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The activity consists of small groups identifying all the material and social conditions required to watch a video on the Internet. The participants recognize that technology today is extremely necessary and that there is a strong dependence between individuals and technology. They also learn that the material required have a long and short term impact. Moreover, the social requirements will show that a complex social structure is needed for an accessible technology.

Cat video - Material and social requirements of Techonology
Material and social requirements of technology and their interdependent relationship.
Building block, Basic building block in the entrance session of the Berlin seminar.
Complexity in Technology, prerequisites, reciprocal dependency
Learning Objectives
List four, five precicse learning objectives. What will the participant say after the course that they have learned?
Perspective acquisition, interdisciplinary knowledge acquisition, understanding incomplete and complex information, reflection on guiding principles
Forms of Learning
Creative, cooperative and fact-oriented
Collect and associate in small group, short lectures
Group Size
15 min
Material and Room
Available space for individual and group work. No other special requirements.
Very good. Basic building block in Berlin.
Summer semester 2016. Earlier Version 2014.


Preparation of the moderators

30 Minutes

Preparation of the participants

No preparation required.


Minute 00. - Small group work

The participants work in small groups: Someone has recently told you quite enthusiastically about the latest video on the Internet. You decide to watch it as soon as you get home. List 100 material and social requirements needed to watch the video. The group that finishes first, wins. The participants are already in small groups, so a division is not necessary here. The task is presented verbally.

Minute 07.- Discussion in a larger group

The moderator congratulates the group that reached 100 requirements. If a group cannot complete the task after a certain period of time, the moderators stop the activity and announce the winner. They ask the participants to highlight some points on the list that are either important or particularly funny.

The group with the least number of requirements have to explain why they couldn’t reach the target.Often, this group has already carefully discussed the individual prerequisites which shows that the task was achieved with critical processing. All other groups can also be praised as they have chosen the right mixture of speed and critical processing.

Minute 12. - Short lecture


Three minute short lecture followed by a presentation


The moderators give suggestions from their own list of prerequisites. Material requirements: Laptop keyboard Labeling color for the keyboard - Spray nozzles from which the paint comes from - Iron ore for the nozzles - Truck driving the paint and nozzle through the area - Color for marking the roads - Guard rails and guideposts - Cats eye pollution and finally cats , if it's a cat video. Social prerequisites: A friend who tells you about the video - people who want to watch videos - who can use computers - use machines for the production of spray nozzles -schools that educate them - driving schools, TÜV and licensing authorities, Police, hospitals, ... Summary of the module:

  • Technology is now extremely dependent on several material and social prerequisites.
  • Material requirements are temporally and spatially far-reaching.
  • Social prerequisites are not easy to recognize since they are habits.

Hints and Notes.

From the authors.

This module is implemented as a core building block of the first session in the blue engineering seminar in Berlin. After a short introduction about Blue Engineering and the schedule of the day, the module will follow. The module has also been used several times at conferences or in similar situations and has contributed greatly in relaxing the atmosphere.

Material for Presentation

Presentation slides

Literature references and resources.

From an external point of view, the industrial machines and products are objects which can be used as tools arbitrarily and freely, according to the user's decision. However, they typically have an network of technical, social and psychological conditions needed so that the devices would work. In order to be able to use a car, for example, you need a road network with petrol stations, refineries, petroleum sources, workshops, insurance companies, police, accident stations, lawyers, auto fabric, spare parts storage and much more. You will also need people for: training for the driving license, transportation of children, the conscientious filling station attendant and mechanics of a repair workshop. Generally the knowledgeable and industrial worker, ie, training, discipline. Technological systems are highly dependent on associated infrastructure and people that are shaped to use these systems. (Page 9)