luciano petullà

systems and dimensions of new communication

From Lollipop to the enchanted objects Although resulting quite elusive and so equally fascinating, having to deal with design as topic became a “must” even for people interested in communication technology since the iPhone has been launched in 2007. Meantime, centrifugal explosion of digital media in people’s social and personal life, alongside with multiple use of digital interfaces, puts design at the centre of industries as mode to differentiate products and satisfy users’ needs and desires. On the other hand, while our body-mind goes through digital portals for hundreds times every day, changes in digital design are also symptom on how fastly and (almost) unawares we dwell and readapt our personal and social being. Indeed, as someone said, mobile screens have become the real third place of human living, being hard to find places or activities where digital screens are absent. However, digital design should be thought as part  of design work, which aims to elaborate solutions that simplify, in a given temporal context, interactions among persons and objects/devices inside a play of reciprocal adaptation/stimulation, mainly an enriching encounter between human beings – dominated by an alchemy of feelings, senses and rationality – and human artifacts – material objects, mechanisms/procedures of…

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Introduction American company Apple, producer of computers and personal devices – among others, the famous mp3-player iPod – has entered into mobile business with a video cell phone that has been presented and hailed worldwide with a great emphasis. In this paper we’ll take iPhone as a fresh case study to update some paths used to study video cell phone (Borrelli, Petullà 2007). It is a phenomenon particularly suited because of its success, that can be understood only at the light of a context including the logic of its technical development and aesthetical aspects, and so inevitably experiential ones, justifying a fully sociological and cultural approach to media study. Although the great number of interesting cues, we will try to focus our attention on contiguous topics with our previous analysis, using it as interpretative frame. The iPhone has been presented in US on January 2007 becoming commercially available on June the 29th. Both events have received an enormous attention from international media; they have dedicated much time to illustrate its characteristics as well as folkloristic aspects marked by feverish waits of early adopters, that formed long queues to buy an expensive phone (at least 500/600 dollars for the early versions)…

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