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Design meets Science

Prof. Dr. Derrick de Kerckhove


Prof. Dr. Derrick de Kerckhove | Toronto/Canada and Rome/Italy: Derrick de Kerckhove is former Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology at the University of Toronto, where he is professor emeritus at the Department of French.

He subsequently joined the Faculty of Sociology of the University Federico II in Naples. Presently, scientific director of the Rome based monthly Media Duemila, he is author of more than a dozen books edited in over ten languages including Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian, Slovenian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. He is visiting Professor at the School of Design at the Politecnico in Milan. He is also Research Director at the Interdisciplinary Internet Institute (IN3) at l’Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona. His fields of research include Technopsychology, Psychotechnology, Neuro-cultural research, Art and communication technologies, Media Theory, Collaborative Educative Software, and Connected Intelligence.

The Hypertextual Habits of the Wreader

The interactive options proposed by reading digital material on screen have brought together the reading and writing functions. The “wreader” is a person who reads and writes in the same sitting. Children navigate texts more than they read them and are impelled to take side trips among the offerings that are available first within the range pertinent to what is actually being read and second, because of the temptations presented by ever more frequent interruptions by advertising, sidebars, pop-ups etc. A major cognitive change involves, as Nicholas Carr pointed out years ago, skipping from one information source to another, reading bits and pieces and not spending enough time on any aspects of the process to retain anything in particular. But that may not necessarily, as Carr believes, a radically bad thing. Putting things together, that is, "re-membering” is what kids are getting better at in their non-linear practices. Another issue that ought to be raised is precisely what kind of impact reading on screens as opposed to reading on paper may have of cognitive processing. I want to explore these various issues to achieve a comprehensive survey of the changes that have already occurred in the reading process, and are still to be expected in the digital culture.

Die Konferenz FURE „The Future of Reading“ konzentriert sich auf die Chancen und Herausforderungen des Umbruchs in der Medienwelt.