Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The position of books in the IT world.

From Kenya Hara's book on Designing Design, p.169-201, where he talks about books as Information Sculpture. He argued that under the evolution of information technology leg to the foundation of more and more information formats. Under this development, it might be possible that books have already stepped down from their traditional role as information medium. Ebooks replace conventional books nowadays. Faster, lighter and condensed within a gadget.
But he consider us to reevaluate what a book is.

He stated about the most primary material of a book, paper. Where in comparison to the speeding up of information transfer, we view paper as "a kind of unconscious surface", taken for granted. So much so when human moves to monitors, we consider our era the "paperless" era, as mentioned by Kenya Hara.

Reviewing books as information sculpture in comparison to the IT, such information like letters printed on paper, the weight of the book, the senses we connect while flipping a book are irreplaceable with technology. No doubt that one day technology might be able to achieve that. A physical book is merely text and images complied but as a whole, sending and connecting information with our past, senses and that very moment of viewing the book. "...we may have a more pleasant user experience and be more satisfied with information presented on a material of moderate weight and texture than information whose presence has become rarified through compression into a tiny space." (p.198)

This continual interest in materiality and connection with sensory of books triggers my thoughts on how I can rekindle the position of a book in the IT world. The emotion attached to reading from a piece of printed paper versus holding a screen reading is totally different in experience. Basic elements of design comes into place where printed materials has margins, borders, white spaces for reading to read at ease. Texture of the paper could be customized according to preferences. The environment lighting that affects our reading atmosphere all merge in as one experience to read on something physically printed. What's more? The excitement it creates when one opens up a new book, smelling the ink and paper. The experience consist of many dimensions,
which further define the stand of a book in this digital world.

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