From Graphical User Interface Design to the Configuration of a Digital Object. Materiality and Digital Ontology

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Erika Cecilia Castañeda Arredondo


This article addresses the graphical interface as an array of digital objects that are structured in a matrix. This matrix is characterized by a particular materiality, not necessarily technical or symbolic, but one that stresses the condition of the natural and the technical objects, generating digital objects, which have long been problematized in the literature on digital ontology. The progression of the arguments, supported by literature on digital materiality, will depart from the problematization of the digital objects to locate the ways in which the matrix enables these objects in a process of flow and transformation. The intention is to stay apart from the conception of the interface as a surface for mediation in order to understand it as a 'matrix of digital objects'. However, this article does not seek to refute the idea of the graphical interface as a mediation surface; instead, the intention is to address it as an arrangement of objects that can be configured under the consideration of a digital materiality. This is achieved by commenting on two assumptions that I understand as depicts: the metaphorical trap, that is, the idea that designing interfaces implies configuring metaphors; and the behavioral trap, that is, the idea that to know the behavior of the user is sufficient to carry out the design of graphical interfaces.


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How to Cite
Castañeda Arredondo, E. C. (2019). From Graphical User Interface Design to the Configuration of a Digital Object. Materiality and Digital Ontology. Diseña, (15), 70–93.
Original articles
Author Biography

Erika Cecilia Castañeda Arredondo, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad Cuajimalpa

Bachelor of Graphic Communication, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Master in Visual Arts, UNAM. PhD in Arts and Design, UNAM. She is a Senior Research Professor "A" in the Department of Design Theory and Processes at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad Cuajimalpa. Her research work deals with Art, Design, Politics and Technology; some of her main subjects are Internet and its visuality, Tactical Media and Interactive Design. She is the author of 'Aprender y disentir, la experiencia en Summer School de la Manifesta 11 y la ZHdK en Zúrich, Suiza' (Artediseño, N° 3) and 'El espacio-frontera y su inscripción en el cuerpo migrante. La operación contra-performativa de la obra Transborder Immigrant Tool' (Arte y Políticas de Identidad, Vol. 18).