When Doors Are Removed for Our Own Safety: The Material Semiotics of Telephone Booths

Mette Simonsen Abildgaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As a twentieth-century design staple, the telephone booth encompasses architecture, urban planning, and communication technologies. I aim to establish a material semiotics of the historical artefact by considering a case study
of a 1980s controversy in Copenhagen involving the “failed” Question Mark. By drawing on ANT (actor-network theory), I identify three “matters of concern” at play in the controversy: terrorism, disability, and Danish Design. In the analysis, a multiplicity of human and non-human actors are shown to act in the ongoing process of designing for public spaces.
Translated title of the contributionNår døre fjernes for vores sikkerhed: Telefonboksens materielle semiotik
Original languageEnglish
JournalDesign and Culture
Volume11
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)213-236
Number of pages24
ISSN1754-7075
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019

Keywords

  • ANT
  • collective action
  • disability
  • information and communication technologies
  • material semiotics
  • terrorism
  • urban planning

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