Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction by Victor Kaptelinin, Bonnie A. Nardi

By Victor Kaptelinin, Bonnie A. Nardi

Task idea holds that the human brain is the manufactured from our interplay with humans and artifacts within the context of daily task. Acting with Technology makes the case for job concept as a foundation for realizing our dating with know-how. Victor Kaptelinin and Bonnie Nardi describe task theory's ideas, historical past, dating to different theoretical methods, and alertness to the research and layout of applied sciences. The publication presents the 1st systematic entry-level advent to the main ideas of job idea. It describes the collecting physique of labor in interplay layout trained via job concept, drawing on paintings from a global group of students and architects. Kaptelinin and Nardi study the idea of the item of job, describe its use in an empirical research, and speak about key debates within the improvement of task conception. eventually, they define present and destiny matters in job concept, delivering a comparative research of the speculation and its top theoretical opponents inside of interplay layout: allotted cognition, actor-network thought, and phenomenologically encouraged approaches.

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Extra resources for Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design

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Scientific theories are not perfect representations of reality, noted Rorty, but they are good enough for important human purposes. Rorty observed that knowledge ‘‘[is not] a matter of getting reality right, but rather . . ’’ There is no single correct vocabulary of knowledge; different vocabularies suit different human purposes (Rorty 1991). Writing about activity theory, Barthelmess and Anderson (2002) echoed this view, saying, The value of any theory is not ‘‘whether the theory or framework provides an objective representation of reality’’ (Bardram 1998), but rather how well a theory can shape an object of study, highlighting relevant issues.

Living organisms have internal biological needs for survival and reproduction that cause them to interact with reality in specific, patterned ways. Nonliving things lack these internal needs for survival and reproduction. They have the ability to act but not the need to act. For living things, the combination of the ability and the need to act entails unique forms of agency. Living things have remarkable internal capabilities to struggle for their own survival (and subsequent reproduction). Part of this struggle involves the ability to orient to objects in the world.

The results of comparing, abstracting, and generalizing will always be provisional and mutable, but they will attain enough recognizable form that we can take stock and prepare for the next step. An absence of theory is an absence of ‘‘dialogicity,’’ that is, the opportunity to juxtapose different points of view so that each may illumine the other (Mannheim 1936; Bakhtin 1981; Miettinen 1999). Theory encour- Do We Need Theory in Interaction Design? 23 ages multivocality by its very nature: theories are exactly testable, dynamic, contingent things, designed to be subjected to critique, revision, or complete reformulation.

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