References to books, projects and academic papers that inspire us


Phone Book (Martin Parr)

This series of documentary photography on how people use mobile phones in the public space suggests the rise of new customs and habits created through the technological development.

Main thesis:

Leisure, consumption and communication are the concepts that this British photographer has been researching for several decades now on his worldwide travels. In the process, he examines national characteristics and international phenomena to find out how valid they are as symbols that will help future generations to understand our cultural peculiarities. Parr enables us to see things that have seemed familiar to us in a completely new way. (Excerpt from Martin Parr’s website)

Ethnographic visual documentation of people in the various locations. This book contains no written words. Nevertheless this book is an fruitful source of information, revealing personal / collective / national / international style of mobile phone usage in the context of fashion, technology, interaction design.
Parr takes photographs of the close-ups of people all the way through, giving the viewers a strong sense of piracy for some reasons. Would be an interesting method of presentation.

Theoretical framework:
To critically examine this visual book, references have to be drawn from sociology and ethnography. Classics from Goffman to Bourdieu, not to mention more recent literature on mobile phones would be necessary.


Relevance to B&B project is very strong since the work reveals the mobile phone as both social and personal phenomena, interrogating our relationship with the others, environments and portable gadgets.

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