Analysing and Solving the Reduced-ability and Excessive-use Dilemmas in Technology Use

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Wesugi, Shigeru
Series: ICED
Institution: Waseda University
Section: Design methods and tools
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Technology use provides great benefits by extending human ability, but the negative effects cannot always be ignored. The author examined the dilemmas of technology use based on Shibata?s analysis of McLuhan?s extension theory and indicated two types of dilemmas in continuous technology use. First is the decreased human ability as the innate functionality is substituted by the technology. Second is excessive utilisation of the technology, which may instil a false sense of naturally extended ability.

Subsequently, the author considered and suggested approaches for mitigating both types of dilemmas. The decreased-ability dilemma might be resolved by continuously utilising the technology and designing technology relevant to the degree of human ability. Meanwhile, the excessive-utilisation dilemma might be resolved by regulating the technology use and designing technology that achieves the desired disposition change in users.

Finally, the possibility of advancing the existing design approaches to further resolve the dilemmas was discussed.

Keywords: Design method, Early design phases, Ethics, Technology, User centred design


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