Responses & First Thoughts

Tom Igoe:

While I definitely understand the critique of many of the physical computing themes, I suppose my only concern about disregarding or looking down upon the themes can be counterproductive when trying to design better solutions for solving problems. Although perhaps one, two, or maybe three of the themes might be a Frankenstein of a project, I wonder if by combining multiple aspects of multiple themes or even implementing some aspect of one of the themes could ultimately help a new project interface with a user. I guess what I mean is that the discussed themes can be boring when they’re repeated over and over, they might have something to offer a project that has hit a brainstorming/troubleshooting roadblock.


The short story presents an interesting take on human reliance on technologies that, in at least some regard, are objectively better, smarter, stronger, or more efficient. After a devastating crash, the individual and the suit are thrust upon a tireless never-ending journey through an unforgiving planet. What is interesting, and also representative of humanity to an extent, is the habit of the individual to complain. The heat, the sweat, the smell, and every bit of discomfort is detailed throughout the individual’s journey. This isolates a very critical part of humanity, our insistence on not adapting, that there is a way to solve problems and to adjust for what we aren’t capable of or aren’t designed to do. And this also presents an intriguing dichotomy of humans discarding technology as soon as there is better in contrast with technology being designed to cover for all of our deficiencies.

The story also focuses on the interaction between the human and the suit. One party experiencing a organic concoction of pain, desire, and confusion with the other sensing what is physically, mechanically, and chemically possible in the former. This disconnect leads to two paths, one which points out the lack of appreciation, at times, of what we have and what is made possible through technology, and another which defines a critical issue when interacting with technology in the complexity of communication that must be felt and sensed.

And last thing, I thought this quote was interesting:

“We created something a little closer to perfection than ourselves; maybe that’s the only way to progress” (63)

In creating things that are closer to perfection compared to ourselves, are we bridging that disconnect? I wonder about when that disconnect disappears, does technology cease to exist? Do it merge with us and do we become one entity?

Related Skills:

I have taken an Architecture course dealing with accessibility called Human Factors in which we studied, among other related topics, how various places on- and off-campus are architecturally hostile and exclusive to someone in a wheelchair. I have had experience in theater and acting in high school, which has been a smaller part of my experience in university. In regards to digital fabrication, I’m familiar with laser cutting, CNC-ing, and operating architectural robots.

Author: Alex Lin

5th Year B. Arch Student

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