Do smartphones shape people's purchase decisions?

A topic of perennial interest in technology studies is how technology shapes the way people think.  It is clear that the way people think affects technology, as in the example of how gender is encoded in architecture, recently noted in this blog.

Gender in hospital architecture

Annmarie Adam's book Medicine by design (2007) examines how hospital architecture shaped and responded to changing ideas about medicine and its place in the urban realm.  It uses the development of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal (1893–1943) as its central case study.

Progress in treatment with antibiotics

In our class on Design & Society, we discuss the so-called dilemma of progress.  With any design whose introduction poses potential risk, there is a decision to make on how to regulate it.  In simplest terms, there are two possibilities:

Privacy and control of personal information

A number of interesting posts concerning privacy showed up today, which made good reading together.  In particular, these articles concern privacy, in this case, the control that people have about data concerning themselves. 

From the archives: Anatomy of a collaboration: A 1986 workshop on technology and autonomy

CSTV logo

The first major event at the Centre for Society, Technology and Values (CSTV) was a full-day workshop on “Technology and Autonomy,” held in March 1986. (See Newsletter, May 1986.)  Some afternoon sessions had as many as 60 in attendance. This event can be usefully analyzed from a variety of perspectives.

What is a hockey arena?

An enduring theme in design is the relation between form and function.  For example, is there an ideal form that corresponds to a given function?  How do form and function relate and develop over time?

From the archives: Let the voices of students be heard

In September 1985, a major student conference was held at the University of Waterloo. Organized by the now defunct Canadian Studies program, the conference was supported by a number of faculty members associated with the Centre for Society, Technology and Values (CSTV), including director Larry Haworth.

Is parking unjust?

John Metcalfe of CityLab points out an interesting video shot on a street in New York City recently.  The video is a time-lapse recording of activity at a City Bike dock featuring rentable bicycles and curbside parking across the street.  Voilà!

The point, says videogrpaher Luke Ohlson, is that the bike dock is much busier than the car parking. 

From the archives: Bridging the divide between the “two cultures”

CSTV logo

Dr. Scott Campbell, Director of the Centre for Society, Technology and Values (CSTV) and instructor of STV 100, still finds it useful to introduce students to the idea expressed by scientist and novelist C.P. Snow that Western intellectual life is split into two cultures—the sciences and the humanities.

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