This paper will explore instances in which digital technology has aided historic events and the role design played in said events. In particular, I will discuss contemporary civil struggles such as the Occupy Movement and the Egyptian Revolution and how these events were aided by technology and sophisticated software. Through this lens I hope to elevate the role designers play in the social structure. With the increased utility of the web, it is my belief that basic structures in society can be shifted from populations of spectators to populations of participants.
For the project portion of my thesis work I have been developing a web-based application that is part digital publication and part app. The software, entitled Box Set, provides users with entire discographies of one recording artist at a time. The entire music collection, photos, videos and ephemera are released as a “digital box set”. The goal of this project is to give users a well-rounded handle on one particular set of information. In an era where much of the world’s information is available at the touch of a button, attention is a highly desirable commodity. There is an over-whelming amount of disparate data scattered across the web and by aggregating these pieces, my hope is that users will start to gain more perspective and insight into the subjects of interest instead of having small bits of knowledge that lack a basic foundation of understanding. This is one instance in which the design of an application can enhance a user’s knowledge and curb the schizophrenic nature of the Internet users’ mental space.