Our inaugural issue focuses on craft. We interview Gillian Crampton Smith, one of the founders of interaction design. She describes the practice of designing the right thing – and designing the thing right. As virtual and physical worlds converge, Gillian argues that we need craft to inform how we interact with connected objects.
John Thackara, renowned author and critic, writes that the Internet of Things is missing a value benchmark. ”We’ve created a global infrastructure that is brilliant on means, but unambitious when it comes to ends,” he laments. How might we build technology that considers the true cost of production while respecting human dignity and repairing the Earth?
Craft considers the materiality of an object throughout the object’s lifecycle. Researcher Vladan Joler investigates the death and afterlife of things. From the graveyards of the cargo ships that carry our electronics to the cartels that shorten the lifespan of everyday objects, we begin to see the invisible forces that are making IoT a costly endeavor.
Ever since humans began making objects, we had to consider the materials available and the knowledge of how to shape them. Justin Marshall recounts how tools evolve and adapt based on local needs. Historian Andrew Prescott illustrates how constructing medieval cathedrals required sharing skills and even early computational thinking.
We also hear from the ThingsCon community, who curated a map of local solutions for local needs. The design studio Quicksand in Bangalore reflects on how they use a craft approach to build more thoughtful and long-lasting products. The digital jeweler Jayne Wallace describes how the Eames’ India Report, written over fifty years ago, provides a template for how to think about craft and the internet today.
Today we live with digital technology that’s primarily manufactured in Shenzhen and designed in Silicon Valley. Centralization of production means that there is less choice and less inclusion. We need decentralized ecosystems, where craft thrives so that people can deploy the materials around them to make local solutions that last a long time. We hope you enjoy this issue and that it sparks ideas for crafting technology in healthier ways.
Tending to wildness: field notes on movement infrastructure
Aveia, espaçonaves, uma folha de babosa, uma pélvis: fui coletar trechos Oats, spaceships, an aloe leaf, a pelvis: I went to collect parts of the future and decided to turn around.
Προφορικό ποίημα για την προέλευση των Δικτύων Εμπιστοσύνης Narrative Poem about the Origins of Networks of Trust
The Battle to Control the Carbon Media Cycle
Archive of Disappearances
Prototyper la Banlieue du TURFU et transcender la réalité
To Become Undone
Digital artivism: pictures worth thousands of words
Ratios / Proporciónes
Shadow Visions
Letter from the Editor
Future Perfect Continuous
Be Water –  Insights into the Hong Kong protest movement
Care in a techno-capitalist world
HammamRadio, your feminist-love radio station
One Vision, One World. Whose World Then?
Play, imagine, build – the collective verbs
Venezuela – the dual crisis
Letter of the Editor
Terraforms – Or, How to Talk About The Weather
On Persistence: The Past Art/Works of An/Other Future
What the Enlightenment Got Wrong about Computers
Community Learning at Dynamicland
Imagining a Universal Declaration of Digital Rights
An interview with Audrey Tang
Dream Beyond the Wounds
The Blurring
More than HumanCentered Design
The Unpredictable Things
When the Path We Walked Blocks Our Ways Forward
Letter of the Editor
A viewpoint on Craft and the Internet
Who Controls the Internet?
Ethical Tech around the World
Interview with Gillian Crampton Smith
Life & Death
Typographic Craft
The Internet as a Lota
A Medieval Crash
A Gandhian Dream
Evolutionary Craft