Response to Bret’s Response

I was pleasantly surprised to see how much self-reflection Bret actually demonstrated while responding to the critiques/comments to his article. He acknowledged the theoretical limitation that lacks concrete examples and elaborated a little more on the “vision” element, making ambitious inspiration for future designers  an ultimate objective of the paper.

Mentioning the relation and negative effect that technological advancements have on the physical mobility of humans is a factor that I rarely thought about as a possible consequence. Frankly, Bret’s criticism feels a little counter-intuitive, yet I can see the point. Hundreds years, people were striving for energy-saving inventions that would minimise the work and effort (and thus movement) of people, yet Bret actually points out the danger of where, if continued in the same direction, humanity might end up, painting an image that is a little frightening.

Though I agreed with his responses and mostly found them reasonable defence, I came to a point when I did not buy one of his explanations completely. Bret uses the words of Bergström to describe how not practising  with our hand due to touchscreens can lead to a disability of touch in a way similar to blindness. Obviously, such a complex topic cannot be summarised and answered within the scope of a single paragraph taken out of the context.

I just found this problematic of what consequences will be seen on our bodies and senses oversimplified, while feeling like he also dismisses the fact that while losing some skills/habits, we might gain new ones. Bret described the changes as inherently negative and that we should design technology according to what our bodies do at the current stage of development. Yet it ignores the fact that our bodies might be slowly merging with technology in a weird symbiosis, eventually opening the possibility of us not needing, the specific grabs for instance, whatsoever.




Leave a Reply