After several technological revolutions in which technologies became ever more present in our daily lives, the digital technologies that are currently being developed are actually fading away from sight. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are not only embedded in devices that we explicitly “use” but increasingly become an intrinsic part of the material environment in which we live. How to conceptualize the role of these new technological environments in human existence? And how to anticipate the ways in which these technologies will mediate our everyday lives? In order to answer these questions, we draw on two approaches that each offers a framework to conceptualize these new technological environments: Postphenomenology and Material Engagement Theory. As we will show, each on their own, these approaches fail to do justice to the new environmental role of technology and its implications for human existence. But by bringing together Postphenomenology’s account of technological mediation and Material Engagement Theory’s account of engaging with environments, it becomes possible to sufficiently account for the new environmental workings of technology. To do justice to these new workings of environmental technologies, we introduce and develop the concept of “Technological Environmentality.”.
- Active technological environments
- Human-technology relations
- Material Engagement Theory
- Technological mediation