We are social beings, and as a species our social identity and interactions have been forged in the physical world. However increasingly our communication, community and identity is mediated digitally. We will see that in some ways digital technology is merely an extension of previous forms of remote communication, indeed there was even a telegraph wedding. However, digitally enabled physical artefacts are also enabling new ways of meeting and even achieving intimacy at a distance. Physical objects mediate many human activities; understanding this helps us to digitally augment existing artefacts or design new ones; and by recognising that organisations perform computational functions we can see the ways the physical objects encode memory and processing. Culture itself is often seen through the lens of the artefacts it creates, and social identity in terms of geographic location or physical similarities. Increasingly both are becoming redefined digitally.
Keywords: Social identity, Interaction, Communication, Community, Digitally-enabled artefacts, Digital augmentation