Digital technologies and 4D customized design: Challenging conventions with responsive design

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Handbook of Research on Human Development in the Digital Age, 2017, pp. 403 - 426
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© 2018 IGI Global. All rights reserved. Digital design tools are rapidly changing and blurring the boundaries between design disciplines. By extension, the relationship between humans and products is also changing, to the point where opportunities are emerging for products that can co-evolve with their human users over time. This chapter highlights how these '4D products' respond to the vision laid out three decades ago for ubiquitous computing, and have the potential to enhance human experiences by creating more seamless human-centered relationships with technology. These developments are examined in context with broader shifts in sociocultural and environmental concerns, as well as similar developments being researched in Responsive Architecture, 4D printing and systems designed to empower individuals during the design process through interactive, parametric model platforms. Technology is fundamentally changing the way designers create physical products, and new understandings are needed to positively guide these changes.
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