Digital Materials

Last updated 10 months ago

Despite often criticizing the desktop metaphor I do believe that it is valuable to take inspiration from physical metaphors when designing digital spaces.

It is important to point out that often metaphors are taken too literally and this is frequently a source of issues across a wide variety of disciplinesLe Corbusier for example took inspiration from thinking of the city as a living organism; this seems a positive metaphor as it might let us to understand the complexity and interconnected systems of the spaces around us— however, when used by architects, the metaphor is often used to draw formal inspiration.

. When using metaphors we must be careful to consider the essence of objects or ideas rather than taking them literally at face value.

One of the metaphors that has been circling around my mind this past year[^2022] has been that of “digital materials”— thinking about the essence of how we interact with with materials and objects in the real world? and thus exploring how we might capture this essence in a unique way to create a materiality or tangibility in our digital interfaces.