Sunday, 16 September 2012

massive technology-driven change

The 1990s in particular were characterized in part by the rejection of history and the announcement of massive, technology-driven change; these claims need to be examined and placed in context. The introduction of the computer has indeed made the design studio a very different place than it was in 1990s. A new generation of teachers and practitioners has emerged, schooled in the creative use of these advanced technologies, but also marked by the theoretical debates of the 1980s and ’90s. The speed of information exchange, accelerated by digital technology, has made a discipline already international in its scope fully global.

The year 1990 is also significant for the development and implementation of digital technology. The underlying architecture of the World Wide Web was proposed in 1989, tested in 1990-91, and released to the public in 1992. The first digital cellular phone call was made in 1990, and the introduction of the 2G system that same year made possible the development of the small, user-friendly devices that are so ubiquitous today. However, actual Internet and cell-phone use were minimal in those early years. Only a fraction of a percent of the population had access to these technologies, and all of the social and cultural effects of “being digital” were still in formation. [5] In 1990, the fax machine, Sony Walkman and telephone answering machine were icons of advanced technology. Kodak still made projectors, and 35-millimeter slides were the norm in architecture lectures. The Mac Classic, hailed as one of the first widely affordable, easy-to-use desktop computers, was released in October 1990. Its 40-megabyte hard drive is dwarfed by contemporary smart phones with as much as 80 times the memory capacity and countless functions unimaginable in 1990.

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