Saturday, 27 March 2010
The elements of technacy are Agent (typically human) -Technical (Physical/digital tools systems)-Environment context factors (physical/digital eco-material) .
In any technologlical activity these three factors all contribute toward a purpose in a context.
[remember: a context is defined by two words 'space' and 'time']
No 'one' of these elements can change without causing a systemic change.... that is; - all other elements necessarily adapt.
Consider this example:
A tool - a knife is used to modify....
a material - icing
the agent necessarily requires a set of knowledge and techniques
which are defined by the previous elements and also the purpose/context
purpose/context: cover smoothly over a cake
Now, change one-(1) element - say for example, the material to "steak": NOW, note the immediate shift in all other elements.
Tool- the previous knife may work but a serrated steak knife would be more effective.
Material - steak
Agent - completely different technique and knowledge
And we can predict what the corresponding change in Context and purpose might be;
context/purpose: on a plate/cut into bite size pieces
This only a very basic example of the usefulness of technacy as a theory where it provides the essential things to look for when engaging in a technological activity. These same dynamics can be scaled up to the level of a a design project, a business, a government etc... but as this happens there is a corresponding increase in complexity of the interacting elements and it requires far more sophisticated knowledge.