that the human mind is the product of our interaction with people and artifacts in the context of everyday activity. Acting with Technology makes the case for activity theory as a basis for understanding our relationship with technology. Victor Kaptelinin and Bonnie Nardi describe activity theory's principles, history, relationship to other theoretical approaches, and application to the analysis and design of technologies. The book provides the first systematic entry-level introduction to the major principles of activity theory. It describes the accumulating body of work in interaction design informed by activity theory, drawing on work from an international community of scholars and designers. Kaptelinin and Nardi examine the notion of the object of activity, describe its use in an empirical study, and discuss key debates in the development of activity theory.
Scott Paterson is an information architect and interaction designer in New York. He teaches Interface Design, Multimedia Studio and Thesis Studio in the MFA in Design and Technology Program at Parsons. He also has taught a course, Interfaces for Public Space, at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture. His education includes a Bachelor of Architecture degree from University of Minnesota CALA and a Masters from Columbia University GSAP. After working as an architect for six years in New York, he joined Plumb Design (www.plumbdesign.com) as a site developer and technical producer. Independent work since leaving Plumb Design explores architecture as an interface protocol between the activity of our daily lives and the space of the network. He has received grants from the Walker Art Center, Parsons School of Design and The Design Institute at the University of Minnesota. Scott is an active member of the new media art community including Rhizome.org and Mindspace.net.