Stolterman comes from a phenomenological tradition. How do I know this? First, we asked him. Second, a great example comes to mind from his book Design Way in which Erik talks about how designers work with the “real” and not an objective “true.” Erik believes that designers can not penetrate the sensory “wall” we discussed and instead must work off of that perceived sensory data which is filtered through our particular “repertoire” (via Schon) which might as well be called our lifeworld or horizons.
Manovich seems to come from a more structuralist position. How do I know this? Let me count the ways.
1) A Google search reveals a nice document written by one Jeff Bardzell in which Jeff claims the following.
[referring to structuralism in HCI] structuralist analyses remain ubiquitous; a fine example is Lev Manovich’s Language of New Media, which explicitly disavows structuralism, before embarking on a project whose methodological reliance on structuralism is palpable (beginning with the title of the book).
2) The title of the book includes the word “Language” and as Jeff notes, that’s a pretty big clue considering structuralism was loosely born from linguistics.
3) By page 12, Manovich is describing a series of definitions (almost sound like rules) for language, object and representation. Language and object are core tenants of structuralism. Representation sounds a lot like syntax. Objects (words) acquire their meaning in relation (syntax) to other objects.
I’m sure by the end of the semester I will develop a better argument for Manovich’s structuralist approach, but I hope I’m on the right foot and that Jeff didn’t post that document to grief me. After all, it is located inside his image folder.