The digital as technique

Oslo school of architecture and designNorway
2023 People’s Choice Award
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Voting closes at 23:59 EST (EST time: UTC-5) on 5 May 2023.


Concept / Student


Andreas Offenberg, Designer


The digital as technique is an exploratory design project looking at opportunities in AI, screens and NFTs in the context of literature. It has been split into three parts where these materials have been explored separately. The approach has been formed by the materials.

The goal has been to explore the material qualities of the different materials and create artifacts that can spark ideas and strategies for the future of publishing. My main target group for this diploma has been publishers and authors.

The result of this diploma has been three artifacts. A booklet of curated texts generated by the AI model GPT-3. A fully digital publisher publishing stories in formats that fits the device, take a look at, and a poetry NFT collection created in collaboration with Gyldendal.

Project Description

This project was addressing the lack of exploration in the digital space in the publishing industry in Norway. The aim was to show how you could use design, and design exploration, in a strategic way. By showing opportunities in these new materials, and how the could disrupt the industry, the goal was to spark ideas and strategies for the future of publishing.

In this project the primary users where publishers and authors since I saw in the research phase that it was here the biggest scepticism against digital literature was. The goal was to help these stakeholders see the value in exploring the digital space by designing with them, and showing rather then telling. I did this by creating tangible outcomes and prototypes that I could discuss and get input on with the stakeholders.

Through out the project I worked close with one of the biggest publishing houses in Norway, and collaborated with them on explorations around NFT publishing. After the project I presented the project at the publishing house and they have taken one of the outcomes of my exploration and developed a MVP, ending in a product where they tested out a writing competition letting users write directly for one of the phone formats I had explored. This was one of my key findings, that the text benefits from being written directly for these digital formats, and not fitted after the fact. I also saw huge engagement around how to use AI text generation tools by the digital bookstore team, and sparked new ideas around revenue streams through my work with NFTs.

The approach of this diploma has been to explore technology as a material in the context of literature, to see what type of opportunities could arise from them. That means that the approach and methods used have been driven by the materials. The process for the three material explorations have taken three forms, but the all follow the same structure: First a Research phase: Researching the context (in this case the publishing industry), researching the materials from a technical standpoint (what can they do?) and a cultural standpoint (How are they perceived?). The second phase of the process was experimentation: Sketching and interacting with the materials, testing out tangible results, Iterate and document observations. The third phase was about communication: Developing visual concepts and scenarios, Articulate findings and present to relevant stakeholders, iterate, refine and develop the final artefacts. And the last phase was a reflection phase bringing the artefacts to the stakeholders and documenting the reflections.

I think this project should be considered for the award for showing an exploratory design approach resulting and using tangible outcomes as a way to disrupt an industry that is long overdue for a thoughtful digital shift. It gave the publishing house new tools and ways into the materials, and future materials, and made them see the value in exploratory design approaches in strategic processes.


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