The post-functional paradigm: Leaving space in the design for an appropriating user

Kristoffer Solberg Hansen & Mark Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


With this thesis we will give an overview of what we see is a paradigm shift for viewing technology. Using mainly theories focusing on philosophy of technology, we establish an overview of a rationalistic, deterministic stance towards technology that we call the Functional Paradigm. Applying this view to a series of Tactical Interventions, its shortcomings became evident mainly in the users' appropriation of the artifacts presented to—or taken away from—them. This enabled us to establish a shared understanding of what we call a Post-Functional Paradigm. This views technology as being a non-neutral, influential part of our lives that we need a deeper understanding of, rather than treating it as a rational, problem-solving machine. In conclusion, we establish the main principle of the Post-Functional Paradigmatic view as using technology in aiding the modern user in solving problems that cannot be reduced to entities existing in pre-defined Problem Spaces. We argue the novelty of computers must be washed away to view technology as a means to an end rather than being the center of our problem solving behavior.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages176