Man in a Briefcase
P. Atkinson, 'Man in a Briefcase: The Social Construction of the Laptop Computer and the Emergence of a Type Form'
Journal of Design History 18(2): 2005: 191-205
Design discourse of the 1970s and early 80s presented the laptop as the result of 'inevitable' progress. While it was a revolutionary product, such narratives dismiss a series of products which predated the laptop and denies the social drive for such products that had been in evidence for a number of years. This article shows that this social drive came in part from the 'macho mystique' of concealed technology that was a substantial motif in popular culture at that time.
A text only version of this article can be downloaded for free here.
The full article is on the Journal of Design History website.