Hard Cash in a Dematerialized World

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Van Campenhout, Lukas Desmond Elias; Hummels, Caroline; Frens, Joep; Standaert, Achiel; Peremans, Herbert
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Artesis University College, Belgium; 2: University of Antwerp, Belgium; 3: Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Section: Design Methods - Theory and Methodology
Page(s): 121-126
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


Dematerialization is an ongoing process in today’s generation of intelligent, digital products. Content becomes disengaged from fixed carriers, and flows freely through networks and devices. We already witnessed how music albums and cash money were replaced by MP3 files and digital payment. Now dematerialization has entered the world of books. Dematerialization of these artifacts enhances their flexibility and availability, but our interaction with them loses its physical richness and becomes mainly cognitive and abstract. Since we believe that digital products should appeal to cognitive and perceptual-motor skills, we consider this move towards cognition as a pitfall. In this paper, we illustrate how we educate our Industrial Design students at University of Antwerp to deal with dematerialization. We discuss a design project that forced the students to at first, design the interaction. Here, the emphasis was on movement and not the artefact. Only after that, the students were asked to design the product. The results of this project show that this way of working leads to solutions that otherwise would remain unexplored.

Keywords: Dematerialization, digital payment, interaction design


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