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Understanding media is a book public by Marshall McLuhan in 1964. The pioneering study suggests that the media itself should be the focus of study instead of the the content. It means that media impacts people’s lives not only through its content but also by actual the characteristics of the medium. McLuhan pointed to the light bulb as an example. He states that “a light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence”, and describes the light bulb as a medium without any content. More controversially, he thinks that the the content has little impact on people, but the way of engaging viewer has a much larger effect. In his opinion, all media have characteristics that engage the viewer in different ways; for instance, a passage in a book could be reread at will, but a movie had to be screened again in its entirety to study any individual part of it. In the beginning of the chapter there is a concept of “hot” and “cold” media.
Any hot medium allows of less participation than a cool one, as a lecture makes for less participation than a seminar, and a book for less than a dialogue.
I think this pioneering concept can be seen in many places nowadays. The creation of iphone, for example, created whole new behaviors in people’s daily life. Media or medium has changed the society as a whole.
Howeer, in term of creating a project, the importance of content and medium is both ways. As a designer, the most important is the intention and impact of a project. The medium should serve the content.