Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Functionalist Paradigm' keyword pg.1 of 1
26 MAY 2015

Welcome to our corporate-controlled future Internet with Facebook Instant Articles et al.

"There's a generational shift in technology happening right now: From the open Web to native apps, from desktops to mobile phones, from platforms built on standards to platforms owned by corporations. Let's call it the second Internet. Here's what it looks like: "Facebook Instant Article". That's right — it's Facebook. More than 1.44 billion people use Facebook every month, and almost a billion of them use it every day. The majority do so via the Facebook app on their phones.

Think about that: A decade ago, the majority of people using the Internet were doing so on desktop computers or laptops, accessing HTML and JavaScript websites. Today, a vast number — maybe not a majority, but a lot — experience the Internet primarily through Facebook's mobile app.

That's why publishers like the New York Times, Buzzfeed, and National Geographic were so eager to test out Facebook's new Instant Articles platform.

This platform puts publishers' stories directly into the Facebook app (on iOS only, for now), where they load more quickly than they would if Facebook just linked to the publishers' websites — which take an average of eight seconds to load, Facebook says. Instant Articles also offer a variety of snazzy tools for publishers to present their images and interactive elements."

(Dylan Tweney, 15 May 15 2015, VentureBeat)



2015boundaries in cyberspace • Buzzfeed • closed systemcontent integrationcontent publishers • corporate exclusivity • corporate-controlled environment • corporatisationexclusivityFacebook app • Facebook Instant Articles • framed by the windowfunctionalist paradigm • future Internet • homogenizationhypermediated spaceimmediacy of experience • Instant Articles platform • instrumental rationalitylisablelogic of hypermediacymobile appsNational Geographic • native apps • New York Timesopen webperformativityproduct usabilitypublishing platform • Slack (app) • sterile placestechnology transparencyunified mediumuniformityusability engineering • VentureBeat • walled garden • window on to the world


Simon Perkins
27 MARCH 2015

Is Universal Design a Critical Theory?

"Universal design is a term that was first used in the United States by Ron Mace (1985) although forms of it were quite prevalent in Europe long before. For the purpose of this chapter Universal Design is defined as 'the design of all products and environments to be usable by people of all ages and abilities to the greatest extent possible (Story, 2001, p.10.3). Universal design in recent years has assumed growing importance as a new paradigm that aims at a holistic approach ranging in scale from product design (Balaram, 2001) to architecture (Mace, 1985), and urban design (Steinfield, 2001) on one hand and systems of media (Goldberg, 2001) and information technology (Brewer, 2001) on the other.

Given the popularity, Universal design still remains largely atheoretical i..e. the researchers of Universal design do not explicitly affiliate themselves to any form of theoretical paradigm. One of the reason is perhaps because Universal design is a melting point between cross paradigms. By paradigms I mean basic orientations to theory and research (Newman, 1997, p.62). In this sense Universal design can come under functionalist paradigm (because it caters to utility), pragmatic (because it is instrumental in nature), positivistic (because it strives for universal principles), normative (because it prescribes certain rules) and critical theorist paradigms (because it gives voice to the oppressed).

Conventionally the word universal is synonymous to general and refers to a set of principles that are stable, timeless and value free. In this sense universal design could be interpreted as deriving from a positivist paradigm. However, given its history and perspective, and with the universal design examples I provide, I will demonstrate several instances where the universals do change, are time bound and value laden. In this sense I argue that Universal design follows a critical theory paradigm in its conception and knowledge generation. By conception I mean how universal design came into being as a body of concepts and by knowledge generation I mean how the concepts pervade and are shared by the community of researchers."

(Newton D'Souza, 2004)

D’souza, N.: 2004, Chapter 1: "Is Universal Design a Critical Theory?" Keates, S., Clarkson, J., Langdon, P., Robinson, P. (eds.) Designing a more Inclusive World. Springer - Verlog, pp: 3-10, 5th University of Cambridge, UK.


2004 • all abilities • atheoretical • basic orientations to theory and research • critical theory • cross paradigms • defined rules • designing for usability • Edward Steinfeld • functional purpose • functional utility • functionalist paradigmholistic approachinclusive design • instrumental in nature • Judy Brewer • Larry Goldberg • Molly Story • Newton DSouza • normativepositivism • positivist paradigm • positivistic • pragmatic considerationsproduct design • Ron Mace • Singanapalli Balaram • theoretical context • theoretical paradigm • universal accessuniversal designuniversal principlesusable


Simon Perkins

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