Designing for Difficulty

Prototyping Media History with 3-D Fabrication
& Physical Computing


Slides and References:


Tiffany Chan | @TiffChan29 |
University of Victoria English | MLab
DH 2016 | Jagiellonian University | Kraków, Poland
14 July 2016

an Electro-mobile Skull Pin

Early Magnetic Recording

a Reading Optophone

Where We Encounter Difficulty


1) Reliability of the Archive

2) Remaking or Rapid Prototyping (Trial and Error)

3) Interface Design

Video and model care of Katherine Goertz + Victoria Murawski
Video and model care of Katherine Goertz + Victoria Murawski

Prototyping the Past

1) Asks what is missing, uncertain, or difficult — and why

2) Is concerned with history as well as future design practice

3) Attends to contingency, embodied labour, change over time

4) Tests hypotheses in material form

Thank You

Tiffany Chan
@TiffChan29 |

Slides and References:

GitHub Repositories:


With thanks to:
Jentery Sayers, Katherine Goertz, Danielle Morgan, Victoria Murawski
Brian Carter, DH 2016 Organizers, Jagiellonian University,
Pedagogical University

Research supported by SSHRC, CFI, and BCKDF