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IAT 336 (11)
Ken Zupan (11)
Lecture 4

IAT336_Week 4.docx

4 Pages

Interactive Arts & Tech
Course Code
IAT 336
Ken Zupan

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Material Connotations Aluminium vs. Carbon-Reinforced Fuselages Aluminum alloys have been used in aircraft fuselages since 1930s -light, powerful strength to weight ratio 90% of alloys from ALCOA Carbon reinforced fuselages on the rise -used more in aircrafts and automobiles Glass and Ceramics: The Personal Dimension Ceramics and glass have a long traditional since antiquity -they are compatible with most pigments -they are resistant to most scratching, discoloration and corrosion actually gives them their longevity -they are used in kitchen stove tops, space shuttle tiles, Kyocera ceramic knives Hence they are associated with great craft-based industries: Venetian glass, Meissen porcelain, Wedgwood pottery, etc. Ceramics and glass also survived the Industrial Revolution Polymers: The Personal Dimension Polymers or plastics, a relatively new material which grew in popularity in the mid-20 century initially had the perception of being a cheap, plastic imitation which is hard to live down The perception derive from the early use of plastics to stimulate the color and gloss of early Japanese hand-made pottery Commodity polymers are inexpensive -they are easy to mold and color making imitation easy -unlike ceramics, they are easy to scratch and UV light can cause their colors to fade but overall polymers have more benefits than faults -they are a master of disguise: they mimic the transparency of glass or the opacity of lead, as flexible as rubber or as stiff as aluminum -polymers also have positive tactile features as they are perceived as being warm -they lend themselves well to brightly colored, humorous and lighthearted designs Material Perceptions are Qualitative/Subjective Research exists that explores the aesthetics and attributes of products -they suggest that a consensus exists in describing perceptions but defining attributes of materials can be tricky because of subjectivity Products usually perceived in the culture and context in which they are used -perceptions can vary from culture and even context, especially historic periods For the last two decades, white and stainless steel have been the most popular colors for appliances but in the 1960s, consumers demanded a wide variety of hues and finishes -the 1960s was a period of rebelling against the authority and psychedelic music (i.e. prevailing tastes reflected this era) -white was considered conformity Materials, Craftsmanship and Superstition Few technical subjects have been so infested with superstition as materials science For instance, some ancient cultures required that corpses be buried in the foundations of building and bridges -the Romans felt this to be inhumane and substituted dolls In modern times, we are less cruel than our ancestors but no less superstitious -there are still some irrationalities about the ways that we choose materials The question of old versus new, synthetic versus natural, steel hulled ships versus wood hulled for racing are ones that people approach with emotional fervour Materials, Craftsmanship, and Superstition: Steel and Iron Because of their interest in tools and weapons, many early civilizations were inclined to have smith gods -the Norse had Thor and the Greeks Hephaestus whom the Romans appropriated or Vulcan Interestingly, these gods were concerned with metals -Hephaestus c1200 looked after the supply of iron and is ranked high in the Greek Pantheon It is interesting to note that there was no god or deity of significance related to non-metallic metals -one or two low-class demons were associated with pottery work but they sometimes cause the pots to crack in the kilns Although many of these beliefs were supressed by the early Church, the strength and feeling about the special nature of iron and steel was reinforced with great interest during the Industrial Revolution -the Victorians did not have smith gods but they did everything they could with iron short of
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