Friday, January 27, 2006

Shaping Things

ISBN: 0262693267

Picks up where Sterling's Siggraph keynote of 2004 leaves off. That is available at: http://www.boingboing.net/images/blobjects.htm

Excellent stuff. Crammed with ideas. Sometimes his terminology and neologisms are a bit dodgy - he also forgets to explain that a SPIME is a 'speculative imaginary' object.

"Rapid prototyping is a form of brainstorming with materials. It's not simply a faster way to plunge through older methods of production, but a novel way to manage design and production. By previous standards, it looks as if it is profligate, that it "throws a lot away"- but with better data retention, "mistakes" become a source of wealth. Rapid prototyping seen in depth is an "exhaustion of the phase of the problem" - it isn't reasonable, thrifty or rational, but it has the brutal potency of a chess-playing computer." pp. 48.

There is some great stuff on the evolution of human engagement with objects: artifacts, machines, products, gizmos, spimes and biots. A nice diagram on the mirrored S-curve of technological adaption, too.

Sterling, B., Shaping things. 2005 (The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts).

3 comments:

MK said...

the absolute best part of hearing Sterling give basically the same talk at Ars Electronica was the duel that ensued after his talk between Sterling and Krzysztof Wodiczko (looking like a prince in a cape-like thing), where Wodzy slapped him down very hard and got a round of applause. I believe the talk at Ars took a few darker turns, such as suggesting the elderly will blog everything because they have nothing better to do. etc.

John Marshall said...

Nothing particularly big or clever about a slap down. The book is definately more focused than the keynote. However, it is still speculation being offered up as a challenge to the future. Tools for the imagination to incrementally move us onto an alternate path.

A.N. said...

hey John,
i know this post is old but I thought you would like to know about this event, if you don't know it already.
http://interface.fh-potsdam.de/innoforum/english/09_video.php?vidName=769193

going through your blog.. very nice.

all the best,
a

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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