In 2006, this journal addressed the problem of technological artefacts, and through a series of articles aimed at tackling the ‘dual nature of technical artefacts’, posited an understanding of these as constituted by both a structural and a functional component. This attempt to conceptualise artefacts established a series of important questions, concerning such aspects of material technologies as mechanisms, functions, human intentionality, and normativity. However, I believe that in establishing the ‘dual nature’ thesis, the authors within this issue focused too strongly on technological function. By positing function as the analytic axis of the ‘dual nature’ framework, the theorists did not sufficiently problematise what is ultimately a social phenomenon. Here I posit a complementary analytic approach to this problem; namely, I argue that by using the Strong Programme’s performative theory of social institutions, we can better understand the nature of material technologies. Drawing particularly from Martin Kusch’s work, I here argue that by conceptualising artefacts as artificial kinds, we can better examine technological ontology, functions, and normativity. Ultimately, a Strong Programme approach, constructivist and collectivist in nature, offers a useful elaboration upon the important question raised by the ‘dual nature’ theorists.Keywords: Technological artefacts; Dual nature; Technological functions; Normativity of artefacts; Performative theory of social institutions.