Gallery of theorists

TekLab introduces 32 technology theorists that are foundational to our academic activities. We present them as a force-directed network.

Designed by: Yan Cai




Network visualisation is a tool that enables both the layman and the specialist to study and analyse a varied range of subjects from the interactions between Earth’s plants and animals to air transportation, and even the relationships between the characters from Star Wars. Network visualisations can also be used to deliver deeper insights into the development of central technology theories.

What are the best theories?

Our network visualisation represents the most significant technology theorists in eight clusters of theories: Artificial intelligence, Phenomenology, Technological Determinism, Social Constructivism, Design Science, Innovation Theory, Medium Theory and Actor Network Theory. This network display is an interpretation and not a comprehensive list. The selection represents an academic statement from TekLab.

You can explore and illustrate connections between different technology theorists, how they interacted with other theorists to transmit information and hence, how they influenced each other.  Furthermore, one can also see that this community is very dense, it is a “small world”, where neighbours lie very closely to each other.


The directed edges each symbolize how a theorist “influenced” another. We define 3 degrees of influence: weak, medium and strong, using the thickness of the edges to indicate the level of influence.


The direction of the influence is represented by arrows. Here, for example, we used a directed edge to illustrate how a theorist like Clayton Christensen influenced James McQuivey. Notice that in some cases there are arrows going in both directions because they both influenced each other.


The nodes symbolize the theorist. We define 4 degrees to indicate the strength of each theorist in the different clusters: most influential, very influential, influential and noted. The size of the node depends on their influence in this field.