24 January 2006

“Shaping Things” by Bruce Sterling

Be the first to share

Shaping_things
Shaping Things is about created objects and the environment, which is to say, it’s about everything,” writes Bruce Sterling in this addition to the Mediawork Pamphlet series. He adds, “Seen from sufficient distance, this is a small topic.”

Sterling offers a brilliant, often hilarious history of shaped things. We have moved from an age of artifacts, made by hand, through complex machines, to the current era of “gizmos.” New forms of design and manufacture are appearing that lack historical precedent, he writes; but the production methods, using archaic forms of energy and materials that are finite and toxic, are not sustainable.

The future will see a new kind of object — we have the primitive forms of them now in our pockets and briefcases: user-alterable, baroquely multi-featured, and programmable — that will be sustainable, enhanceable, and uniquely identifiable. Sterling coins the term “spime” for them, these future manufactured objects with informational support so extensive and rich that they are regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system. Spimes are designed on screens, fabricated by digital means, and precisely tracked through space and time. They are made of substances that can be folded back into the production stream of future spimes, challenging all of us to become involved in their production. Spimes are coming, says Sterling. We will need these objects in order to live; we won’t be able to surrender their advantages without awful consequences.

Amazon page of this book
Core77 book review

Be the first to share
18 January 2018
[Book] Driverless Cars: On A Road to Nowhere
Driverless Cars: On A Road to Nowhere Christian Wolmar London Publishing Partnership Jan 2018, 136 pages Driverless cars are the future. That is what the tech giants, the auto industry and even the government want us to think. Almost …
15 December 2017
Learning from today’s car-centric cities for a human-centered future of mobility
The introduction of autonomy into urban environments creates a unique opportunity to do things differently. This, writes Maya Pindeus (CEO and co-Founder of Humanising Autonomy) requires us to encourage a human-centered perspective towards urban mobility …
15 December 2017
[Book] Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age
Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age by Matthew J. Salganik Princeton University Press 2017, 448 pages [Read online] An innovative and accessible guide to doing social research in the digital age In just the past several years, we …
22 November 2017
[Book] Making Cities Smarter
Making Cities Smarter - Designing Interactive Urban Applications by Martin Tomitsch Jovis Publishers March 2018, 208 pages Abstract More than half of the world's population is now living in cities, and this number is predicted to rise. This means that …
15 November 2017
[Book] Designing Better Services: A Strategic Approach from Design to Evaluation
Designing Better Services: A Strategic Approach from Design to Evaluation by Francesca Foglieni, Beatrice Villari and Stefano Maffei (Polytechnic University of Milan) Springer International Publishing, 2018 VIII, 115 pages This book provides accessible, comprehensive guidance on service design and …
8 November 2017
From human-centered design to humanity-centered design
The design industry’s reigning paradigm is in crisis. It’s time to evolve from human-centered design to humanity-centered design, write Artefact’s Rob Girling and Emilia Palaveeva. If followed blindly and left unchecked, this cult of designing …
8 November 2017
Service design at BBVA bank
BBVA (an international financial institution with a presence in 35 countries, providing services to 70 million customers) was one of the sponsors of the Service Design Global Conference in Madrid last week. Derek White, BBVA’s …
3 October 2017
Don’t miss Experientia at Torino Design of the City
Torino Design of the City is nearly here! Experientia will of course be part of this exciting week (10-16 October) of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and guided tours about design, and we warmly invite you …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

22 December 2017
Happy new year 2018!
30 November 2017
New European study on e-Government initiatives

The latest eGovernment benchmark report of the European Commission shows significant improvement on cross-border availability of digital public services and accessibility of public websites from mobile devices in EU Member states. The study also indicates a need for improvement in transparency of public services delivery and use of supporting technology like eIDs or eDocuments. Performance […]

20 November 2017
Experientia and Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo announce innovative partnership

Wide ranging partnership also covers collaboration with design schools and public events on service design “Finding the way forward for independent design means building new business models for service design consultancies in the age of the company buy-out.” Michele Visciola, President, Experientia PRESS RELEASE It seems the business world is finally realising that service and […]

26 October 2017
Epic storytelling with video

Another EPIC conference come and gone, and no, we’re not using “epic” in the way under-10s use it about cool things on the internet. EPIC is the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, one of the most important annual events for practitioners of anthropology, ethnography and related disciplines. Ethnography is one of Experientia’s key methodologies, underpinning […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Service design intern

Service Design Intern: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy Experientia, an international experience design consultancy, is looking for service design interns for our Turin, Italy office, to support research, concept development and design. The ideal candidate will be a holistic thinker and designer, with a systems approach to enable complex service offerings, driven by an understanding […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Senior Service Designer

Senior Service Designer: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy (*) We are looking for service designers with outstanding design skills, methodical thinking, and experience in designing complex service ecosystems using a human-centered design methodology.   Required 2-5 years’ experience in service design and/or user experience design University and/or advanced degree(s) in Service Design, Interaction Design, User […]

See all articles