Manovich vs. Stolterman / Phenomenology vs. Structuralism / Jordan vs. Confusion

I’m afraid I can only briefly discuss how Manovich and Stolterman might fit into Phenomenology and Structuralism before confusion completely takes over. And I can only do that much… with a little help from my friends. For instance, I have a hard time labeling Stolterman. But I know that last week he said that if he had to choose a side for himself, it would be the Phenomenological (thanks Dave). Could someone elaborate on this for me?

Manovich is slightly clearer to me. The phrase “language of new media” says a lot by itself given the relationship between structuralism and language/linguistics. Another clue is revealed when he says “I use ‘language’ as an umbrella term to refer to a number of various conventions used by designers of new media objects to organize data and structure the user’s experience.” So… structure trumps content (thanks Christian).

I’m not sure I added much to the discussion tonight. Maybe I should have joined Kayce in saying… WTF.


  1. jeffreybardzell

    Actually a number of the comments sprinkled throughout recent posts provide good (and easy to understand) evidence of Erik’s phenomenological leanings. Check especially the thread that follows Tyler’s original post on this question (as well as the points Tyler himself makes).

  2. jeffreybardzell

    We will, of course, be talking about these issues throughout the semester, so it would be unrealistic for anyone (me, you) to expect mastery over these difficult concepts from you at this stage. As I said to Hyewon, be a little patient (but not complacent!), and better understanding will emerge over time.

    It is very helpful for me as instructor, though, that you are honest about what is clear and what is muddy. It helps me plan better. So please (all of you) continue to be honest like this and don’t feel pressure to pretend you understand something completely that you only understand partially.


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