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August 15 , 2008

Fast Design, Slow Innovation

Audiophotography Ten Years On


As well as updating the manifesto for an audio photography technology and practice, this book addresses issues in design history, the social shaping of technology and the management of innovation. In particular, it reveals the very different timescales over which design and innovation operate, and the way in which design ideas evolve across different research groups, companies and application areas.

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The capture of photographs with sound is a simple idea, proposed 10 years ago, that has still not become widespread. In this new edition of the seminal 2004 book on Audio photography, the author asks “Why?” A journey through the book’s citations and related commercial products shows considerable progress in understanding the role of sound in photography, and myriad design experiments to support audio visual storytelling as a new media form. The book is a story in itself about the “long nose of innovation”, and a lesson about the need for patience and persistence in the computer industry. To reinforce this point five of the 2004 chapters are re-published in their original form. These describe invariant properties of ambient musical, talking and conversational photographs, and the possibility of playback from paper as well as screen.

Fast Design, Slow Innovation will be of interest to researchers and designers of new media systems and experiences, and to innovation scholars or managers looking for a ten year case study of innovation in action.

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