Conversions or Translations (and Jaron Lanier)





In my TS, I would like to explore how the bias of tools is developed, through the translations/conversions that take place through them.

In these conversions, we have a reduction and limitation that happens on the material through the tool. I will explore those conversions on three spaces of production – the wall, the paper and the screen. At the wall, decisions are taken at the building, in 3d space. At the paper, decisions are taken on 2d plane to produce 3d space through geometric projections. At the screen, there is a combination of both, as one might be using digital tool equivelants to physical tools, but in the case of parametric design, it becomes a meta-design where instead of designing the object, one designs the process.

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In addition, over the holidays i read the book You are not a gadget by Jaron Lanier, which was suggested by Nathan (thank you, Nathan!), and I found it very interesting and I could relate a lot of things from my project to it.

It has been extensively written and discussed about the implications of social media on the bias and encouragement in forming social bubbles around us. Lanier compares the approach of Facebook in how users present themselves, through a multiple choice of our family status, etc. compared to the Myspace approach of customising the profile page. Is it a question of customisation then?

How about our creative tools? I think this is the part I want to explore and question. But is it just about presenting an arguement and a thesis? Where is my design?

In terms of creative software, Lanier talks about the effect of legacy systems in software. Specifically in music he talks about how the common method of writing music, through MIDI files, that record the time interval and tone of a sound (which is ok for representing – recording the capacity of a key based instrument, like a piano), cannot record the real melodical colour of older and other instruments.

In conclusion, it becomes a problem of customisation and of conventions.



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