The most profound change ushered in by the digital revolution will not involve bells and whistles or new programming tricks.... The most profound change will lie with our generic expectations about the interface itself. We will come to think of interface design as a kind of art form -- perhaps the art form of the next century. And with that broader shift will come hundreds of corollary effects, effects that trickle down into a broad cross section of everyday life, altering our storytelling appetites, our sense of physical space, our taste in music, the design of our cities....

Every major technological age attracts a certain dominant artistic form: the mathematical and optical innovations of the Renaissance were best realized in the geometry of perspective painting; the industrial age worked through its social crises in the triple-decker novel. This digital age belongs to the graphic interface.... Information-space is the great symbolic accomplishment of our era....

The influence of this technology will extend well beyond the traditional scope of the computer interface, just as Renaissance perspective transformed more than the frescoes and basilicas of Florence and Rome.

Steven Johnson,
Interface Culture (HarperEdge, 1997)


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