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

Jannis Kallinikos

in Materiality and Organizing

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199664054
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745423 | DOI:
Form, Function, and Matter: Crossing the Border of Materiality

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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

Chapter.  9054 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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