The SOPHISTICATED phase of technacy development is identified by "the project's" high degree of complexity, high risk/high return scenario and/or expecting success at an extreme scale of application.
Typically, the learner is expected to demonstrate success of ideas in an applied contexts where the brief itself is contestable, the success factors of the context are mostly unknown, where moral dilemmas are critical to manage, and where established norms and codified standards are untested, inappropriate or also unknown. The Project or technology context is extreme in scale and presents a very high risk of negative collateral impact if it fails, but equally presents a very high return for humanity, ecology, economy or systems if it succeeds (if it "works").
Projects of application and context are either very small such as where nano- or genetic- transformations are expected, very large such as human settlement system and development transformations, network dense such as global internet system transformations, highly remote from direct human experience such as remote sensor systems, or highly complex in the nature of the social (agency element), ecological (eco-material element) and technical (tool system element) interactions that need to be 'holistically integrated' in designs for any applied success to be claimed.
The SOPHISTICATED Phase Describes the Learner's prowess as either "EARLY SOPHISTICATED or UPPER SOPHISTICATED", depending on whether the learner successfully and consistently demonstrated applied success to the project due mostly to their personal task contribution (Early Sophisticated), or whether due to demonstrating a highly collaborative and effective 'greater good' contribution (Upper Sophisticated).
The qualifier of Early or Upper for the project/solution may be proportionally described (eg. mostly Early, some Upper). Where the project purpose and context draws mostly on known principles due to the lack of relevant domesticated and legislated standards, the appropriate qualifier given is EARLY SOPHISTICATED. Where most of the context criteria for success had to be initially researched/discovered and then initially defended as essential determinants of success then the appropriate qualifier is UPPER SOPHISTICATED.