[ISEA2008] Paper: Derrick de Kerckhove, Cristina Miranda de Almeida, Andrea Cruciani & Matteo Ciastellardi – w.Book and e.Margin: Wired Book and Electronic Margin


This paper aims to present the collective project “w.Book & e.Margin”. The main objective of the project is to overcome the limitations of a fixed reading of a text on paper. In order to achieve that it is necessary to technically extend the reading of a traditional book on paper and transform it in a paper interface for computer-aided reading. A w.book is a traditional book on paper but connected to wired resources via barcode technologies. It is a product of Cybrid Design. The concept of Cybrid Design comes from the mother-concept of Cyberdesign (de Kerckhove,1995:89), and can be understood as design that combines analogical and digital media, or augmented reality. That is a hybrid situation in which a physical object is connected to the virtual reality. So a w.Book is a cybrid object of design.

A w.Book is a hyper-node, an interface to the virtual dimension of the book. The virtual dimension of the book is made out of two parts (1) the e.Book and (2) the e.Margin. A w.book could also be considered as the printed version and core dimension of a collaborative software program such as, for example, Thinktag (de Kerckhove and Paini), the hypertinent system used to manage transversally information created by a social network. The e.Book is the book’s electronic version while the e.Margin is the virtual place where all the benefits from Internet can be inscribed (the author’s process of work, multimedia files, updates and new editions, comments on the book, chats, etc.).

In this paper we, firstly, are going to present the general characteristics of project; secondly, we will show the various cognitive, technological, educative, connective and information benefits that are generated by the project, and finally we will analyse the impact of the project on theory of technology.

  • Derrick de Kerckhove (Belgium/Canada) University of Toronto, Canada, McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology & Universitá Federico Secondo, Naples, Italy
  • Cristina Miranda de Almeida (Spain)  University of the Basque Country, Spain
  • Andrea Cruciani (Italy/Canada) McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Matteo Ciastellardi (Italy) Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Full text (PDF) p. 137-139