Designing Culture – New Text – 2

There are only four chapters in the print version of Designing Culture. Since they form the main important aspects that Anne Balsamo tried to convey through her work, I wanted to do a review of them in the wiki page.

Chapter 1 – Gendering the Technological Imagination 
This chapter is an extension of the discussion on the topic of gender from her previous work. Balsamo states that, “Technology was always gendered. We just didn’t recognize it as such.” This chapter draws heavily from many feminist theories. The chapter begins by explaining how “intrinsic aptitude” is known to be the cause for imbalance in high-level positions held by men and women in many sought after fields. Towards the end of the chapter, Balsamo argues that the aim of femenist technocultural studies should be to theorize and critically analyze the situation of gendered subjects.  As a femenist, Balsamo herself intents to participate in the act of designing technoculture in ethically and socially responsible ways.

Chapter 2 – The Performance of Innovation
In this Chapter Balsamo shares her experiences as a member of RED (Research on Experimental Documents). This was a collaborative research group at Xerox PARC. They were responsible for creating experimental reading devices and new media genres. Balsamo shares her experiences as a new media designer for the development of RED’s interactive museum exhibit, XFR: Experiments in the Future of Reading.

Chapter 3 – Public Interactives and the Design of Technological Literacies
This chapter focuses on the literacy a designer must always take into consideration when designing interactive media. Balsamo examines new forms of literacy and scholarship. It also reflects how the interactives draw on existing literacies and require new ones for the future. It looks into the ethics of designing public interactives.

Chapter 4 – Designing Learning – The University as a site of Technocultural Innovation
In this chapter Balsamo discusses Designing Learning, and examines the role played by the University. According to Balsamo, in the Digital age new contexts and new habits create new subjectivities. This chapter also lays focus on the field of digital humanities in the University, and its role in transformative research. Balsamo touches topics like Education 2.0. She makes references to work of  other scholars like Henry Jenkins and Sherry Turkle. In the final section, she discusses how the future is shaped, and spaces are created due to the innovative research.

Balsamo, Anne. Designing Culture: The Technological Innovation at Work. Duke University Press, 2011. Print.


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