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Materiality and OrganizingSocial Interaction in a Technological World$
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Paul M. Leonardi, Bonnie A. Nardi, and Jannis Kallinikos

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199664054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664054.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2020

Form, Function, and Matter: Crossing the Border of Materiality

Form, Function, and Matter: Crossing the Border of Materiality

(p.67) 4 Form, Function, and Matter: Crossing the Border of Materiality
Materiality and Organizing

Jannis Kallinikos

Oxford University Press

Technological objects are devices crafted and used to serve particular purposes or functions. Traditionally, function (e.g., pierce, cut, contain) has been embodied on durable materials, worked up, and appropriately shaped or structured. Craftsmanship has developed around the mastery of specific materials such as wood, stone, clay, gold and iron, and textiles. However, technological evolution has loosened the bonds between function, form, and matter and progressively allotted greater importance to function. Variously supported by modern science, current technology betrays the growing domestication of matter, as a means of serving the functions embodied on a proliferating universe of devices or technological systems. The preeminence computing technologies have acquired in contemporary societies further accentuates these trends but also brings interesting and ambiguous shifts.

Keywords:   form, function, matter, materiality, technical evolution

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