We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here. To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES
UAL Research Online

The Co-Construction of Properties in a Machinic-Complex: A study of the Car and Dunlop Pneumatic Tyres 1900-1925

Woolaghan, George (2006) The Co-Construction of Properties in a Machinic-Complex: A study of the Car and Dunlop Pneumatic Tyres 1900-1925. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Woolaghan, George

The thesis examines the development of Dunlop pneumatic tyres and the car 1900- 1925. It explores the transformation of these artefacts from 'unreliable', 'crafted' luxuries, to 'reliable', 'scientific' products for a middle class market through a process of co-construction. It argues that through the interplay of design and domestication processes, properties and 'norms' of performance were stabilised in pneumatic lyres and the car which articulated social difference. This stabilisation process was mediated by notions of efficiency to extend and reproduce middle class mobility through what Urry has called the 'machinic-complex' of the car.

The performative nature of the user-technology relationship is theorised by engaging with certain aspects of Actor-Network theory (ANT), in particular, Akrich's notion of 'reciprocal or mutual adjustment', which is deployed in relation to design, manufacture and use, and 'inscription', which is applied to advertising. Advertising is also discussed using Star's concept of 'boundary object'. These concepts are supplemented with concepts from the sociology of technology: Pinch and Bijker's notion of 'interpretive flexibility' and Woolgar's notion of 'configuring'. Williams' concept of 'mobile privatisation' is discussed in relation to car development but pertains to the study as a whole. The chapter on the motorist focuses on 'configuring' and 'domestication' as aspects of the user-technology relationship. Issues of gender and class, and the role of ideology also inform this chapter. The chapter on infrastructure employs Bachmair's notion of 'cultural inheritance' and Oldenziel et al.'s concept of 'mediation-junction'.

The research contributes to design theory and technology studies through elaboration of the socio-technical complexity of the product and by developing an understanding of the consumption of technology which is informed by gender and class as mechanisms of domestication.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

This thesis is restricted, please contact UAL Research Online for more information.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: February 2006
Date Deposited: 12 May 2020 12:01
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 16:14
Item ID: 15644
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/15644

Repository Staff Only: item control page | University Staff: Request a correction