Why The Analog and Physical Still Matters

This Book is a Camera (really)

Why care about the physical and analogue world when we are surrounded by high-tech tools that make everything done faster?

With the development of technology, the tools we hold closely are changing rapidly. Changing with them are the ways we communicate, behave, interact, consume, etc., but also how we feel.

Two hundred years ago when the hand-written letter or gazette was a common form of media for long-distance communication, it took so long to deliver that it seemed worthwhile to put more time and thoughts into writing the letter. Now we have our inbox suggesting responses for us so that it takes even less time. As Susan Silbey, a sociologist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, puts it:

“When you collapse time and distance, everything speeds up, because what had been a physical, material limitation to human action is now gone.”

Living and working online without physical limitations, we are able to cut down the transition time between activities. However, what is lost is the time for feelings.


Launched in September, 2015, the iPad application, “Hanx Writer”, turns your iPad into an old-fashioned typewriter, offering a pseudo-analog typing experience. Tom Hanks explained these classic machines’ charms:

“Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece. … In addition to sound, there is the sheer physical pleasure of typing; it feels just as good as it sounds, the muscles in your hands control the volume and cadence of the aural assault so that the room echoes with the staccato beat of your synapses.”

The physicality that might take more time also allows richer feelings to emerge. And that’s why, at Matter-Mind Studio, we believe tangible things could play a significant role in design-led research. The objects surrounding us are collectors of our unconscious feelings and unremembered memories. Through them, we decode people’s unstated emotional needs, based on which we then form strategies for creating a sense of caring.

To learn more about our emotion-centered research methods, please drop us a line at hello@mattermindstudio.com.