In his 1939 essay entitled "On Correalism and Biotechnique: A Definition and Test of a New Approach to Building Design," Frederick Kiesler coined the term correalism, which he defined as an expression of "the dynamics of continual interaction between man and his natural and technological environments."1 Kiesler believed that reality was made up of more than simply matter, which he viewed as static and was only a single expression of reality. To Kiesler, the interacting forces between the three environments (human, natural, technological) were non-static and continual; correalism scientifically explored the dynamic relationships between the three.
Kiesler theorized heavily on the technological environment, part of the "total environment," which consisted of "a whole system of tools" which he defined as "any implement created by man for increased control of nature." Thus, all three environments of Kieslers co-reality are represented through this definition. Indeed, Kiesler stated, "No tool exists in isolation. Every technological device is co-real: its existence is conditioned by the flux of mans struggle, hence by its relation to his total environment." Furthermore, co-reality did not simply refer to a co-existence between environments, but that these environments were fluid and ever changing.
In 1937, Kiesler began the Laboratory for Design Correlation at Columbia University, which began his investigation into correalism. He subsequently published their Mobile-Home-Library which examined the co-real relationships between the human and technological environments, using human needs as the starting point for the design process, countering the usual "preponderance of strain upon the user, not the tool." Kiesler would continue to head the Laboratory for Design Correlation until 1941.