July 8, 2013
A Romantic View of Technology Design

Tech-loving romantics aren’t operating in the same environment as Goethe or Delacroix, though, arguably because virtual reality has created a new layer of separation between the tech user’s everyday world and the untamed wilderness Romantics so admired. As our sensory environments get flooded with more and more digital information, does that mean the world around us is less “real”? Yao thinks so. She explained that her work is “really an effort of trying to go closer to the spirit of nature, which is simplicity. If you look at all the projects, what we do is really try to create this visual perception for people to see the real world. On the other hand, [digital] perception is fake. But if you look at nature, nature never cheats. When I was a kid I used to run into the forest every time after rain because the air is fresher, I can smell the sun, I can touch the leaves and even feel the soil under my feet. It’s a multi-sensory experience which exists in the real environment.”
This brand of tech-driven neo-romanticism, then, exists in subtle contradiction: Even as Yao and her colleagues at MIT, along with inventors at Google, GE, and others, dream of a completely digital world, this kind of world seems less “real.” According to tech romanticism, the more pervasive technology becomes, the more it needs to look like it’s not technology at all.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

A Romantic View of Technology Design

Tech-loving romantics aren’t operating in the same environment as Goethe or Delacroix, though, arguably because virtual reality has created a new layer of separation between the tech user’s everyday world and the untamed wilderness Romantics so admired. As our sensory environments get flooded with more and more digital information, does that mean the world around us is less “real”? Yao thinks so. She explained that her work is “really an effort of trying to go closer to the spirit of nature, which is simplicity. If you look at all the projects, what we do is really try to create this visual perception for people to see the real world. On the other hand, [digital] perception is fake. But if you look at nature, nature never cheats. When I was a kid I used to run into the forest every time after rain because the air is fresher, I can smell the sun, I can touch the leaves and even feel the soil under my feet. It’s a multi-sensory experience which exists in the real environment.”

This brand of tech-driven neo-romanticism, then, exists in subtle contradiction: Even as Yao and her colleagues at MIT, along with inventors at Google, GE, and others, dream of a completely digital world, this kind of world seems less “real.” According to tech romanticism, the more pervasive technology becomes, the more it needs to look like it’s not technology at all.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

  1. yori2o reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. frostingwarrior reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. clear-and-present-danger reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    lol @ hudson river school
  4. uncannytechnologies reblogged this from theatlantic
  5. pabstbluerippem reblogged this from theatlantic
  6. sharpenyouraxes reblogged this from theatlantic
  7. megtalla reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. wtyree reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. secretstaache reblogged this from theatlantic
  10. megandmax reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    I didn’t really read the article to be honest. Nostalgic for Mount Holyoke and this painting will always remind me of...
  11. wu3 reblogged this from ahandsomestark
  12. ahandsomestark reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. forloops reblogged this from bookwormbreakfast
  14. pale-blue-eye-101 reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. buffnerd reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. bookwormbreakfast reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    The relationship between technology and nature is so interesting to me, and it’s wonderful to see that it’s interesting...
  17. yemite reblogged this from allthingsromanticism
  18. sdkkds reblogged this from theatlantic
  19. matthewcain reblogged this from chrisjhale
  20. schoooon reblogged this from theatlantic
  21. mirthxcrisis reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Reblogging for Caspar David Friedrich of my dashboard.
  22. theinpherno reblogged this from theatlantic