Trope-a-Day: The Aesthetics of Technology

The Aesthetics of Technology: Oh, the Imperials play this one completely straight.  After all, the Imperial motto is Order, Progress, Liberty, and it would never do to make all those neophilic people think that they weren’t getting their Progress, capital-p included.  So not only should it be all future-y, but it should look that way, too.

Which is why the stereotypical piece of technology looks like an Art Deco iPad rendered in organic shapes, out of burnished metal and crystal and gleaming stone and oiled wood, with some probably unnecessary glowy bits added around the side, and generous use of trigraphic (“hologram”) interfaces displaying all the information you need and quite a bit of information you don’t need but might quite like to have anyway.  Larger industrial machinery takes this and adds a few tons of brass piping on top.  Just to really take the futurity up to eleven, most of it is happy to respond to thought commands without you actually having to use a physical interface at all, although – especially on the large industrial machinery – it’s present anyway just in case you need it, and because it wouldn’t look machine-y enough without it.

And it’s all polished until it gleams, because it’s supposed to look beautiful as well as impossibly high-tech.  These chaps know their market.