Marginalia : The Hybrid Textbook

Thesis Website:
Marginalia : The Hybrid Textbook

Marginalia : The Hybrid Textbook from Chris R Becker on Vimeo.

Marginalia : The Hybrid Textbook is a thesis project that examines what happens when tangible print media connects to its digital counterpart through networked pages, writing based input devices, and screen based margin extensions. Unique to the page is its ability to contain extended meaning through design. Tangible print media such as books, textbooks, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and comics are threatened by screen based technologies because they connect to the vast content on the internet. As screen-based networked technologies like The Kindle, The Nook, or the iPad reinvent the use of and interaction with screen media, The Hybrid Textbook establishes a third form somewhere between the physical page and the screen display, dissolving the separation between physical and digital, and engaging the opportunity for seamless interaction with both. By harnessing the unique affordances of physical and digital, the hybrid textbook establishes a space to engage the cognitive modes of ‘deep attention’ and ‘hyper-attention’ within education.

Marginalia is a prototype and design research project that examines the experience of a textbook with a fold out screen margin extension. A book jacket system that explores the physical interactions with tangible print media as a link to the social interactions of studying, communication, and reflection afforded through networked screen technologies. The prototype connects and layers realtime communication and historical marginalia on top of the physical margin through an extended, networked, stylus/pen compatible, interactive margin space. The shared margin space allows a user to add a digital history onto the physical object, allowing the artifact to become a ‘Consumer Spime.’ The marginalia prototype engages both built and speculative outcomes of a textbook and a screen stimulating the potential of tangible print media coupled with digital media for sharing and leveraging connection and communication.


Google Sketchup models of the exhibition space and layout.

Evolution Drawing and Illustration for the progress of the computer. I believe that the computer and human interaction with these object should become as seamless as a book or a sketching pad and that the use of pen and paper should not have to be abandoned to work with the computer.


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