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Opinion | The Magic of a Cardboard Box - The New York Times
"On April 20, Nintendo released a new line of accessories for its best-selling Switch game console. Rather than being digital add-ons, they were physical ones: punch-and-fold parts engineered to turn the Switch console into a piano, a fishing rod or a robot. All are made of cardboard.

On March 4, Walmart ads shown during the Oscars centered on shipping boxes. The writer and director Dee Rees, nominated for “Mudbound,” created a 60-second ad in which the threat of bedtime gets incorporated into a sci-fi wonderland a little girl has imagined inside a blue cardboard box.

In June 2014, Google handed out kits for a low-cost virtual reality headset to be used with a smartphone. The headset was named Cardboard, for what it was mostly made of, and users assembled the units themselves.

In April 2012, “Caine’s Arcade,” an 11-minute short featuring a boy named Caine Monroy, was widely shared on the internet. Caine had spent his 2011 summer vacation building an arcade in the front of his father’s East Los Angeles auto-parts store out of the boxes the parts came in. He had the freedom to create an environment because cardboard comes cheap, and his father gave him space.

These 21st-century storytellers turned to cardboard for the same reasons that children have long preferred the box to the toy that came in it: cardboard is light and strong, easy to put up, quick to come down and, perhaps most important, inexpensive enough for experiment. Cardboard constructions can be crushed, painted, recycled and stuck back together. Cardboard furniture can be adjusted as children grow, and cardboard creations become more sophisticated as children gain skills: It is as malleable as the body and the mind.

Technology companies’ embrace of cardboard’s cool suggests something parents and teachers never forgot: The box is an avatar of inspiration, no charging required. Cardboard is the ideal material for creativity, and has been since the big purchase, and the big box, became a fixture of American postwar homes.

Corrugated cardboard boxes were introduced in the 1880s, and slowly replaced wooden crates as the shipping method of choice. Robert Gair, a paper bag manufacturer in Brooklyn, realized that he could slice and crease paper on his machines in a single step. A box could quickly be cut out and scored, creating a flat blank ready to be assembled as needed, the same construction method exploited by Google and Nintendo. Because flattened boxes were easier to ship and distribute, manufacturers could buy them in bulk, assemble, and then ship their own product to consumers.

As household objects grew larger, the play potential of those boxes increased. The purchase of a new washing machine was a cause for celebration in my neighborhood as a child, as it meant access to a new playhouse in somebody’s yard. Dr. Benjamin Spock praised the cardboard box as an inexpensive alternative to a ride-on car or a readymade cottage. In 1951, Charles and Ray Eames mocked up a version of the packing boxes for their Herman Miller storage furniture with pre-printed lines for doors, windows and awnings: When the adults bought a bookshelf, their kids would get a free toy.

Cardboard was considered such a wonder material during this era that Manhattan’s Museum of Contemporary Craft (now the Museum of Arts and Design) devoted a 1967-1968 exhibition, “Made with Paper,” to the medium. With funding from the Container Corporation of America, the curator Paul J. Smith turned the museum galleries into a three-dimensional paper wonderland. The CCA also funded a cardboard playground created by students at the Parsons School of Design that included pleated trees, an enveloping sombrero and a movable maze for children to explore.

James Hennessey and Victor Papanek’s “Nomadic Furniture,” published in 1973, was part of a renaissance in DIY instruction, one that emphasized the cardboard’s open-source bona fides, as online instructions for making your own Google Cardboard did. The “Nomadic” authors demonstrated how to create an entire cardboard lifestyle, one that could be tailored to different sizes, ages and abilities.

Cardboard sets you free from the average, as Alex Truesdell discovered when she began to design furniture with children with disabilities. Truesdell, inspired by another 1970s cardboard carpentry book, developed play trays, booster seats, high chairs and other assistive devices made of corrugated cardboard that could help children with disabilities participate fully in society. As founder of the Adaptive Design Association, Ms. Truesdell was named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow for her work. Her organization offers classes and consultation in design and methods at no and low cost, and expects participants to pass on their knowledge. Cardboard, as a material, wants to be free.

Cardboard’s central role in childhood has not gone unnoticed: in 2005, the cardboard box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. “We were particularly motivated by the exceptional qualities that cardboard boxes hold for inspiring creative, open-ended play,” says Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections and chief curator at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. Nirvan Mullick, the filmmaker who made “Caine’s Arcade,” went on to found a nonprofit group, Imagination.org, that organizes an annual “global cardboard challenge” — one taken up by over a million kids in 80 countries.

At a time when toys have become ever more complex and expensive, it is worth returning to the box, seeing it not as trash but as a renewable resource for play.

For my daughter’s seventh birthday, she requested a cardboard-themed party. (I swear, I had nothing to do with it.) “Cardboard creations” is a highlight of “choice time” at her school, where kindergartners and first-graders have an end-of-day craft session with shoeboxes and paper towel rolls.

We gave up recycling for several weeks before the party and accumulated an embarrassingly large pile in the center of the living room. When the kids arrived, I waved them toward the boxes and bins of glue sticks, washi tape, paint, wrapping paper scraps and stickers.

“Make whatever you want,” I said, and they did."
alexandralange  cv  cardboard  2018  victorpapanek  nintendo  caine'sarcade  hermanmiller  benjaminspock  jameshennessey  diy  making  makers  alextruesdell  design  disabilities  disability  choicetime  recycling  eames  charleseames  rayeames  robertgair  technology  boxes  creativity  imagination  cainmonroy 
june 2018 by robertogreco
RC KFC bucket aeroplane (magnus effect) - YouTube
"hey guys! well you requested it and here it is!!!!! The magnus force (effect) KFC bucket aeroplane. not sure why I chose KFC buckets though... they make poor rotating flettner wings!"
classideas  airplanes  science  perseverance  engineering  2017  flight  makers  making 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Real Maker – Ira David Socol – Medium
"I’m not much of a fan of what folks call “Project-Based Learning.” What is sold by places like the Buck Institute is, yes — OK, a step away from school-as-totally-boring, but it is not a step toward student-centered learning, nor toward student agency, nor toward the target of intrinsically motivated children.

So, if work on “Project-Based Learning” comes with a warning sticker that says, “CAUTION: This program does not provide a destination, but only a baby steps toward making your school less miserable” — go for it. But understand that “less miserable for kids” should not be your School Improvement Goal.

Where I work we see this continuum. “Project-Based” adds context to content and helps, yes, but it remains entirely teacher determined education. “Problem-Based” adds critical thinking and perhaps creativity, and begins to break down teacher absolutism. “Passion-Based” puts kids and their interests at the center and changes “teachers” into “educators” who are resourcers, advisors, and supporters.

When we reach Passion-Based Learning we are adding content to context, taking the natural curiosity and interests of kids and making education conform to those individual dreams.

Then we offer the next step — Maker Learning. Maker Learning assumes that children create most of the ecosystem around them. They determine not just curricular context but time and space. High school girls see engineering education as taking place in a bridge building project where a stream interrupts a walking trail. Middle school kids see natural science education happening via a high altitude balloon project. A second grader rejects classroom math instruction and designs both a video game and the physical controller for it.

“I look for whatever the ‘spark’ is,” one of our Learning Technology Integrators said last week. “Whatever the kid says, “this interests me — excites me,” and then we’ll build around that. This year he has rural kids deep into stream rainwater analysis via Arduino- controlled sensors; high school kids, elementary school kids, all working together.

“What I want,” the principal of our largest elementary school told me last week, “is for everyone on my faculty to be the expert on something. Our kids would have homeroom teachers as advisors and supporters, but then they’d spend most of the day going to wherever they needed to work on their projects.” And that would be a true maker school — a school developing truly successful, happy humans in adulthood.

Real Maker doesn’t come from kits or recipes. It isn’t learned by attending a one day lecture. You can’t buy it on Amazon.

Real Maker is an attitude toward children — an attitude toward childhood and adolescence. It begins with trust in kids, requires giving up control, requires that we stop saying “but…” and making excuses, requires that we understand that learning is messy and inefficient, requires that we learn to say, “ I don’t know” a lot — and add the phrase, “how can I help you find out?” to that.

Real Maker requires that you challenge yourself and your understandings of time, of space, of behavior, even-yes, of what student safety means.

Can you actually embrace Maker Education? Will you?"
children  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  irasocol  2017  making  projectbasedlearning  passion-basedlearning  technology  makers  pedagogy  howweteach  howwelearn  curiosity  sfsh  goals  intrinsicmotivation  student-centeredlearning  agency  cv  tcsnmy 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Maybe we're not afraid: on Edtech's inability to imagine the future - Long View on Education
"As people who argue for ‘de-growth’ know, we will end up in serious trouble if we mindlessly argue for creation and production as we imagine the future of paid labor and the unpaid work of reproduction.8There are serious environmental and equity issues at stake. While we have seen a huge push for equity through the movements to include girls in the STEM subjects (which is crucial work that we need to continue), Debbie Chachra points out a shortcoming to the one-sided emphasis behind getting “everyone access to the traditionally male domain of making”.
“I want to see us recognize the work of the educators, those that analyze and characterize and critique, everyone who fixes things, all the other people who do valuable work with and for others—above all, the caregivers—whose work isn’t about something you can put in a box and sell.”

Chachra’s concern comes to life in The World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs‘ report, which has almost nothing to say about care work, and as Helen Hester argues in her talk at the LSE, the “relative absence of care still registers as quite conspicuous in a study seeking to address something as encompassing as the ‘Future of Jobs’.”9

We should reject the whole ‘human capital’ metaphor and with it the racist and sexist legacy that defines technology along with productive value in the narrowest terms. In her conceptual critique of Becker’s human capital theory, Antonia Kupfer asks, “how could ‘productivity’ be measured in the increasing service sector such as care of elderly, counselling or management? In fact, productivity is highly culturally conceptualised and impacted.” Elevating all ‘creating’ above everything else, as Shirky does, damages our ability to think through our future.10
Maybe We’re Not Afraid: Technology in the Classroom

In his study of computer use in schools, Larry Cuban (2001) “found no evidence of teacher resistance” contrary to the popular mythology.11 Counter to Edtech’s idea that teachers fear technology, I propose a somewhat radical thesis: Perhaps it’s Edtech, not teachers, that lags far behind in its narrow discussion of technology. Rather than leading the way forward, Edtech is stuck in the past and irrelevant, especially to those of us who care about the intersection of technology and power.

Many of the top Edtech bloggers and tweeters, as ranked by onalytica.com, focus on products and branding, rather than pedagogy and power. In their praise, onlyanalytica.com writes that, “We discovered a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands, joining together in conversations looking to improve their quality of service.” It’s true, there’s an excellent relationship between individuals and brands like Apple and Google, which could be the exact reason that teachers find Edtech to be irrelevant.

Aside from the few who have consciously adopted a critical approach, most notably Audrey Watters, Neil Selwyn and the Digital Pedagogy group, the official Edtech journals and popular blogs almost never discuss the intersection of technology and power. Recently, both The British Journal of Educational Technology and Learning, Media, and Technology have featured editorials that acknowledge the shortcomings of Edtech and call for a new approaches.

So, what issues should Edtech be talking about instead of scared teachers and content creators? I would start with this short list:

– digital redlining
– the extent to which our ‘open’ society is really black boxed
– online harassment, especially as this relates to race and gender
– privacy in a world of Big Data
– digital labor
– media and propaganda
– profits and corporate agendas
– the supply chains that lie underneath ‘knowledge work’
– the increasing precarity of workers
– climate justice
– the ways that technology embodies ideologies, again, especially as this relates to race, class, and gender
– critical pedagogy

If we are really going to move education forward, then our philosophy of educational technology needs to keep pace with what people outside of the elite circles that worship the human capital ideology have been talking about for the last few decades. If we continue to praise creating and making, while undervaluing caring and repairing, we certainly won’t prepare kids for either the jobs or civic life of tomorrow."
edtech  benjamindoxtdator  2017  technology  education  pedagogy  debchachra  clayshirky  audeywatters  larrycuban  neilsilwyn  digitalpedagogy  production  consumption  care  caring  caretakers  makers  labor  capitalism  work  propaganda  climatejustice  power  precarity  economics  ideology  technosolutionism 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Most of the time, innovators don’t move fast and break things | Aeon Essays
"The global view shifts the focus from Manchester, Lowell, Detroit and Silicon Valley. It involves accepting that innovation and technological change are more than just making things. Ironically, this allows us to begin to glimpse a more familiar world where activities such as maintenance, repair, use and re-use, recycling, obsolescence and disappearance dominate. A much more global picture, one that includes people whose lives and contributions the Great White Innovator narrative marginalised, comes into view. The Lizzie Otts of the world can take their proper place as participants and contributors."



"Efficiency, therefore, is not some timeless universal value but something grounded deeply in particular historical circumstances. At various times, efficiency was a way of quantifying machine performance – think: steam engines – and an accounting principle coupled to the new applied sciences of mechanics and thermodynamics. It was also about conservation and stability. By the early 20th century – the apogee of Taylorism – experts argued that increases in efficiency would realise the full potential of individuals and industries. Dynamism and conservatism worked together in the pursuit of ever-greater efficiency.

But a broad look at the history of technology plainly shows that other values often take precedence over efficiency, even in the modern era. It would, for example, offer several advantages in efficiency if, instead of every apartment or home having its own kitchen, multiple families shared a communal kitchen, and indeed in some parts of the world they do. But in the prevalent ideology of domesticity, every family or even single person must have their own kitchen, and so it is.

Nor, despite what Silicon Valley-based techno-libertarians might argue, does technological change automatically translate to increased efficiency. Sometimes, efficiency – like the lone eccentric innovator – is not wanted. In the 1960s, for instance, the US military encouraged metal-working firms, via its contracting process, to adopt expensive numerically controlled machine tools. The lavish funding the Department of Defense devoted to promoting the technology didn’t automatically yield clear economic advantages. However, the new machines – ones that smaller firms were hard-pressed to adopt – increased centralisation of the metalworking industry and, arguably, diminished economic competition. Meanwhile, on the shop floor, the new manufacturing innovations gave supervisors greater oversight over production. At one large manufacturing company, numerical control was referred to as a ‘management system’, not a new tool for cutting metal. Imperatives besides efficiency drove technological change.

The history of technological change is full of examples of roads not taken. There are many examples of seemingly illogical choices made by firms and individuals. This shouldn’t surprise us – technological change has always been a deep and multilayered process, one that unfolds in fits and starts and unevenly in time and space. It’s not like the ‘just so stories’ of pop history and Silicon Valley public relations departments."



"Perhaps most simply, what you will almost never hear from the tech industry pundits is that innovation is not always good. Crack cocaine and the AK-47 were innovative products. ISIS and Los Zetas are innovative organisations. Historians have long shown that innovation doesn’t even always create jobs. It sometimes destroys them. Automation and innovation, from the 1920s through the 1950s, displaced tens of thousands of workers. Recall the conflict between Spencer Tracy (a proponent of automation) and Katharine Hepburn (an anxious reference librarian) in the film Desk Set (1957).

And what of broader societal benefits that innovation brings? In Technological Medicine (2009), Stanley Joel Reiser makes a compelling case that, in the world of healthcare, innovation can bring gains and losses – and the winners are not always the patients. The innovation of the artificial respirator, for example, has saved countless lives. It has also brought in new ethical, legal and policy debates over, literally, the meaning of life and death. And there are real questions about the ethics of resource expenditure in medical innovation. Can spending large amounts pursuing innovative treatments or cures for exotic, rare diseases be ethical when the same monies could without question save millions of lives afflicted with simple health challenges?

It’s unrealistic to imagine that the international obsession with innovation will change any time soon. Even histories of nation-states are linked to narratives, rightly or wrongly, of political and technological innovation and progress. To be sure, technology and innovation have been central drivers of the US’s economic prosperity, national security and social advancement. The very centrality of innovation, which one could argue has taken on the position of a national mantra, makes a better understanding of how it actually works, and its limitations, vital. Then we can see that continuity and incrementalism are a much more realistic representation of technological change.

At the same time, when we step out of the shadow of innovation, we get new insights about the nature of technological change. By taking this broader perspective, we start to see the complexity of that change in new ways. It’s then we notice the persistent layering of older technologies. We appreciate the essential role of users and maintainers as well as traditional innovators such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and, yes, Bill and Lizzie Ott. We start to see the intangibles – the standards and ideologies that help to create and order technology systems, making them work at least most of the time. We start to see that technological change does not demand that we move fast and break things. Understanding the role that standards, ideologies, institutions – the non-thing aspects of technology – play, makes it possible to see how technological change actually happens, and who makes it happen. It makes it possible to understand the true topography of technology and the world today."

[via: https://tinyletter.com/audreywatters/letters/hewn-no-204 ]
history  technology  innovation  invention  maintenance  wpatrickmccray  2016  economics  continuity  incrementalism  change  changemaking  via:audreywatters  ethics  stanleyjoelreiser  siliconvalley  hacking  nurture  nurturing  care  caring  making  makers  standards  ideology  efficiency  domesticity  taylorism  technosolutionism 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Making as an Act of Caring — Medium
"My friend Deb Chachra wrote a great piece ‘Why I am not a Maker’ in the Atlantic last year, about the problems with taking on the identity of a “maker”, especially in tech culture, as it assumes intrinsic superiority to other forms of repair, fixing and especially, care-giving. Around the same time, friend and collaborator Tim Maughan wrote about his journeys through Chinese factories, a deeply moving piece on the conditions and lives of the people who actually make most of the things we use. I believe that such critique that challenges the dominant understanding of the ‘maker culture’ and its implications on labour, geopolitics and consumerism is important and urgent.

On a personal front, Deb and Tim’s essays got me thinking a lot about what ‘making’ means to me, and I realised that my understanding of this term is coloured by Jon, whom I live and work with. It got me thinking about the amount of time and energy Jon spends ‘making’ things. It is the sort of making that requires him to find, forage, build or improvise tools and materials in order to make things work.

From quickly knocking up a set of ‘acrylic chisels’ from waste plastic pieces as a bespoke toolset for gilding, to building an enormous drone with his partner-in-crime Jon Flint, resurrecting his grandfather’s cherished lamp, fixing the neighbour’s bike, reconfiguring his mother’s phone, retrofitting his son’s electronic toys, creating a DIY bioreactor, applying ancient Japanese techniques of Kintsugi as a means of adding the history of repair to his bike, and most recently foraging the city for waste in order to build salvaged prototypes that might help mitigate the shock of climate change. But he is not trained as a carpenter, metalsmith, engineer, or product designer. Nor does he go to makerspaces, he probably feels bit overwhelmed by them. He is an artist and then a designer.

Most importantly, Jon is a maker because, over the years he has developed an uninhibited curiosity for found materials and their potential applications to either fix things or build new things in the future. This deep knowledge of materials embodied within the stuff we use in our daily lives, as well as the numerous tools and techniques of making, is critical to understand the impact the things we use have on our environments. It also generates a pattern of lateral and anticipatory thinking, as he constantly scours the environment looking for materials and tools, anticipating their potential (re)use in an entirely different context. It’s an attitude of mending, helping, and, most importantly, caring, that defies mainstream consumerism.

This sort of an attitude is neither new nor unheard of. There are hundreds of thousands of people who would not call themselves makers but would quite easily fit this bill of a ‘maker’. The recently visible projects by such makers include the brilliant Fixperts and Engineering at Home amongst others. These projects and activities are often packaged as ‘fixing’, ‘jugaad, or ‘up-cycling’, and remain on the periphery of the dominant maker-culture discourse. These approaches are often associated with resource stripped individuals and communities (especially Jugaad in India), or some sort of hippie do-gooders. No, they are not just fixing, not just doing some little bodging in the corner, they are mainstream makers. In fact, I would argue that they are more than makers, they are actually care-givers, who steadfastly push back against the dominant philosophy of planned obsolesce.

Maker-carers who may not use 3D printers to make shoes or dresses, but instead embody making as a way of life. They are quietly shaping the ethos and values of a 21st century maker — adaptive, crafty, anticipatory makers who care deeply about the people and environment around them. And this is the sort of making-as-caring that we need much more of. As we head towards increasingly precarious political, social and environmental crisis, we will all need to nurture the capacity to think through materials and the systems that these materials manifest within, so we can find the means to restore, revive, resurrect, rewire, and reimagine the physical world of consumption we are drowning in. Obviously this would mean we will buy less things, but it also means that we will know what we buy and mostly importantly have the skills to adapt and re-appropriate materials and tools for uncertain conditions.

If we are going to idolise makers and create large-scale foundries, incubators and educational programs to inculcate and embrace the love for making, then lets nourish this idea of making as care-giving too, and ensure that the ‘maker-culture’ we build is diverse and inclusive. And in doing so, encourage a relentless inquisitiveness, integrity, and pliancy that it can bring for us, those around us and the environments we live in."
anabjain  jonardern  making  care  caring  caregiving  repair  maintenance  2016  adaptivity  resourcefulness  sfsh  ingenuity  jugaad  consumerism  debchachra  timmanaugh  technology  climatechange  consumption  labor  geopolitics  reuse  recycling  superflux  jonflint  art  design  makers  openstudioproject  lcproject  repairing  mending  fixing  fixperts  engineeringathome  upcycling  makerculture  caitrinlynch  sarahendren  kintsugi 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The Importance of a Maker Mindset - YouTube
"David Clifford, a Maker Educator, defines a maker mindset and shares how East Bay School for Boys (EBSB) integrates this mindset and way of thinking throughout its core curriculum."
davidclifford  making  makereducation  education  2015  eastbayschoolforboys  collaboration  howweteach  pedagogy  makers  building  craftsmanship  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  design  designthinking 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Assorted Stuff : Wasted Spaces
"When I go to ISTE, I’m mostly looking for interesting and new-to-me ideas for using technology to enhance learning. For adults as well as kids. While you can do much of that inquiry online, there is something about being immersed live in the community that cannot be duplicated digitally.

At the same time I also make it a point to attend sessions by a small group of the same presenters, even if I pretty much know what they’re going to say. Because I also know they are people who will inspire me and jumpstart my thinking in unique ways. One of those people is Will Richardson.

During his ISTE talk, Will compared the very trendy concept of makers spaces with computer labs, saying that schools need a maker culture, not spaces. It was almost a throwaway line, a relatively small point in his talk but also one that got stuck in my warped little mind.

Wiil’s view of maker spaces as the new computer lab* perfectly encapsulates the uneasy, slightly negative feelings I’ve had towards the maker space concept, as the chatter and activity around it has has grown over the past four or five years.

It’s not that I disapprove of the idea of kids as makers. I love it. That’s exactly what school should be. But that’s not how the concept is applied in most schools.

As happened with computing devices, someone’s idea of a “maker space” is set up in a corner of the library, stored in a vacant room, or assembled in a cart rolled between classrooms. With students performing pre-planned activities for a fixed period of time, before returning to their “real” work.

In most schools I’ve observed, maker space is a pull out program for students that we know will pass the spring tests. A reward for completing that real work. An option for kids before or after school, or during lunch. An elective for students with space in their schedule.

Maker space is usually whatever the local advocate says it is. I’m interested in robots, so we buy robot kits. The dollar store had a sale on Popsicle sticks, so we construct towers. The principal bought a 3D printer, so we better use it. (Until the filament runs out and we can’t afford to buy more.)

I’ve seen all of this in schools and more.

A school with a maker culture, however, is one in which students are encouraged to explore all aspects of “maker” that interest them. Music, writing, science, video, coding, drawing, cooking, and many, many more topics that may not even occur to adults who think of “school” in very traditional ways. Auto shop, wood shop, metal shop were maker spaces when I was a kid, all of which have largely been removed from schools in this area.

Once upon a time, all of this was part of a liberal education. Providing kids the opportunity to explore a wide variety of subjects during their K12 years. Making them aware of their options. Preparing them for life, not just for college. I know, it’s an ideal view of school. One that in the real world America of my youth was never perfectly implemented.

That’s exactly what a school built around a maker culture would be. Rather than being a reconfigured computer lab.

*******

*An anachronism that should disappear but only seems to be reconfigured every few years with new devices."
makerspaces  computerlabs  making  makers  schools  education  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  timstahmer  culture  makerculture  cooking  science  woodshop  metalshop  autoshop  drawing  coding  music  writing  teaching  howweteach  classrooms  schooldesign  materials  iste  willrichardson  2016  vi:audreywatters 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Maker Education: Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy | User Generated Education
"Maker education is currently a major trend in education. But just saying that one is doing Maker Education really doesn’t define the teaching practices that an educator is using to facilitate it. Maker education takes on many forms. This post provides an overview of how maker education is being implemented based on the teaching practices as defined by the Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy (PAH) continuum.

[chart]

Traditionally, Pedagogy was defined as the art of teaching children and Andragogy as teaching adults. These definitions have evolved to reflect teacher practices. As such, andragogical and heutagogical practices can be used with children and youth.

PAH within a Maker Education Framework

The following chart distinguishes and describes maker education within the PAH framework. All teaching styles have a place in Maker Education. For example, pedagogical practices may be needed to teach learners some basic making skills. It helps to scaffold learning, so learners have a foundation for making more complex projects. I do, though, believe that maker education projects and programs should go beyond pedagogical oriented teaching as the overriding goal of maker education is for learners to create something, anything that they haven’t before.

Driving Questions

• Pedagogy – How well can you create this particular maker education project?
• Andragogy – How can this prescribed maker project by adapted and modified?
• Heutagogy – What do you want to make?

Overall Purpose or Goal

• Pedagogy – To teach basic skills as a foundation for future projects – scaffolding.
• Andragogy – To provide some structure so learners can be self-directed.
• Heutogogy – To establish an environment where learners can determine their own goals, learning paths, processes, and products for making.

Role of the Educator

• Pedagogy – To teach, demonstrate, help learners do the maker education project correctly.
• Andragogy – To facilitate, assist learners, mentor
• Heutagogy – To coach, mentor, be a sounding board, be a guide very much on the side.

Making Process

• Pedagogy – Use of prescribed kits, templates; step-by-step directions and tutorials.
• Andragogy – Use of some templates; learners add their own designs and embellishments.
• Heutagogy -Open ended; determined by the learner.

Finish Products

• Pedagogy – A maker project that looks and acts like the original model.
• Andragogy – A maker project that has some attributes of the original model but that includes the learner’s original ideas.
• Heutagogy – A maker project that is unique to the learner (& to the learning community)."
pedagogy  andragogy  heutagogy  education  teaching  learning  making  makers  projectbasedlearning  constructivism  constructionism  emergent  emergentpedagogy  self-directed  self-directedlearning  howweteach  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  community  individualization  personalization  differentiation  mentors  mentoring  sfsh  jackiegerstein  tcsnmy 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Makerbase
"Makerbase is a database of digital projects like apps, websites or artworks, and the makers who create them.

Anyone can edit Makerbase.

Who is Makerbase for?

Makerbase is a reference for anyone who's interested in apps and web sites and the people behind them. It's particularly valuable for makers and aspiring makers, helping everyone discover who creates technology and the ways they teamed up.

Anyone who makes things on the internet should be here on Makerbase.

How do I use Makerbase?

Everything in Makerbase starts with search. From the homepage, you can type in the search box to find any maker or project that you're interested in. Don't see yours? Just click "Create this Maker" or "Create this Project". Makerbase will automatically pull in information from Twitter or the App Store to fill out the details.

After that, you can go to any project and add the names of makers who worked on it, with an optional description of what they did and the dates when they did it.

Makerbase automatically does things like showing you which people a maker tends to collaborate with.

Who is a maker?

A maker is a human being who has helped build a project in any way. Makerbase defines "making" broadly, so a project's makers aren't just the coders and founders.

It’s easy to find out who the founders of an app are, or the editors-in-chief of a site, or the organizers of a conference, or the hosts of a podcast, but not as easy to find out who designed the logo, or managed community, or wrote copy, or was a guest or speaker—that’s the value Makerbase adds.

If you contributed in any way to creating a project, you're a maker—go ahead and add yourself. Anyone else who has helped you build your project is also a maker. The only rule about makers is: a maker is an individual person. Companies, organizations, or brands are not makers.

What is a project?

A project is a digital work, like an app, game, web site, podcast, ebook, video, blog, or art project. Projects don't have to be exclusively digital. Anything that has a digital component—like programmable hardware, or an event focused on web technology—count as projects. Companies and brands are not projects, though some projects become companies.

Projects are not necessarily products, or things makers built at or for work. Makerbase welcomes hobby projects, weekend and nighttime collaborations, and student work or art projects.

Just like makers, Makerbase uses the term "project" inclusively. If you're not sure if your project qualifies, it probably does—add it! Makers have listed conferences, books, fundraisers, memes, and networks on Makerbase and they are welcome. The only guidelines are: a human is not a project, and a company is not a project.

Uh-oh, I see a mistake. How do I fix it?

Everything on Makerbase can be updated. Like Wikipedia, Makerbase is user-editable, which means that anyone can sign in with a Twitter account and add or revise any maker or project or role. If you need to make a change, click on the Edit button and make it.

If you added a project or maker by accident, click on the Edit button, and then the Archive button. If you accidentally archived something, simply click on the Edit button, then the Unarchive button.

If you need a page deleted completely from Makerbase, or want to report abuse, click on the Flag button on the relevant page.

Who makes Makerbase?

We all do! Everyone can add and update the information on Makerbase.

The Makerbase site itself was built and is managed by Anil Dash and Gina Trapani. (Our company is called ThinkUp, after our first product. You can read more about ThinkUp and about our values.)

What does Makerbase cost? Who pays for it?

Makerbase is free. Anyone can view, edit and explore the site without paying anything. Our business model is sponsorship, which means great companies like MailChimp, Hover and Slack support the site. In exchange, the Makerbase community supports these sponsors by letting the world know when they make use of these great tools.

We'll be introducing additional select sponsors in 2016; get in touch if you'd like to be one of them.

What if something's wrong or I need help?

Email us at help@makerba.se and we'll take care of it. If there's a problem with content or behavior on the site, you can include a link to the relevant page. There's also a flag link to report a problem on every page of the site.

I want to write about Makerbase. Who can I talk to?

We would love that! Email press@makerba.se and we'll answer any questions. You can also download our logo if you need it.

Makerbase is a trademark of ThinkUp LLC."
makerbase  anildash  ginatrapani  wikis  socialmedia  thinkup  projects  makers  diy  entrepreneurship  startups 
april 2016 by robertogreco
CTheory.net: Conversations in Critical Making: 6 Critique and Making
"GH: What useful things can be taken from the concept of critical design as established by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby?

AG: Critical design is a bit silly. Designers have always been great at branding, and this is no exception. Design is a fundamentally critical process from the get-go. That's what the design process means. Design is an iterative process in which one revisits ideas, refashions them, recalibrates them, and produces multiple versions. That's why people say "everyone is a designer" today. We live in the age when everyone is a curator, everyone is a DJ, and everyone is a designer. We need to take seriously the notion that, whereas a generation ago critique was more or less outside mainstream life, today critique is absolutely coterminous with the mainstream. Hence a designer might engage with a so-called critical design project on Monday, but on Tuesday produce client work for IKEA. It's normal.

GH: Do you have the same response to speculative design?

AG: I'm interested in communism. And love. And darkness. I'm interested in smashing the state. And the total elimination of petroleum. I'm interested in the end of racism. I'm interested in the next 44 presidents being women--fair is fair! Speculation is mostly harmless, I suppose. But speculative thinking has been affiliated with idealist philosophy and bourgeois thought for so long--think of Marx's aversion to Hegel--that it's difficult for me to see much hope there. I've said it many times before: we don't have a speculation deficit; we have a motivation deficit. We should keep imagining new worlds, yes absolutely! But it's supplemental. Any child can tell you how to make the world just and fair and joyful. This is not to denigrate the creative work of Dunne and Raby, who are very talented at what they do. But rather to direct the focus where it should aim. The problem is not in our imagination. The problem is in our activity."
alexandergalloway  garnethertz  speculativedesign  criticaldesign  communism  motivation  capitalism  economics  makers  making  makermovement  2015  anthonydunne  fionaraby  dunne&raby  christopheralexander  geertlovink  matthewfuller  tizianaterranova  criticalartensemble  mckenziewark  guydebord  gilledeleuze  digitalculture  diy  culture  richardsennett  matthewcrawford  markfrauenfelder  phenomenology  karlmarx  kant 
august 2015 by robertogreco
It’s Not Climate Change — It’s Everything Change — Matter — Medium
"Two writers have recently contributed some theorizing about overall social and energy systems and the way they function that may be helpful to us in our slowly unfolding crisis. One is from art historian and energetic social thinker Barry Lord; it’s called Art and Energy (AAM Press). Briefly, Lord’s thesis is that the kind of art a society makes and values is joined at the hip with the kind of energy that society depends on to keep itself going. He traces the various forms of energy we have known as a species throughout our pre-history — our millennia spent in the Pleistocene — and in our recorded history — sexual energy, without which societies can’t continue; the energy of the body while hunting and foraging; wood for fire; slaves; wind and water; coal; oil; and “renewables” — and makes some cogent observations about their relationship to art and culture. In his Prologue, he says:
Everyone knows that all life requires energy. But we rarely consider how dependent art and culture are on the energy that is needed to produce, practice and sustain them. What we fail to see are the usually invisible sources of energy that make our art and culture(s) possible and bring with them fundamental values that we are all constrained to live with (whether we approve of them or not). Coal brought one set of values to all industrialized countries; oil brought a very different set… I may not approve of the culture of consumption that comes with oil… but I must use [it] if I want to do anything at all.

Those living within an energy system, says Lord, may disapprove of certain features, but they can’t question the system itself. Within the culture of slavery, which lasted at least 5,000 years, nobody wanted to be a slave, but nobody said slavery should be abolished, because what else could keep things going?

Coal, says Lord, produced a culture of production: think about those giant steel mills. Oil and gas, once they were up and running, fostered a culture of consumption. Lord cites “the widespread belief of the 1950s and early ’60s in the possibility of continuing indefinitely with unlimited abundance and economic growth, contrasted with the widespread agreement today that both that assumption and the world it predicts are unsustainable.” We’re in a transition phase, he says: the next culture will be a culture of “stewardship,” the energy driving it will be renewables, and the art it produces will be quite different from the art favored by production and consumption cultures.

What are the implications for the way we view both ourselves and the way we live? In brief: in the coal energy culture — a culture of workers and production — you are your job. “I am what I make.” In an oil and gas energy culture — a culture of consumption — you are your possessions. “I am what I buy.” But in a renewable energy culture, you are what you conserve. “I am what I save and protect.” We aren’t used to thinking like this, because we can’t see where the money will come from. But in a culture of renewables, money will not be the only measure of wealth. Well-being will factor as an economic positive, too.

The second book I’ll mention is by anthropologist, classical scholar, and social thinker Ian Morris, whose book, Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve, has just appeared from Princeton University Press. Like Barry Lord, Morris is interested in the link between energy-capture systems and the cultural values associated with them, though in his case it’s the moral values, not only the aesthetic ones — supposing these can be separated — that concern him. Roughly, his argument runs that each form of energy capture favors values that maximize the chance of survival for those using both that energy system and that package of moral values. Hunter-gatherers show more social egalitarianism, wealth-sharing, and more gender equality than do farmer societies, which subordinate women — men are favored, as they must do the upper-body-strength heavy lifting — tend to practice some form of slavery, and support social hierarchies, with peasants at the low end and kings, religious leaders, and army commanders at the high end. Fossil fuel societies start leveling out gender inequalities — you don’t need upper body strength to operate keyboards or push machine buttons — and also social distinctions, though they retain differences in wealth.

The second part of his argument is more pertinent to our subject, for he postulates that each form of energy capture must hit a “hard ceiling,” past which expansion is impossible; people must either die out or convert to a new system and a new set of values, often after a “great collapse” that has involved the same five factors: uncontrolled migration, state failure, food shortages, epidemic disease, and “always in the mix, though contributing in unpredictable ways–- climate change.” Thus, for hunting societies, their way of life is over once there are no longer enough large animals to sustain their numbers. For farmers, arable land is a limiting factor. The five factors of doom combine and augment one another, and people in those periods have a thoroughly miserable time of it, until new societies arise that utilize some not yet exhausted form of energy capture.

And for those who use fossil fuels as their main energy source — that would be us, now — is there also a hard ceiling? Morris says there is. We can’t keep pouring carbon into the air — nearly 40 billion tons of CO2 in 2013 alone — without the consequences being somewhere between “terrible and catastrophic.” Past collapses have been grim, he says, but the possibilities for the next big collapse are much grimmer.

We are all joined together globally in ways we have never been joined before, so if we fail, we all fail together: we have “just one chance to get it right.” This is not the way we will inevitably go, says he, though it is the way we will inevitably go unless we choose to invent and follow some less hazardous road.

But even if we sidestep the big collapse and keep on expanding at our present rate, we will become so numerous and ubiquitous and densely packed that we will transform both ourselves and our planet in ways we can’t begin to imagine. “The 21st century, he says, “shows signs of producing shifts in energy capture and social organization that dwarf anything seen since the evolution of modern humans.”"
climate  climatechange  culture  art  society  margaretatwood  2015  cli-fi  sciefi  speculativefiction  designfiction  capitalism  consumerism  consumption  energy  fossilfuels  canon  barrylord  coal  anthropology  change  changemaking  adaptation  resilience  ianmorris  future  history  industrialization  egalitarianism  collapse  humans  biodiversity  agriculture  emissions  environment  sustainability  stewardship  renewableenergy  making  production  makers  materialism  evolution  values  gender  inequality  migration  food  transitions  hunter-gatherers 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Prototyping Risks when Design is Disappearing
"Our current unsustainability, especially when understood in terms of materials intensity, is in large part a result of design— whether imposed by modernist design experts or tempered by user- or even human-centered design research. Generative design is not especially culpable—at its best it tries to access what might finally be truly needed by its participants rather than just-another creative-yet-still-feasible idea. However, generative design research’s materials-based techniques do tend to encourage creative innovation mostly with respect to more thing-based solutions to latent concerns (rather than leading to service systems for instance, or structural dissolving of those concerns, such as no-build options, value- or lifestyle shifts, etc).

A second thing to note is that our unsustainability is a massive problem, of a size that demands truly radical responses. It is as if there is a kind of problem beyond wicked: in addition to being complex (a large number of interdependent variables) and wicked (because some of those variables are people, who act in not always fully rational ways and change their minds), sustainability is also just a big problem—solutions will require nation-sized infrastructure rebuilding (fuel switching, city renovation and even relocation) and similarly nation-sized notion re-conceptualizations (new ideas about freedom and autonomy, cost and responsibility, etc). Can we get this level of “Big and New” from processes like generative design research?"



"What is dominant in commercial design at the moment are methods that do nevertheless have proactionary elements, by which I mean a deliberate ignoring of imagining future consequential risks. I am referring here to, for example, Agile and Lean product development. These are distinct forms of design management and each a broad church, but consistent across them is a commitment to accelerated iteration of products released to live markets. Design is driven by real-time feedback on how “Minimum Viable Products” (MVP) are being used. The rationale is that many high consequence risks, and opportunities, are unanticipatable. Rather than imagine or sense what these “blackswans” might be, designers should instead focus on being able to respond immediately to what emerges. These Lean Agile philosophies eschew the grand visioning aspects of proactionary advocates, 
but are sympathetic with the downplaying of risk anticipation. As Joi Ito, head of MediaLab at MIT is fond of saying (though I am not sure of his evidence for this claim), “the cost of assessing risk is 
now often greater than the cost of failing” [7].

If Lean Agile, etc, aim at accessing the realizably innovative, the other end of the design dialectic might be Maker culture. These neo-tinkerers also pursue multiple iterations in order to discover serendipitously new uses for existing combinations of technologies, software and/or materials. There is a similar antivisioning driving these hackathons, and in all the rapid building there is also no anticipation of consequential risk.

In either case, the approaches deploy what could be called a “generalized prototyping.” Lean Agile beta-releases and hacked systems are more than prototypes; they are live products being used by people who are not explicitly structured "



"Transition Design aims to promote staged change, not forever changing.

1. A VISION FOR THE TRANSITION to a more sustainable society is needed. This calls for the reconception of entire lifestyles in which communities are in symbiotic relationship with the environment. Lifestyles are place-based yet global in their exchange of technology, information and culture.

2. The vision of the transition to a sustainable society will require new knowledge about natural, social, and “designed” systems. This new knowledge will, in turn, evolve the vision.

3. Ideas, theories and methodologies from many varied fields and disciplines inform a deep understanding of the DYNAMICS OF CHANGE in the natural and social worlds.

4. New theories of change will reshape designers’ temperaments, mindsets and postures. And, these “new ways of being” in the world will motivate the search for new, more relevant knowledge.

5. Living in and through traditional times requires a MINDSET AND POSTURE OF OPENNESS, mindfulness, a willing-ness to collaborate, and “optimistic grumpiness.”

6. Changes in mindset, posture and temperament will give rise to new ways of designing. As new design approaches evolve, designers’ temperaments and postures will continue to change.

7. The transition to a sustainable society will require new ways of designing that are informed by a vision, a deep understanding of the dynamics of change and a new mindset and posture.

8. New ways of designing will help realize the vision but will also change/evolve it. As the vision evolves, new ways of designing will continue to be developed."
camerontonkinwise  2015  design  sustainability  materials  prototyping  via:anne  openness  mindfulness  collaboration  optimism  criticism  change  technology  culture  makers  makermovement  agiledesign  iteration  vision  foresight  modernism  neomodernism  consequences  systemthinking  criticaldesign  designcriticism 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Alexandra Lange on craft, making and gender
"The journalists, artists and curators at the press preview for the Museum of Arts and Design's new exhibition, Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Mid-century and Today, were about 90 per cent female – an unusually high percentage, according to the museum's publicist.

But the imbalance seemed about right, in that it reflected the continuing, uneasy, and gendered relationship between people who make things out of yarn, clay or cloth and people who make things out of glass, steel or plastic. The editors of a few blogs seemed unsure whether the contents of the show – four hanging woven-wire sculptures by Ruth Asawa, screen-printed geometric textile designs by Anni Albers, a test panel for the gold-embroidered tapestries for the Ford Foundation by Sheila Hicks, along with work by 39 other artists – even counted as "design" for their purposes.

"In the 1950s and 1960s, an era when painting, sculpture and architecture were dominated by men, women had extensive impact in alternative materials such as textiles, ceramics and metals," reads the wall text.

Starting with the Bauhaus weaving workshop, eventually led by the supremely talented Gunta Stolzl, modern women with visual talent were shunted into creative professions closer to traditional women's work, and many of them found what they made then treated as lesser-than. Half of MAD's collection is work by women, and with this exhibit, curated by Jennifer Scanlan, the museum hopes to expand ideas about who, and what, constitutes mid-century design.

The problem of terminology has bedeviled this work from the start. When the Museum of Modern Art first showed fibre art in the 1969 show Wall Hangings, artist Louise Bourgeois wrote, in the magazine Craft Horizons, "the pieces in the show rarely liberate themselves from decoration." Fear of fibre, it seems, lives on.

The irony is that, while women were largely unwelcome in architecture and industrial design as practitioners, male architects and manufacturers found they couldn't live without them. Most of the highlighted mid-century designers worked with architects to bring nature, texture and colour to their hard-edged spaces, and several worked with manufacturers as designers and translators – for publicity purposes – of new styles and materials for a mass audience."



"Today craft seems to be heading in two directions simultaneously. Handicraft has never been more popular among women – it seems like every third person on Instagram has bought a handloom to ape Hicks or Maryanne Moodie, while companies like Wool and the Gang give you the option of ready-made or knit-your-own trendy, chunky apparel.

There is a renewed interest in personal making that has been nourished by social networks and is now being reabsorbed by mainstream consumer culture, without the politics and made by who-knows-whose hand. Urban Outfitters, which once sold an Anni Albers washer necklace kit, now sells the Magical Thinking Macrame Wall Hanging.

"On the flip side, there's the emergence of technological craft, with which architects seem to feel more comfortable and which does turn up on design sites like this one. (The computer defeminises everything.) Here again screens of various types provide a bridge between the hard and the flexible, the wall and the textile.

Petra Blaisse's contributions to many OMA projects (the carpets at the Seattle Public Library, for example) are machine-made textiles that, like Bertoia screens, humanise spaces as a form of permanent nature. The openwork pattern on her curtains for Machado and Silvetti's Chazen Museum nods to the sheers and geometries popular in mid-century designs.

Danish architect Mette Ramsgard Thomsen calls her work "digital crafting," and her 2012 Shadow Play installation demonstrates another way to introduce softness and hanging into built space. In that piece, long curls of pine veneer were bent into loops, connected with copper wire, and sandwiched between two pieces of glass in a storefront. The effect was like a carved screen, but lighter, and far less effort. It could be included in a new MoMA exhibition called Wall Hanging, one far more antiseptic than its 1969 predecessor.

I'll freely admit my preference for the wilder shores of the handmade, irregular and a little too bright. Even if Louise Bourgeois didn't find it challenging enough on first encounter, the continuing gender politics around craft, as well as the difficulty around the classification of the work of people like Albers, Asawa, Bryk, Hicks, Tawney and Phillips, reveal a spikiness that continues to command attention."
design  craft  alexandralange  gender  architecture  2015  industrialdesign  materials  glvo  annialbers  louisebourgeois  guntastolzl  bauhaus  ruthasawa  art  history  modernism  makers  makermovement  handmade  textiles  petrablaisse  metteramsgardthomsen  sheilahicks  rutbryk  leonoretawney  marywalkerphillips 
may 2015 by robertogreco
McQ to You April 19
"I'm a writer but I'm also a teacher and having been successful at both I can tell you that people who say things like "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach," ought to try to teach. It is hard to be a teacher. There are a lot fewer editors in the world than there are writers and the competition for those jobs is fierce. 

I have dedicated my life to art but honestly, in many way, artists are parasites. We don't keep people warm, we don't feed people, we don't keep them dry (unless they use books to build a shelter.) Give me an oncology nurse any day. You can all deluge me with emails about how important art was/is to you and I won't disagree, but try living in your car for a week.

I'm proud of what I do. But I've arguably changed more lives by being a mom and by teaching than by writing. Don't stop being a maker. It's not a bad thing. But lets keep it all in perspective, okay?"
making  makers  teaching  teachers  emotionallabor  parenting  maureenmchugh  2015  small  slow  worldchanging  art  leisurearts  artleisure 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Bruce Sterling Closing Talk by SXSW on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds
"World traveler, science fiction author, journalist, and future-focused design critic Bruce Sterling spins the globe a few rounds as he wraps up the Interactive Conference with his peculiar view of the state of the world. Always unexpected, invented on the fly, a hash of trends, trepidations, and creative prognostication. Don't miss this annual event favorite. What will he covered in 2015?"
makers  making  brucesterling  internetofthings  sxsw  2015  turin  torino  design  climatechange  makerspaces  ianbogost  via:steelemaley  3dprinting  economics  apple  google  amazon  microsoft  future  business  iot 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Not All Students Want To Change the World | Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension
"“But I don’t want a voice to the world…” he stands with a determined look on his face, expecting me to challenge his decision. “They don’t need to see what I write or what I have to say,” he continues, “It’s none of their business…” And with that, my students have once again challenged my assumptions and I need to change the way I teach.  Again.

So what else have my students proved me wrong in, well quite a bit, but here are the biggest.

Not all students want a voice. From 4th to 7th grade I always have students that don’t want their private thoughts, work, or writing published to the world. Never assume that every child wants their work published or shared, ask first, we would expect the same thing if it were us.

Not all students want to make. I thought when I started doing more hands-on learning that all students would jump for joy, and while some certainly do, there are also students who go into absolute terrified mode when presented with anything abstract. Those kids need to fit into our innovative classrooms as well, so offer choices in how they learn, don’t just assume they want to create something from nothing or do their own version.

Not all students want choice. Some kids just want to be told what to do, not always, not on everything, but some kids need more structure or support through some things.  If we only cater to the creative child who relishes freedom then we are not teaching all of the students in front of us.

Not all students want to change the world. While we may shout about empowered students and how they are going to change the world, not every child wants to change the world, they just want to be kids.

I have learned that while I may love to change the way education is done in classrooms around the world, I need to make sure I don’t disenfranchise students more by assuming they all want to learn like I do. So make room for all of the learners in your world, support them all as they grow, and don’t judge. Push them forward but be gentle in your approach and ask the students first."
teaching  howweteach  pedagogy  children  small  voice  change  making  makers  projectbasedlearning  choice  2015  pernilleripp  education  schools  howwelearn  diversity  scale  imperatives  allsorts  worldchanging  empowerment  agency  pbl 
march 2015 by robertogreco
whitney trettien on Twitter: "It continues to upset me how often I come across a digital humanities syllabus with all-but-0 women writers/thinkers/makers/educators."
“It continues to upset me how often I come across a digital humanities syllabus with all-but-0 women writers/thinkers/makers/educators.”

“@whitneytrettien Thank you Whitney. I finally understand why this word "maker" is so important to people.”
https://twitter.com/CaptDavidRyan/status/567768889506934784

“@whitneytrettien By using "Maker" instead of builder, mechanic, tinkerer, fabricator, etc...”
https://twitter.com/CaptDavidRyan/status/567770540010512384

“@whitneytrettien One implies the sort of meta-awareness of the activity (and accompanying prestige) that we associate with...”
https://twitter.com/CaptDavidRyan/status/567770713278402560

“@whitneytrettien that we associate with writers, artist, educators.”
https://twitter.com/CaptDavidRyan/status/567770804697440256

“@whitneytrettien I've always known that "Maker" was a fantastically class-conscious term, but could never put my finger on why exactly.”
https://twitter.com/CaptDavidRyan/status/567771011358023681

“@KellyPDillon @whitneytrettien @evalantsoght I wonder lately how to best combine these stories with courses on methods, too, you know?”
https://twitter.com/djp2025/status/567771031763693568

“@KellyPDillon @whitneytrettien @evalantsoght I mean, is the answer a separate course on Women in Comp? Or a module on comp hist in DH class?”
https://twitter.com/djp2025/status/567771246801469440

“@KellyPDillon @whitneytrettien @evalantsoght I mean, is the answer a separate course on Women in Comp? Or a module on comp hist in DH class?”

“@djp2025 @KellyPDillon @evalantsoght Historicize the methods and the making within/against other practices? "my mother was a computer," etc.”
https://twitter.com/whitneytrettien/status/567772121632632832

“@whitneytrettien @KellyPDillon @evalantsoght Indeed, and exactly.”
https://twitter.com/djp2025/status/567773158800101379

“@whitneytrettien Guilty, apart from the literary texts I teach.”
https://twitter.com/briancroxall/status/567768467655651328

“@briancroxall Which may be more problematic, no? Reinscription of the male gaze to dissect women writers. Not accusing, just musing.”
https://twitter.com/whitneytrettien/status/567768920455913472

“@whitneytrettien It could be. My application of “theory” to our texts is pretty loose. +”
https://twitter.com/briancroxall/status/567769131811086337

“@whitneytrettien It makes me wonder as well whether the idea of distant reading is a gendered gaze.”
https://twitter.com/briancroxall/status/567769298207535104

“@briancroxall Me too -- definitely something I've been thinking about recently.”
https://twitter.com/whitneytrettien/status/567769736176758784

“@briancroxall @whitneytrettien Can I interest you in an article on precisely that subject...”
https://twitter.com/ncecire/status/567769693927522304

“@briancroxall @whitneytrettien (forthcoming...) pic.twitter.com/wTVpR8L7AP ”
https://twitter.com/ncecire/status/567771149954973699

“@ncecire Excellent -- when/where is it out? I look forward to reading it. @briancroxall”
https://twitter.com/whitneytrettien/status/567771469862961153

“@whitneytrettien Oh, ha, would you look at that! Institutional repository at work. http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/52909/1/11_82.1cecire.pdf … @briancroxall”
https://twitter.com/ncecire/status/567772313060671488

“looks fantastic @ncecire's "Ways of Not Reading Gertrude Stein." ELH 82 (forthcoming 2015) http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/52909/1/11_82.1cecire.pdf ”**
https://twitter.com/pfyfe/status/567807396900315136

**Article now at:
http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/52909/
http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/elh/v082/82.1.cecire.html
gender  makers  making  class  whitneytrettien  davidryan  2015  digitalhumanities  briancroxall  danielpowell  feminism  scholarship  academia  malegaze  genderedgaze  craft  thinking  education  tinkering  fabrication  mechanics  building  meta-awareness  art  writing  method  computation  computing  practice  nataliacecire 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Power Tools Are For Girls — re:form — Medium
"This is a powerful statement for young people, and badges are a useful system that is one part incentive, one part reward, and one part portfolio to display skills that are not easily demonstrated through a report card or grade.

There are two big opportunities for badges to change the trajectory of learning for young people. First, for creative, 21st century learning that is not easily measured by a test or grade, badges are a clear way to assign value to skills. Young people can learn skills in focused portions, then string skills together in an order they dictate. Because the learning is personalized and acknowledged visibly, it is more meaningful and more easily connected to higher learning or career paths. Secondly, earning badges creates bite-size incremental successes to engage and continually motivate students who have not had equal access to this type of learning."



"What does all this mean for my Camp H girls? For your daughter or son? For your 5th grade students? The power of badges is simple and human: earning and displaying the things we learn makes us both proud of what we’ve done and excited to keep discovering what else we can do. And the potential for badges within a creative endeavor like design is vast: design is a great equalizer, and badges allow us to carve our own path. Badges are a way to “choose your own adventure.” For young people whose demographics or parents’ education levels or geography or socioemotional challenges make linear learning tough, the self-direction and incremental reward of badges is a motivating pathway that leads to life-long learning.

More than anything, a physical badge worn visibly, affords a young person with a sense of confidence and agency. “This is what I know how to do,” they can say to the world. I know this to be true because my camp girls say it better than I ever could. And, as is the case with Camp H, badges are earned collectively, through collaboration: “we learn together, and we earn together,” we say. At Camp H, every girl earns her badges because of her own grit, helped along by the support of her campmates.

A few weeks ago, I hosted a Welding and Wine workshop for adult women, in which four of my Camp H girls led the welding instruction. These ten-year-old girls explained the science of how a weld works “like a lightning bolt,” “using an electrical current,” and “fuses the work metal together… not like soldering or a glue gun.” In this moment of cross-generational sisterhood, my young camper girls were leaders and the bearers of knowledge. Teah, an alumna camper who has earned 8 of her 11 skill badges, told me she was excited to earn her 9th badge, Leadership, for her instructional role at the adult workshop. She said how toting her badge-clad Camp H messenger bag to school each day makes her feel.

With one sassy hand on her hip, she told me, “I use it every day. My friends and teachers ask me about the badges and I tell them, ‘Those are all the awesome things I know how to do.’”"
emilypilloton  badges  powertools  girls  projecth  design  making  makers  gender  education  learning  scouting  assessment  rewards  incentives  boyscouts  girlscouts  welding  camph  projecthdesign 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Outside the Skinner Box
"There are two commonly repeated tropes about educational technology impeding progress and clouding our judgment. The first such myth is that technology is neutral. This is untrue. All technology was designed to influence behavior; the fact that a handful of people can stretch a technology beyond its normal trajectory does not change this fundamental truth.

It is not uncommon for a school committed to progressive learner-centered education to undermine its mission by investing in a well-intentioned school-to-home communication package that allows Dad to sit at his office desk and day-trade his eight-year-old when the expectation of continuous numerical reporting is offered by such a system. Similarly, I have encountered many independent schools committed to whole language development that then contradict their missions by using phonics software on iPads for no other reason than, “There’s an app for that.”

In schools, all hardware and software bestow agency on one of three parties: the system, the teacher, or the learner. Typically, two of these actors lose their power as the technology benefits the third. Ask a group of colleagues to create a three-column table and brainstorm the hardware or software in your school and who is granted agency by each. Management software, school-wide grade-book programs, integrated learning systems, school-to-home communication packages, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and other cost-cutting technologies grant maximum benefit to the system. Interactive whiteboards, worksheet generators, projectors, whole-class simulations, plagiarism software, and so on, benefit the teacher. Personal laptops, programming languages, creativity software, cameras, MIDI keyboards, microcontrollers, fabrication equipment, and personal web space primarily benefit (bestow agency to) the learner.

The second oft-recited myth is that technology changes constantly. If only this were the case in schools. Regrettably, much of what schools do with technology is exactly the same, or less than, what they did 25 years ago. Wordles, note taking, looking stuff up, word-processing essays, and making PowerPoint presentations on topics students don’t care about for audiences they’ll never encounter represent the state-of-the-art in far too many classrooms. We can do better.

I enjoyed the great fortune of leading professional development at the world’s first laptop schools nearly a quarter century ago. Those Australian schools never saw laptops as an experiment or pilot project. For them, laptops represented a way to rescue kids explicitly from a failing hierarchical bureaucracy. Every student learned to program from every teacher as a means to encounter powerful ideas, express oneself, and change the nature of the educational experience.

When teachers saw what was possible through the eyes and the screens of their children, they demanded rapid changes to scheduling, assessment, classroom furniture, and even school architecture. They blurred the artificial boundaries between subject areas, shared expertise, challenged peers, and transformed many schools to benefit the children they served. Those early “laptop teachers” often viewed themselves in new and powerful ways. An amazing number of them went on to become school principals, Ph.D.s, policy makers, and entrepreneurs. A school like Methodist Ladies’ College in Melbourne, Australia, changed the world with its existing teaching staff through a coherent vision articulated clearly by a bold, charismatic leader, David Loader, who focused on benefiting the largest number of stakeholders in any school community: the students.2"



"A Bold Vision for the Future of Computers in Schools

The future of schools is not found in a shopping list of devices and programs, no matter how interesting or revolutionary the technology may be. In order for schools to seize the power of computers as intellectual laboratories and vehicles for self-expression, the following traits need to be in place.

Awareness

Educators, parents, and policy makers need to understand that, currently, their investment in technology is not maximizing its promise to amplify the human potential of each student. Alternative models must be made available.

Governance

Too many schools conflate instructional and noninstructional technology. Such an inability to reconcile often-competing priorities harms the educational enterprise of a school. One role is of the plumber and the other of a philosopher; both are important functions, but you would never consciously surrender the setting of graduation standards to your maintenance department. Why, then, is educational policy so greatly impacted by IT personnel?

Vision

Schools need a bolder concept of what computing can mean in the creative and intellectual development of young people. Such a vision must be consistent with the educational ­ideals of a school. In far too many cases, technology is used in ways contrary to the stated mission of the school. At no point should technology be used as a substitute for competent educators or to narrow educational experiences. The vision should not be rigid, but needs to embrace the serendipitous discoveries and emerging technologies that expand the power of our goals.

Consistent leadership

Once a vision of educational technology use is established, school leadership needs to model that approach, enact rituals and practices designed to reinforce it, and lend a coherent voice leading the entire community in a fashion consistent with its vision to improve the lives of young people.

Great leaders recognize the forces that water down innovation and enact safeguards to minimize such inertia.

Professional development for professionals

You cannot be expected to teach 21st-century learners if you have not learned in this century. Professional development strategies need to focus on creating the sorts of rich constructive learning experiences schools desire for students, not on using computers to perform clerical tasks. We must refrain from purchasing “teacher-proof” curricula or technology and then acting surprised when teachers fail to embrace it. PD needs to stop rewarding helplessness and embrace the competence of educators.

High Expectations and Big Dreams

When we abandon our prejudices and superstitions in order to create the conditions in which anything is possible, teachers and children alike will exceed our expectations.

Some people are excited by using technology to teach what we have always wanted kids to know, perhaps with greater efficiency, efficacy, or comprehension. I am not interested in using computers to improve education by 0.02 percent. Incrementalism is the enemy of progress. My work is driven by the actualization of young people learning and doing in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

This is not a fantasy; it’s happening in schools today. Here are a few vignettes from my own work.

Learning by Doing"
2015  garystager  computing  schools  education  technology  makers  makermovement  seymourpapert  edtech  physicalcomputing  governance  awareness  vision  leadership  nais  learningbydoing  learning  constructionism 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Metafoundry 15: Scribbled Leatherjackets
[Update 23 Jan 2015: a new version of this is now at The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/ ]

"HOMO FABBER: Every once in a while, I am asked what I ‘make’. When I attended the Brighton Maker Faire in September, a box for the answer was under my name on my ID badge. It was part of the XOXO Festival application for 2013; when I saw the question, I closed the browser tab, and only applied later (and eventually attended) because of the enthusiastic encouragement of friends. I’m always uncomfortable identifying myself as a maker. I'm uncomfortable with any culture that encourages you take on an entire identity, rather than to express a facet of your own identity (‘maker’, rather than ‘someone who makes things’). But I have much deeper concerns.

Walk through a museum. Look around a city. Almost all the artifacts that we value as a society were made by or at the the order of men. But behind every one is an invisible infrastructure of labour—primarily caregiving, in its various aspects—that is mostly performed by women. As a teenager, I read Ayn Rand on how any work that needed to be done day after day was meaningless, and that only creating new things was a worthwhile endeavour. My response to this was to stop making my bed every day, to the distress of my mother. (While I admit the possibility of a misinterpretation, as I haven’t read Rand’s writing since I was so young my mother oversaw my housekeeping, I have no plans to revisit it anytime soon.) The cultural primacy of making, especially in tech culture—that it is intrinsically superior to not-making, to repair, analysis, and especially caregiving—is informed by the gendered history of who made things, and in particular, who made things that were shared with the world, not merely for hearth and home.

Making is not a rebel movement, scrappy individuals going up against the system. While the shift might be from the corporate to the individual (supported, mind, by a different set of companies selling things), and from what Ursula Franklin describes as prescriptive technologies to ones that are more holistic, it mostly reinscribes familiar values, in slightly different form: that artifacts are important, and people are not.

In light of this history, it’s unsurprising that coding has been folded into ‘making’. Consider the instant gratification of seeing ‘hello, world’ on the screen; it’s nearly the easiest possible way to ‘make’ things, and certainly one where failure has a very low cost. Code is 'making' because we've figured out how to package it up into discrete units and sell it, and because it is widely perceived to be done by men. But you can also think about coding as eliciting a specific, desired set of behaviours from computing devices. It’s the Searle’s 'Chinese room' take on the deeper, richer, messier, less reproducible, immeasurably more difficult version of this that we do with people—change their cognition, abilities, and behaviours. We call the latter 'education', and it’s mostly done by underpaid, undervalued women.

When new products are made, we hear about exciting technological innovation, which are widely seen as worth paying (more) for. In contrast, policy and public discourse around caregiving—besides education, healthcare comes immediately to mind—are rarely about paying more to do better, and are instead mostly about figuring out ways to lower the cost. Consider the economics term ‘Baumol's cost disease’: it suggests that it is somehow pathological that the time and energy taken by a string quartet to prepare for a performance--and therefore the cost--has not fallen in the same way as goods, as if somehow people and what they do should get less valuable with time (to be fair, given the trajectory of wages in the US over the last few years in real terms, that seems to be exactly what is happening).

It's not, of course, that there's anything wrong with making (although it’s not all that clear that the world needs more stuff). It's that the alternative to making is usually not doing nothing—it's nearly always doing things for and with other people, from the barista to the Facebook community moderator to the social worker to the surgeon. Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products.

I am not a maker. In a framing and value system that is about creating artifacts, specifically ones you can sell, I am a less valuable human. As an educator, the work I do is, at least superficially, the same year after year. That's because all of the actual change is at the interface between me, my students, and the learning experiences I design for them. People have happily informed me that I am a maker because I use phrases like 'design learning experiences', which is mistaking what I do for what I’m actually trying to elicit and support. The appropriate metaphor for education, as Ursula Franklin has pointed out, is a garden, not the production line.

My graduate work in materials engineering was all about analysing and characterizing biological tissues, mostly looking at disease states and interventions and how they altered the mechanical properties of bone, including addressing a public health question for my doctoral research. My current education research is mostly about understanding the experiences of undergraduate engineering students so we can do a better job of helping them learn. I think of my brilliant and skilled colleagues in the social sciences, like Nancy Baym at Microsoft Research, who does interview after interview followed by months of qualitative analysis to understand groups of people better. None of these activities are about ‘making’.

I educate. I analyse. I characterize. I critique. Almost everything I do these days is about communicating with others. To characterize what I do as 'making' is either to mistake the methods—the editorials, the workshops, the courses, even the materials science zine I made—for the purpose. Or, worse, to describe what I do as 'making' other people, diminishing their own agency and role in sensemaking, as if their learning is something I impose on them.

In a recent newsletter, Dan Hon wrote, "But even when there's this shift to Makers (and with all due deference to Getting Excited and Making Things), even when "making things" includes intangibles now like shipped-code, there's still this stigma that feels like it attaches to those-who-don't-make. Well, bullshit. I make stuff." I understand this response, but I'm not going to call myself a maker. Instead, I call bullshit on the stigma, and the culture and values behind it that reward making above everything else. Instead of calling myself a maker, I'm proud to stand with the caregivers, the educators, those that analyse and characterize and critique, everyone who fixes things and all the other people who do valuable work with and for others, that doesn't result in something you can put in a box and sell."

[My response on Twitter:

Storified version: https://storify.com/rogre/on-the-invisible-infrastructure-of-often-intangibl

and as a backup to that (but that doesn't fit the container of what Pinboard will show you)…

“Great way to start my day: @debcha on invisible infrastructure of (often intangible) labor, *not* making, & teaching.”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536601349756956672

“[pause to let you read and to give you a chance to sign up for @debcha’s Metafoundry newsletter http://tinyletter.com/metafoundry ]”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536601733791633408

““behind every…[maker] is an invisible infrastructure of labour—primarily caregiving, in…various aspects—…mostly performed by women” —@debcha”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536602125107605505

“See also Maciej Cegłowski on Thoreau. https://static.pinboard.in/xoxo_talk_thoreau.htm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eky5uKILXtM”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536602602431995904

““Thoreau had all these people, mostly women, who silently enabled the life he thought he was heroically living for himself.” —M. Cegłowski”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536602794786963458

“And this reminder from @anotherny [Frank Chimero] that we should acknowledge and provide that support: “Make donuts too.”” http://frankchimero.com/blog/the-inferno-of-independence/
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536603172244967424

“small collection of readings (best bottom up) on emotional labor, almost always underpaid, mostly performed by women https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/t:emotionallabor”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536603895087128576

““The appropriate metaphor for education, as Ursula Franklin has pointed out, is a garden, not the production line.” —@debcha”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536604452065513472

““to describe what I do as 'making' other people, diminish[es] their own agency & role in sensemaking” —@debcha”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536604828705648640

“That @debcha line gets at why Taylor Mali’s every-popular “What Teachers Make” has never sat well with me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536605134185177088

““I call bullshit on the stigma, and the culture and values behind it that reward making above everything else.” —@debcha”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536605502805798912

“This all brings me back to Margaret Edson’s 2008 Commencement Address at Smith College. http://www.smith.edu/events/commencement_speech2008.php + https://vimeo.com/1085942”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536606045200588803

“Edson’s talk is about classroom teaching. I am forever grateful to @CaseyG for pointing me there (two years ago on Tuesday).”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536606488144248833

““Bringing nothing, producing nothing, expecting nothing, withholding … [more]
debchachra  2014  making  makers  makermovement  teaching  howweteach  emotionallabor  labor  danhon  scubadiving  support  ursulafranklin  coding  behavior  gender  cv  margaretedson  caseygollan  care  caretaking  smithcollege  sensemaking  agency  learning  howwelearn  notmaking  unproduct  frankchimero  maciejceglowski  metafoundry  independence  interdependence  canon  teachers  stigma  gratitude  thorough  infrastructure  individualism  invisibility  critique  criticism  fixing  mending  analysis  service  intangibles  caregiving  homemaking  maciejcegłowski 
november 2014 by robertogreco
So I just found the solarpunk tag - and other misadventures
"So I just found the solarpunk tag

and WOW gorgeous concepts, I love the idea of a near-future punk subculture that’s actually a usable way of life, not to mention a positive influence on communities

but

what the hell is up with the art noveau thing?

Really. I’ve read that it’s a choice for differentiation from steampunk, etc, but I think you’re missing the point. Steampunk is Victorian because that’s the point of development where it diverged from reality as we know it. It’s all stripped-down gears and pipes and glowing aetheric devices BECAUSE steampunk cultures are trying to survive in an apocalyptically harsh world with eldritch incursion and exploration and new tech changing everything.

So, if solarpunk is near-future, as in directly developing from now in our actual world, with sustainability coming first, I’m feeling more DIY-grunge with a nod to both functionality and aesthetics. If we’re really all about local power and decentralization, I’m imagining diverse styles, showing the sheer variety in humanity and culture and different structures working in different climates and local building materials and reflections of local culture and style. I’m hoping for something less classist, less exclusive, less form-over-function.

Keep your hydroponic sculpture. Keep your solar-power stained glass glory. It’s pretty, and it’s something to work toward on cathedral time.

But now? Give me old factories repurposed as urban farmspace. Give me backyard food dehydrators made of reused household trash. Give me dirt and DIY. Give me variety and innovation and things made by teenagers being just as important as high-class elegance. Give me genengineered creatures that are ugly and independent and badass and the very best at what they do. Give me poor solarpunks. Give me DIY tutorials and strangers exchanging mad-science ideas of how to build a better rain filter out of stuff they can scrounge in thrift stores and dumpsters. Give me handmade outfits from scraps of old clothing. Give me equality in education and egalitarianism in identity.

Give me a culture that values how things WORK as more important than how they LOOK."

[via: http://oddhack.tumblr.com/post/99066367131/so-i-just-found-the-solarpunk-tag ]
solarpunk  diy  makers  making  geneticengineering  education  artnoveau  steampunk  nearfuture  decentralization  diversity 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Land of Masks and Jewels, Here’s a thing I’ve had around in my head for a...
"Here’s a thing I’ve had around in my head for a while!

Okay, so I’m pretty sure that by now everyone at least is aware of Steampunk, with it’s completely awesome Victorian sci-fi aesthetic. But what I want to see is Solarpunk – a plausible near-future sci-fi genre, which I like to imagine as based on updated Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Edwardian aesthetics, combined with a green and renewable energy movement to create a world in which children grow up being taught about building electronic tech as well as food gardening and other skills, and people have come back around to appreciating artisans and craftspeople, from stonemasons and smithies, to dress makers and jewelers, and everyone in between. A balance of sustainable energy-powered tech, environmental cities, and wicked cool aesthetics.

A lot of people seem to share a vision of futuristic tech and architecture that looks a lot like an ipod – smooth and geometrical and white. Which imo is a little boring and sterile, which is why I picked out an Art Nouveau aesthetic for this.

With energy costs at a low, I like to imagine people being more inclined to focus their expendable income on the arts!

Aesthetically my vision of solarpunk is very similar to steampunk, but with electronic technology, and an Art Nouveau veneer.

So here are some buzz words~

Natural colors!
Art Nouveau!
Handcrafted wares!
Tailors and dressmakers!
Streetcars!
Airships!
Stained glass window solar panels!!!
Education in tech and food growing!
Less corporate capitalism, and more small businesses!
Solar rooftops and roadways!
Communal greenhouses on top of apartments!
Electric cars with old-fashioned looks!
No-cars-allowed walkways lined with independent shops!
Renewable energy-powered Art Nouveau-styled tech life!

Can you imagine how pretty it would be to have stained glass windows everywhere that are actually solar panels? The tech is already headed in that direction! Or how about wide-brim hats, or parasols that are topped with discreet solar panel tech incorporated into the design, with ports you can stick your phone charger in to?

(((Character art by me; click the cityscape pieces to see artist names)))"

[See also: http://missolivialouise.tumblr.com/tagged/solarpunk-tag ]
solarpunk  solar  futures  art  future  artnoveau  craft  make  makers  making  steampunk  victorian  nearfuture  sciencefiction  scifi  energy  edwardian  sustainability  2014 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Solarpunk: Notes toward a manifesto | Project Hieroglyph
"It’s hard out here for futurists under 30.

As we percolated through our respective nations’ education systems, we were exposed to WorldChanging and TED talks, to artfully-designed green consumerism and sustainable development NGOs. Yet we also grew up with doomsday predictions slated to hit before our expected retirement ages, with the slow but inexorable militarization of metropolitan police departments, with the failure of the existing political order to deal with the existential-but-not-yet-urgent threat of climate change. Many of us feel it’s unethical to bring children into a world like ours. We have grown up under a shadow, and if we sometimes resemble fungus it should be taken as a credit to our adaptability.

We’re solarpunks because the only other options are denial or despair.

The promises offered by most Singulatarians and Transhumanists are individualist and unsustainable: How many of them are scoped for a world where energy is not cheap and plentiful, to say nothing of rare earth elements?

Solarpunk is about finding ways to make life more wonderful for us right now, and more importantly for the generations that follow us – i.e., extending human life at the species level, rather than individually. Our future must involve repurposing and creating new things from what we already have (instead of 20th century “destroy it all and build something completely different” modernism). Our futurism is not nihilistic like cyberpunk and it avoids steampunk’s potentially quasi-reactionary tendencies: it is about ingenuity, generativity, independence, and community.

And yes, there’s a -punk there, and not just because it’s become a trendy suffix. There’s an oppositional quality to solarpunk, but it’s an opposition that begins with infrastructure as a form of resistance. We’re already seeing it in the struggles of public utilities to deal with the explosion in rooftop solar. “Dealing with infrastructure is a protection against being robbed of one’s self-determination,” said Chokwe Lumumba, the late mayor of Jackson, MS, and he was right. Certainly there are good reasons to have a grid, and we don’t want it to rot away, but one of the healthy things about local resilience is that it puts you in a much better bargaining position against the people who might want to shut you off (We’re looking at you, Detroit).

Solarpunk punkSolarpunk draws on the ideal of Jefferson’s yeoman farmer, Ghandi’s ideal of swadeshi and subsequent Salt March, and countless other traditions of innovative dissent. (FWIW, both Ghandi and Jefferson were inventors.)

The visual aesthetics of Solarpunk are open and evolving. As it stands, it’s a mash-up of the following:

• 1800s age-of-sail/frontier living (but with more bicycles)
• Creative reuse of existing infrastructure (sometimes post-apocalyptic, sometimes present-weird)
• Jugaad-style innovation from the developing world
• High-tech backends with simple, elegant outputs

Obviously, the further you get into the future, the more ambitious you can get. In the long-term, solarpunk takes the images we’ve been fed by bright-green blogs and draws them out further, longer, and deeper. Imagine permaculturists thinking in cathedral time. Consider terraced irrigation systems that also act as fluidic computers. Contemplate the life of a Department of Reclamation officer managing a sparsely populated American southwest given over to solar collection and pump storage. Imagine “smart cities” being junked in favor of smart citizenry.

Tumblr lit up within the last week from this post envisioning a form of solar punk with an art nouveau Edwardian-garden aesthetic, which is gorgeous and reminds me of Miyazaki. There’s something lovely in the way it reacts against the mainstream visions of overly smooth, clean, white modernist iPod futures. Solarpunk is a future with a human face and dirt behind its ears."

[via: https://twitter.com/jqtrde/status/519152576797745153 ]
solarpunk  future  futures  jugaad  green  frontier  bikes  biking  technology  imagination  nearfuture  detroit  worldchanging  ted  ngos  sustainability  singularitarianism  individuality  cyberpunk  steampunk  ingenuity  generativity  independence  community  punk  infrastucture  resistance  solar  chokwelumumba  resilience  thomasjefferson  yeomen  ghandi  swadeshi  invention  hacking  making  makers  hackers  reuse  repurposing  permaculture  adamflynn  denial  despair  optimism  cando  posthumanism  transhumanism  chokweantarlumumba 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Beam Center
"Beam Center is a Brooklyn-based community of learning where artists guide young creators aged 6 to 18. Our hands-on programs in technology, imagination and craft help young people build their character, courage to think for themselves, and capacity for collaboration and invention.

The Beam Center grew out of the Inventgenuity Festival, which we first held in 2010 at Brooklyn's Invisible Dog Art Center to introduce families to Beam Camp. The popularity of that event led us to build a set of interconnected programs in New York that all share the basic philosophy of Beam, which celebrates the special alchemy between instructors who are passionate experts in their craft and young people who are given space and encouragement to invent and create.

Beam Center's core programs are Inventgenuity Workshops, after-school programs for young people in grades 2-6; BeamWorks, in which teams of high school students collaborate with master practitioners of design, craft and engineering; and the WindowShop Residency, which offers artists both a high-visibility storefront space and an opportunity to share how they make things with the kids of the Beam Center community. We also host community events where kids and artists learn from each other.

Most programs take place at our large street-level space at 47 Bergen Street in Brooklyn, between Smith and Boerum Streets. We're half a block from the F and G at Bergen Street, and a ten-minute walk from the 2/3/4/5/N/R at Borough Hall."

[See also: http://www.beamcamp.com/

"Beam Camp is a place where kids collaborate, build, and engage with adults who are passionate about their craft, and it has since inspired their founding of the Beam Center and BeamWorks. Brian now devotes his full energies to the running of all things Beam, including overseeing the Center’s strategic vision with Danny, fostering community partnerships, and directing the BeamWorks Internship Program." ]
brooklyn  nyc  lcproject  openstudioproject  art  design  beamcenter  colearning  invention  learning  education  makers  via:blubirding 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Yes We Can. But Should We? — re:form — Medium
"Quirky has been clever in melding the old-school notion of being an “inventor” with the new-school notion of being a “maker.” But somewhere in the course of entering the pop culture zeitgeist, the warm and fuzzy self-empowered “maker” idea got turned into an engine for output and profit. No idea is too superfluous. Many of the items the company sells are gadgets like “Pivot Power,” designed expressly for plugging in other gadgets. It felt to me that the very purpose of Kaufman’s endeavor was to get more stuff on shelves, or what he referred to as “social product development.

Not so long ago it felt like we were beginning to recognize that as a society, our patterns of production and consumption were not sustainable. Messages like The Story of Stuff went viral, refocusing our collective eyes on our culture’s stunning material wastefulness. But that period was short, and the resolve for change it seemed to herald has all but evaporated. While many innovative companies have been focusing on selling experiences rather than manufacturing goods, the drive to produce more has only accelerated.

Technology has become not only more sophisticated, but access to its bells and whistles has become relatively more affordable and accessible. With this, ideas around designing and making have shifted and sectors of the maker movement have veered from basement workshop projects to the production of i-accessories and other trinkets that make Kickstarter fanboys drool. Just as desktop publishing tools made everyone [think they were] a graphic designer, 3-D printers and the like have empowered legions to be the next Jony Ive. (Not incidentally, why must every last bit of product design be measured by whether it would make Ive proud?)

I won’t point the finger at one company or one discipline but I am struck by the absence of sustainable discourse in the maker movement. Daily, we read swooning odes to the 3-D printer, the CNC router and other cutting edge manufacturing technologies but read almost nothing that approaches these developments through a much-needed critical lens. Every tchotchke is celebrated as if it were as significant as the wheel or the printing press.”



"In Why Things Bite Back, Edward Tenner writes of what he calls the “ironic unintended consequences’’ of human ingenuity, ranging from antibiotics that promise the cure of disease but end up breeding resistant microorganisms, to a new football helmet, designed to reduce injuries, that actually encourages a more violent style of playing, thus creating the risk of more serious injury. We’re experiencing some of these ironies now as we use technology to solve the wrong problems. We’re in a period where almost anyone has the tools to make almost anything – but are we making the right things? Or too many of the wrong ones?

There seems to be a misconception about what 3D printing does and does not enable. Does it allow us to delight a four-year-old by pulling a mini Darth Vader toy seemingly out of thin air? It does. But the object doesn’t materialize from nothing. A 3D printer consumes about 50 to 100 times more electrical energy than injection molding to make an item of the same weight. On top of that, the emissions from desktop 3D printers are similar to burning a cigarette or cooking on a gas or electric stove. And the material of choice for all this new stuff we’re clamoring to make is overwhelmingly plastic. In a sense, it’s a reverse environmental offset, counteracting recent legislation to reduce plastic use through grocery bag bans and packaging redesigns. While more people tote reuasable cloth bags to the supermarket, plastic is piling up in other domains, from TechShop to Target."



"Good design is often defined as being an elegant solution to a clear problem. Perhaps we’re solving the wrong problems — or inventing problems that don’t exist — as justification for our excessive output. Do we need more products? Not really. But we need better ones. So why aren’t we designing them? Why are we reading about so many bad ones? Why, for example, did more than 62,000 people recently pitch in to fund a new drink cooler that doubles as a beverage blender (and triples as a stereo) to the tune of $13,285,226?"
makers  invention  3dprinting  design  makermovement  sustainability  waster  responsibility  allisonarieff  2014  capitalism  profits  production  productivity  output  materials  unuseless  chindogu 
september 2014 by robertogreco
What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making | Quiet Babylon
"This is an era of networked wealth, going to scale, first mover advantage, positive feedback loops, virtuous cycles, high concentration, and high disparity. These are some of the intolerable conditions of the time we call (with subversive hope) Late Capitalism.

4
“We.”

5
I suspect that much of this essay will make very little sense unless you believe as I do that we are beset by wicked problems exacerbated by networks of sublime scale that have been built on top of millenia of injustice chaotically interacting with good works and hope.



8
I do not think it is possible to feel empathy for 7 billion people. I know it is not possible to mourn the ~400,000 souls we lose to death every day on this planet earth. In a city like New York, it is not even reasonable to say Hi to everyone you pass on the street. Forget New York, it wasn’t reasonable to say Hi to everyone I passed at XOXO. There are too many humans. Boundaries must be drawn. Who are our friends, who is in the community, who gets to count. The boundaries can be drawn wider or narrower, and with more or less care. But the starting points of those boundaries are necessarily accidents of history, and history is pretty messed up.

Andy and Andy have been public about their struggles to redraw the boundaries of the community that takes part in XOXO. This year was better, they said, but still too male and still far too white. They are working to do better still if they ever do an XOXO again.

If they do, they will have to carefully consider who gets on stage and work with those people about what they have to say. Because people who make things is a broad remit. The mission of XOXO is an admirable one: to be a place where independent creators can find themselves amongst people like them; to give the participants the feeling that even though independence can be lonely, we are not alone.

But to be sat amongst a community who do not share your concerns is a terribly alienating experience, especially if the speakers on stage are claiming a we for the room that you do not feel. A greater diversity of speakers and a greater diversity of participants means by definition fewer common experiences and a more complicated we.

9
Chinese factory workers are not welcome at XOXO. This is a profoundly uncomfortable thing to say because it feels like punching down, but it is true. Chinese factory workers are not independent creators. What inspiration would they find in hearing John Gruber talk about Google Reader’s impact on his business model? What advice would they pull from Anita Sarkeesian describing the conspiracy theories leveled against prominent women on the Internet? What series of completely patronizing assumptions did I make when I wrote those last two questions?

Marketers, brand managers, advertising agencies, and social media gurus are also not welcome at XOXO. This feels less uncomfortable to say because it feels like punching up. Harassers are completely unwelcome and Andy and Andy took public glee in sending them away.

Community design is a tricky thing and the debate about incremental improvement vs radical transformation is far from settled. Figuring out how to ethically exclude people, how to effectively include people, and which intolerable conditions of ambient injustice to accept as given is a wicked problem. Working through it requires care and nuance and vigilance against derailment.

Derailment is when discussion of one issue is diverted into another issue. For example: if someone were to say, We need to work hard to increase the non-white percentage of conference attendees, and someone else said, Yeah, but what about the Chinese workers who make your devices?

10
Context collapse is an important way of making sure that marginalized people and issues aren’t allowed to disappear completely and an excellent derailing tactic. Arguing that an issue being raised is a derailment is an excellent derailing tactic.

11
A lot of the problems described by people on stage at XOXO would not have been problems if no one on earth should ever be at risk of starvation or lack medical care was not a radical idea. But it is a radical idea and it is not possible to mourn everyone. So boundaries are drawn and communities are constructed which help their members understand what’s possible and not everyone gets to count.

The inability to effectively address all of this is also one of the intolerable conditions of late capitalism."
timmaly  xoxo  latecapitalism  capitalism  supplychains  labor  timcook  apple  disclosure  context  contextcollapse  inclusing  exclusion  canon  derailment  conferences  complexity  boundaries  communitydesign  making  makers  scale  hope  dematerialization 
september 2014 by robertogreco
I’m leaving Mojang | notch.net
"I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I’ve had so much fun with work. I wasn’t exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn’t understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.

Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them.

I’m aware this goes against a lot of what I’ve said in public. I have no good response to that. I’m also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I’m right there struggling with you.

I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.

It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity."

[Also here: http://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM ]

[See also: http://kottke.org/14/09/this-is-phil-fish
http://incisive.nu/2014/ditching-twitter/ ]
games  gaming  microsoft  minecraft  notch  2014  celebrity  making  work  fun  play  philfish  makers  creativity  business  obligation  internet  web  twitter 
september 2014 by robertogreco
guiding principles for an adaptive technology working group | Abler.
"I’ve been thinking about the studio/lab/workshop environment I want to foster at Olin. So herewith a manifesto, or a set of guiding principles, for young engineers and designers working critically, reflexively, in technology design and disability.

1. We use the terms “adaptive” and “assistive” technologies interchangeably when speaking casually or with newcomers to this field, but we use the terms of adaptation as often as possible. Why? Assistance usually implies linearity. A problem needs fixing, seeks a solution. But adaptation is flexible, rhizomatic, multi-directional. It implies a technological design that works in tandem, reciprocally, with the magnificence that is the human body in all its forms. Adaptation implies change over time. Adaptive systems might require the environment to shift, rather than the body. In short, we believe that all technology is assistive technology—and so we speak in terms of adaptation.

2. We presume competence. This exhortation is a central one in disability rights circles, and we proceed with it in mind as we work with our design partners. We don’t claim our end-users are “suffering from” their conditions—unless they tell us they are. We speak directly to users themselves, not to caregivers or companions—unless we’re directed to do so. We speak the way we’d speak to anyone, even if our partners don’t use verbal language in return—until they request we do otherwise. We take a capabilities approach.

3. We are significantly public-facing in our disposition. Doing open and public research—including in the early stages—is central to our conviction that design for disability carries with it enormous political and cultural stakes. We research transparently, and we cultivate multiple and unusual publics for the work.

4. We spend some of our time making things, and some of our time making things happen.¹ A lot of our effort is embodied in the design and prototyping process. But another significant portion of that effort is directed toward good narrative writing, documentation, event-wrangling, and networked practices. Design can be about a better mousetrap; it can also be—and indeed more often should be—a social practice.

5. We actively seek a condition of orchestrated adjacencies: in topics, scales, and methods. Some of our projects attempt to influence industry: better designs, full stop. And some of our projects address issues of culture: symbolic, expressive, and playful work that investigates normalcy and functionality. We want high-tech work right up alongside low-tech work. Cardboard at one end, and circuits and Arduino at the other. Materially and symbolically, adjacencies in real time create unusual resonances between and among projects. They expand the acceptable questions and categories of what counts as research. They force big-picture ideas to cohere with granular problem-solving.

6. We presume, always, that technology is never neutral. And accordingly, we seek to create tools for conviviality, in the sense that Ivan Illich laid out in his book of the same name. Tools that are “accessible, flexible, noncoercive.” We won’t be perfect at it, but we won’t shy away from hard questions: What will it cost? What might be unintended consequences? What have we overlooked?

Like life, this version is subject to change. More on the studio/lab/workshop in this earlier post.

1. “I went from making things, to making things happen.” That’s artist Jeremy Deller on how his art practice went from objects to conditions and situations."
art  design  making  sarahendren  2014  assistivetechnology  adaptivetechnology  olincollege  manifestos  rhizomes  adaptation  human  humans  bodies  criticaldesign  conviviality  ivanilllich  normalcy  functionality  orchestratedadjacencies  hitech  lowtech  agency  makers  socialpractice  transparency  questionasking  askingquestions  jeremydeller  studios  lcproject  openstudioproject  howwework  ethics  ideals  disability  disabilities  differences  time  change  conversation  principles  adaptive  body  low-tech 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Urban Omnibus » Precedents for Experimentation: Talking Libraries with Shannon Mattern and Nate Hill
"Mattern: That’s interesting. In the branch library design study I’m working on with The Architectural League and the Center for an Urban Future, one of multiple challenges is to “find closets,” which is to say, to make minor modulations in order to offer the kind of access you are able to provide in Chattanooga.

Hill: I know what you mean. But it’s not always about the size of the space. When I talk to other library systems around the country about how they can take on the types of activities that we support here, it’s about making decisions. It’s about observing how library users are actually using the facility and then creating structures to enable those users to engage in the different activities they want to be doing.

When you look at the branches in New York City, some library advocates like to cite the high circulation statistics as a means of measuring success. But then you see the banks of public computers and how long the wait is to get online. I think there are great opportunities for branch library systems to diversify what public computing is, and to make some hard decisions about how to use your space.

Earlier today I was speaking with a council of local mayors about the work we do at the library and its context within downtown redevelopment. And the ideas that you have written about — the notion of the library as a piece of flexible infrastructure — really resonated with these officials. Your mention of the Rem Koolhaas design for the Seattle Public Library reminds me of an issue of Volume magazine about architecture as a content management system. That was a powerful read for me. Our job is to move information objects around a complex system, and a library user’s view of the data depends on where she is and how the information is being sorted."



"Hill: I hear a lot about how browsability and serendipity are essential to the library experience. Personally, I love looking through shelves and stacks. But it’s not an efficient way to use the prime real estate where libraries should ideally be located. Browsing has moved online. In New York as well as here in Chattanooga, I see a huge shift in people wanting to pick up their materials wherever is most convenient to them. If the buildings have fewer stacks of books, those spaces can become community platforms, where people can engage with one another and with the distributed nature of knowledge in that community. The content, the collection, can be sent there."



"Hill: Looking around the US, most of the excellent libraries in our country are in smaller systems that are able to be more agile. The state of Colorado is filled with good library systems, such as Douglas County or the Rangeview Library District, which rebranded itself “Anythink.”

But we need to figure out how to get this right in our big cities. I think they’re working really hard in Chicago. It’s a massive challenge and very exciting.

I just came back from checking out a fascinating project in Greece, where the Stavros Niarchos Foundation is building a cultural center that will house the national library, an opera house, and a botanical garden. I’ve spent some time checking out branch libraries in Copenhagen; I regularly look to Scandinavia for inspiration.

Aarhus, Denmark, is a good example. One of the smartest things about their project was that they started doing transformation work early on: an iterative process of trying out new services and community engagement techniques in their old building. So by the time that they open this new, incredible space, there won’t be any surprises about the services being provided or how it will be staffed.

In Helsinki, there’s a project called Library 10. In the US, we give a lot of lip service to the idea of co-working in the library. But in Finland, it really works: people come in and use their library cards to check out portable screens and create a work area."



"Mattern: I think the social service sector needs to be engaged. Returning to the notion that libraries often pick up slack where other institutions fall short, I think we need to recognize the library as part of an ecosystem of social-cultural knowledge resources. I think the library conversation needs to include university presidents; school superintendents and principals; advocates who deal with affordable housing, recent immigrants, or other disenfranchised populations; real estate developers; and other people with innovative ideas for co-location or partnerships."
2014  shannonmattern  architecture  libraries  design  engagement  servicedesign  natehill  chattanooga  bookmobiles  aarhus  makers  makerspaces  lcproject  openstudioproject  browsability  serendipity 
july 2014 by robertogreco
3-D print your way to freedom and prosperity | Al Jazeera America
"The appeal of this movement is readily apparent. What’s not to like with a revolution that — according to tech gurus, media and politicians alike — is seemingly so democratizing, empowering and profitable?

But there’s a downside, too. The maker movement is born out of, and contributes to, the individualistic, market-based society that has become dominant in our time. More specifically, the movement fits well into what, nearly 20 years ago, the media theorists Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron called “the Californian Ideology.” According to this view, new technologies promise to create a class of high-tech entrepreneurs thanks to their ability to “empower the individual, enhance personal freedom and radically reduce the power of the nation-state.” All while allowing them to ignore or simply design their own way around the established political, economic and legal system. And thus clearing the way for the “unfettered interactions between autonomous individuals and their software” that perpetuate, rather than disrupt, that very system.

Makers and takers

The maker movement doesn’t, on the surface, appear to be particularly ideological. For those who lean to the right, the movement is representative of good old-fashioned economic values and entrepreneurial individualism. “Love the ‘makers,’ deride the ‘takers,’” goes their refrain. For progressives, the maker movement and its “hackerspaces” and “makerspaces” — workshops with tools and space for engaging in making — give an aura of grassroots community building and self-empowerment, from bowling alone (as political scientist Robert D. Putnam characterized our turn-of-the-century decline of social involvement) to making together. For libertarians, the maker movement fits into the common narrative of the “self-made man” who wields market power; only now self-making takes on a more literal meaning.

We’re not saying these elements don’t have kernels of truth to them. But this has led the maker movement to embrace a kind of naively apolitical, techno-economic, capitalist utopia that thrives on individualistic values and discounts the very public contributions to science, infrastructure and society that enable them to do what they do.

It’s not hard to see why so many different ideologies can incorporate the maker movement into their politics: It has one hell of a branding and marketing team. Maker Media — a spinoff company of O’Reilly Media, the technology publishing and conference empire — launched a widely circulated magazine, Make, produces the conference Maker Faire, and “also develops ‘getting started’ kits and books that are sold in its Maker Shed store as well as in retail channels.” All of this is in addition to glowing profiles in major outlets like BBC News."



"Maker technologies obscure the real labor and costs that are globally embedded in them. Today a small contingent experiences new opportunities to express itself creatively. But what emerges if this becomes the basis for a new economic development program? A society of makers would be one in which each worker internalizes the failings of the economic system by believing he or she is not sufficiently creative and ingenious. Others who fail can be assigned to this new class of noncreatives — again, “takers” instead of “makers.” And this is just for those with the privilege to try and claim a seat at the manufacturing table. What of the service workers today? Can maker ideology help, say, the hotel workers who struggle to keep their jobs? More likely, it becomes further cause for brushing aside labor issues, both domestic and abroad."



"There’s real collective democratic freedom to be gained from the maker movement. But it needs to shake off simplistic economic individualism and hypercapitalistic politics if makers want to represent a disruption of the existing economy. The interest by the White House illustrates how the maker community is less disruptive and more likely a new vein of social life to be incorporated in existing economic expansion. What the maker movement needs is to embrace more social views of the technologies’ potential — views oriented toward helping people do more than just play with tools and make personalized schlock."
3dprinting  culture  technology  ideology  californianideology  individualism  economics  society  2014  jathansadowski  paulmanson  policy  politics  markets  idealism  robertputman  sharonzukin  chrisanderson  corydoctorow  makers  makermovement  hackerspaces  makerspaces 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Alexandra Lange on 3D printers versus the sewing machine
"In March, Slate Magazine's Seth Stevenson provided a public service when he borrowed a Solidoodle 4, pitched as the "accessible", "affordable" 3D printer, and attempted to print a bottle opener from Thingiverse. [http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2014/03/solidoodle_4_testing_the_home_3_d_printer.html ] Results, as they say, vary, but he ended up, after a series of phone calls and false starts, with "a functionless, semi-decorative piece of plastic."

The bumbling encounter with technology is a popular stratagem for Slate, but here it pointed directly to the reason we're not seeing a 3D printer in every den. I've seen those rhino heads, those dinosaur skulls. They do not fill me with delight, but remind me instead of the cheap toys my kids bring home from birthday parties and I throw away in the night. Why bother? How is printing your Triceratops at home more creative, more making, than buying one from a store? In either case, step one is scrolling through pages of online options, pointing and clicking in 2D.

Stevenson concluded that 3D printing was no place for amateurs, but for tinkerers. Those able to work under the hood of the printer: to understand the terms in the manual, to customise or create their own products for Thingiverse. For such tinkerers, neighbourhood printing hubs like Techshop, where subscribers can go to use physical or digital tools, make more sense. Designers taking advantage of 3D printers' capabilities for rapid prototyping and small-batch production have already started farming out the actual printing to places like Shapeways. When we stopped having to fax even weekly, we all got rid of those machines.

But then Stevenson took a turn toward the larger question of craft. He wrote, "Once upon a time, people purchased sewing patterns (like a program from Thingiverse) and yards of fabric (like filament) and they made their own clothes. I wasn't alive back then, but I'm pretty sure the process sucked."

I must be older than Stevenson, because my mother and grandmother sewed clothes for me. My mother, aunt and I have all sewed clothes and quilts for my children. They are not amateurishly constructed. We managed to make them while also holding down full time jobs. And judging from the extremely active online sewing community, the active trade in old machines and patterns on Ebay, and the ease with which one can locate a scan of a thirty-year-old sewing machine manual, the digital age has not turned sewing into a novelty, but spawned a revival of interest. In fact, if 3D printers are truly going to become a consumer good, they have a lot to learn from the sewing machine.

Because Stevenson snidely generalised from his own limited experience, he missed the instructive dialogue between craft and the machine age. Post-industrial sewing is not a freak but a respite. In Evgeny Morozov's recent New Yorker essay on the new makers, he quotes historian Jackson Lears' critique of the Arts & Crafts movement as "a revivifying hobby for the affluent." I'd say middle-class: (mostly) women who aren't seeing what they want, at a price they can afford, in the marketplace.

There’s an appetite for the "refashion," recycling an old dress or an adult T-shirt, and turning it into something new. Once upon a time, the use of flour sacks as fabric prompted grain-sellers to start offering their wares in flowered cotton bags. If some boutique grain company began doing that again, there would be a run on their product. Under the technology radar, there's a community of people sharing free patterns, knowledge and results, without the interpolation of brands, constantly obsolescent machinery, or the self-serving and myth-making rhetoric Morozov finds in Chris Anderson's Makers. There are the answers to the questions "Why bother?" and "How creative?" Rather than sewing being a cautionary tale, 3D printing can't become a consumer good until it learns a few lessons from why we sew now.

Number one: what's not available on the market. If you have a girl child in America, it is often difficult to find reasonably-priced, 100 per cent cotton clothing for her without ruffles, pink or purple, butterflies and hearts. If you go to the boy section, you run into an equally limiting set of colors, navy and army green, and an abundance of sports insignia. A full-skirted dress, a petite skirt, prints for the plus-sized – there are plenty of styles that are not novelties but, when not in fashion, disappear from stores. Online you can find patterns to make any of the above for less than $10, and fabric at the same price per yard. Online you can find step-by-step explanations, with photos, of how to make that pattern. That world of patterns is vast, constantly updated, and historically rich. Yes, sewing your own garment will take some time, but then you will have exactly what you want. That's why women bother.



Second lesson: recycling. Say my mother did actually sew something amateurishly. That's not the end of the story. A mis-printed jet-pack bunny is so much trash (unless I buy a second machine like a Filabot to remelt my filament). A mis-sewn seam can be ripped out and redone. An old dress can be refashioned into a new one. A favorite vintage piece can be copied. Sewing does not create more waste but, potentially, less, and the process of sewing is filled with opportunities for increasing one's skills and doing it over as well as doing it yourself. What are quilts, after all, but a clever way to use every last scrap of precious fabric?

So far, 3D printing's DIY aspects seem more akin to the "magic" of an ant farm, watching growth behind glass. Sewing lets the maker find their own materials, and get involved with every aspect of the process. 3D printing could do this, and there are classes, but even at the Makerbot showroom the primary interaction seemed to be ordering from Thingiverse. My local sewing shop has to teach more women to sew to survive; I don't see the printer makers coming to the same conclusion.

In addition, the machines themselves are constantly becoming junk. It's not unusual for new technology to change quickly. That's the fourth Solidoodle since 2011. Makerbot is on its fifth generation. It is early days for 3D printing, and the machines may eventually stabilise. But the rapid obsolescence suggests a lifecycle closer to that of a mobile phone than of a washing machine, which might also turn consumers off. The sewing machine was considered a lifetime purchase.

Last but not least, sharing. This is the one consumer area where 3D printing approaches sewing's success. From the Free Universal Construction Kit to full-body scans, the idea of open-source, free, and social-media enabled printing has been built-in to the 3D process. Showing off what you made is better when you created it, rather than printed it out. On the sewing blogs, the process pictures are half the fun, and most of the interest. What does it really teach your children when you can get doll house furniture on demand, except a desire for ever-more-instant gratification? For me to believe in 3D printers as a home machine, I'd have to see the digital file equivalent of women in their off-hours, making up patterns as they go along, sharing mistakes, dreaming better dreams. 3D printing feels bottled up, professionalised, too expensive for the experimentation of cut and sew and rip and sew again.

Stevenson wrote, "most people would much rather just get their clothes from a store — already assembled by people employing industrial-level efficiency and a wide variety of materials," and that's true. What Solidoodle and Makerbot and the rest should be looking at is the people who have seen everything in the store and found it wanting."
alexandralange  2014  sewing  3dprinting  makerbots  making  makers  repair  reuse  glvo  sharing  obsolescence  process  howwework  cv  waste  utility  technology  fabrication  alteration  thingiverse  purpose  usefulness  solidoodle  makerbot  recycling  agency  need  necessity  patterns  clothing  wearables  techshop  shapeways  sethstevenson  craft  lcproject  openstudioproject  homeec  repairing 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Twitter / annegalloway: Create! Make! Produce! Innovate! ...
"Create! Make! Produce! Innovate! Why can’t I just be still? Or simply do some things sometimes?"
may2014dl  annegalloway  2014  making  innovation  production  productivity  leisure  idleness  slow  creativity  makers 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Fork
"For all your projects, the things you want to do and care about.
Build, learn and achieve things together.
Get inspired, support others and share your own experiences.

See how others did it. Learn about their shortcuts and hacks.
Learn from their experiences, research and process.
Fork a project, build something on top of it, and share it back to the community."



"Fork is just a project, like any other on the site. It started with a few questions, a simple idea, and a "let's try this". No investors, no big brand clients, just a "what if" idea, and some excitement to build something you really care about.

Why #Fork?
About five months ago, I wanted to learn programming, and I was searching all over the web "how to". There are tons of informations out there, in blogs, in books, Q&A sites, in tutorial videos, online courses. Well, Google has it all, right? Basically it's all there. It's great! But it was really hard to get an overview. Where to start? What do I really need to learn? Which languages should I learn? Dozens of questions.
And if you invest time you will find answers, but it's a lot of work to filter the valuable parts. That's where it get's a little bit frustrating and often that's this dangerous place where you stop, before you even really started. But there have to be hundreds, well thousands of people who stood on the exact same place than me, trying to write the first line of code. They already did all this research, curated a great set of informations and tools. Many of them developed after many tries and errors great workflows and processes to solve the hard parts.

But how did they do it?
Is there a site, that is focused on how things were done?
A site, where I can find all the things I need to get started? And at this moment I was not just thinking about programming any more, but about all kinds of projects.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place, where people shared how they did certain things? How they learned programming, how they found their dream home, how they learned to speak 3 languages in less than a year, how they opened their own coffeeshop, how they managed to travel for a year without losing their job?

We all know this feeling of having this idea and not knowing how to get there.

People are doing all this great stuff. Wouldn’t it be great to use their experiences, research, process, tools, hacks to start your own project? What if you could fork their project and develop on top of their foundation your own ideas and share them yourself?
Wouldn’t it be great while doing a certain project, to get feedback, to get support, to connect to people who are doing the same thing like you?
Building such a place sounds like a crazy idea, right? A megalomaniac idea for sure. But what can we loose?

What is #Fork?
It's a place that is dedicated to doing. A place that is focused on „How“. A place about your projects. A community of people who do great things, who help each other out.

A place to find all the information and the right people to get things started, to achieve your goals, to change things, to finish your projects. We all have great projects on our list. Let’s do them.

Where does this all go?
We don’t now yet, but we think it’s worth experimenting.
Right now #Fork is still in a kind of an Alpha Version state, where as a developer you feel still a little bit embarrassed to show it to the world, because some things are still a little bit bumpy and important features are still missing. But in order to build a great product you have to release it as fast a possible to get the important Feedback of you guys.

We don’t run this idea. You do. We are very excited to see, what you will do with it. If you have any ideas or suggestions how we could make #Fork a better place, please let us know."
diy.org  make  making  makers  forking  fork  doers 
april 2014 by robertogreco
15-Yr-Old Kelvin Doe Wows M.I.T. - YouTube
"15-Year-Old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus.

Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the "Visiting Practitioner's Program" at MIT. THNKR had exclusive access to Kelvin and his life-changing journey - experiencing the US for the first time, exploring incredible opportunities, contending with homesickness, and mapping out his future.

Here is a link to the Bobby Fala track in the video on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/karen-kilberg/k...

Photos courtesy of Adam Cohn (http://www.adamcohn.com/) and Paula Aguilera


PRODIGIES is a bi-weekly series showcasing the youngest and brightest as they challenge themselves to reach new heights and the stories behind them.

Created and produced by @radical.media, THNKR gives you extraordinary access to the people, stories, places and thinking that will change your mind."
kelcindoe  africa  sierraleone  mit  engineering  electronics  edg  music  making  makers 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Maciej Ceglowski - Barely succeed! It's easier! - YouTube
"We live in a remarkable time when small teams (or even lone programmers) can successfully compete against internet giants. But while the last few years have seen an explosion of product ideas, there has been far less innovation in how to actually build a business. Silicon Valley is stuck in an outdated 'grow or die' mentality that overvalues risk, while investors dismiss sustainable, interesting projects for being too practical. So who needs investors anyway?

I'll talk about some alternative definitions of success that are more achievable (and more fun!) than the Silicon Valley casino. It turns out that staying small offers some surprising advantages, not just in the day-to-day experience of work, but in marketing and getting customers to love your project. Best of all, there's plenty more room at the bottom.

If your goal is to do meaningful work you love, you may be much closer to realizing your dreams than you think."
via:lukeneff  maciejceglowski  2013  startups  pinboard  culture  atalhualpa  larrywall  perl  coding  slow  small  success  community  communities  diversity  growth  sustainability  venturecapital  technology  tonyrobbins  timferris  raykurzweil  singularity  humanism  laziness  idleness  wealth  motivation  siliconvalley  money  imperialism  corneliusvanderbilt  meaning  incubators  stevejobs  stevewozniak  empirebuilders  makers  fundraising  closedloops  viscouscircles  labor  paulgraham  ycombinator  gender  publishing  hits  recordingindustry  business  lavabit  mistakes  duckduckgo  zootool  instapaper  newsblur  metafilter  minecraft  ravelry  4chan  backblaze  prgmr.com  conscience  growstuff  parentmeetings  lifestylebusinesses  authenticity  googlereader  yahoopipes  voice  longtail  fanfiction  internet  web  online  powerofculture  counterculture  transcontextualism  maciejcegłowski  transcontextualization 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Evgeny Morozov: Hackers, Makers, and the Next Industrial Revolution
"The kind of Internet metaphysics that informs Anderson’s account sees ingrained traits of technology where others might see a cascade of decisions made by businessmen and policymakers. This is why Anderson starts by confusing the history of the Web with the history of capitalism and ends by speculating about the future of the maker movement, which, on closer examination, is actually speculation on the future of capitalism. What Anderson envisages—more of the same but with greater diversity and competition—may come to pass. But to set the threshold for the third industrial revolution so low just because someone somewhere forgot to regulate A.T. & T. (or Google) seems rather unambitious [...]

[Homebrew Computer Club leader] Felsenstein took [Ivan] Illich’s advice to heart, not least because it resembled his own experience with ham radios, which were easy to understand and fiddle with. If the computer were to assist ordinary folks in their political struggles, the computer needed a ham-radio-like community of hobbyists. Such a club would help counter the power of I.B.M., then the dominant manufacturer of large and expensive computers, and make computers smaller, cheaper, and more useful in political struggles.

Then Steve Jobs showed up. Felsenstein’s political project, of building computers that would undermine institutions and allow citizens to share information and organize, was recast as an aesthetic project of self-reliance and personal empowerment. For Jobs, who saw computers as “a bicycle for our minds,” it was of only secondary importance whether one could peek inside or program them.

Jobs had his share of sins, but the naïveté of Illich and his followers shouldn’t be underestimated. Seeking salvation through tools alone is no more viable as a political strategy than addressing the ills of capitalism by cultivating a public appreciation of arts and crafts. Society is always in flux, and the designer can’t predict how various political, social, and economic systems will come to blunt, augment, or redirect the power of the tool that is being designed. Instead of deinstitutionalizing society, the radicals would have done better to advocate reinstitutionalizing it: pushing for political and legal reforms to secure the transparency and decentralization of power they associated with their favorite technology

[...] A reluctance to talk about institutions and political change doomed the Arts and Crafts movement, channelling the spirit of labor reform into consumerism and D.I.Y. tinkering. The same thing is happening to the movement’s successors. Our tech imagination is at its zenith [but our institutional imagination has stalled, and with it the democratizing potential of radical technologies]. We carry personal computers in our pockets—nothing could be more decentralized than this!—but have surrendered control of our data, which is stored on centralized servers, far away from our pockets. The hackers won their fight against I.B.M.—only to lose it to Facebook and Google. And the spooks at the National Security Agency must be surprised to learn that gadgets were supposed to usher in the “de-institutionalization of society.”"
technology  computer  gadget  history  criticism  intellectualproperty  data  labor  remake  regulation  transparency  power  inequality  hierarchy  privacy  politics  diy  consumers  consumerism  apple  ivanillich  google  evgenymorozov  ip  makermovement  making  makers  capitalism  chrisanderson  2014  via:Taryn  toolsforconviviality  leefelsenstein  technosolutionism  stevejobs  stewartbrand  wholeearthcatalog  tools  murraybookchin  society  homebrewers  institutions  change  reforms  conviviality 
january 2014 by robertogreco
▶ Cuba's DIY Inventions from 30 Years of Isolation - YouTube
"In 1991, Cuba's economy began to implode. "The Special Period in the Time of Peace" was the government's euphemism for what was a culmination of 30 years worth of isolation. It began in the 60s, with engineers leaving Cuba for America. Ernesto Oroza, a designer and artist, studied the innovations created during this period. He found that the general population had created homespun, Frankenstein-like machines for their survival, made from everyday objects. Oroza began to collect these machines, and would later contextualize it as "art" in a movement he dubbed "Technological Disobedience."

Originally aired on Motherboard in 2011. Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/146oqYW"

[See also: http://architectureofnecessity.com/ ]
jugaad  cuba  via:meetar  diy  makers  invention  design  ingenuity  disobedience  1980s  1990s  ernestooroza  technology  riquimbili  bikes  rikimbili  reuse  repurposing 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Squeegee Prints | Professional apparel printing
"Squeegee Prints is a professional print studio based in San Diego, CA.
We specialize in printing custom apparel, headwear, and promotional products.
Please take a moment to read through our art requirements before submitting a quote."
sandiego  makers  screenprinting  printing 
september 2013 by robertogreco
Critical Making Lab
"The critical making laboratory is a shared space for opening up the practice of experimentation with embedded and material digital technology to students and faculty in the Faculty of Information. The lab provides tools, materials, and training for building devices such as wearable computers, RFID systems, ubiquitous computing networks, and other physical computing technologies. However, while the critical making lab organizes its efforts around the making of material objects, devices themselves are not the ultimate goal. Instead, through the sharing of results and an ongoing critical analysis of materials, designs, and outcomes, the lab participants together perform a practice-based engagement with the pragmatic and theoretical issues around information and information technology. Physical computational objects are increasingly part of libraries, museums, and information environments more generally. The lab serves as a novel space for conceptualizing and investigating the critical social, cultural, and political issues that surround and influence the movement of information processing capability into the physical environment."
toronto  canada  design  criticaldesign  theory  internetofthings  ubiquitouscomputing  computing  making  makers  physicalcomputing  rfid  openstudioproject  iot 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Critical Making | materials protocols and culture
"Critical Making will operationalize and critique the practice of “making” through both foundational literature and hands on studio culture. As hybrid practitioners, students will develop fluency in readily collaging and incorporating a variety of physical materials and protocols into their practice. With design research as a lens, students will envision and create future computational experiences that critically explore social and culturally relevant technological themes such as community, privacy, environment, education, economics, energy, food, biology, democracy, activism, healthcare, social justice, etc.

While no previous technical knowledge is required to take this course, class projects will involve basic programing, electronic circuity, and digital fabrication design. While tutorials and instruction will be provided, students will be expected to develop basic skills in each of these areas in order to complete the course projects. The course will result in a final public show of student work.

The course goals are:

• develop a critical understanding of emerging making technologies and their role within the current cultural and social context
• establish proficiency with the fundamental concepts, methods, and practices of physical modeling, sketching, form giving, electronic prototyping, and hands on making across a range of materials
• improve students ability to make expressive, physical, interactive objects that critique and advance computing culture through the production of making and artifact creation
• advance the communication and presentation skill of students through the process of the studio critique

projects

This is a studio class with time devoted to lecture, discussion, practice activities, design worksessions, and critique of student work. This course will consist of two Provocations and a Final Project demonstrating a functional interactive object set within a real life context and scenario. There will also be a series of Field Activities and in class sessions that are incuded as a portion of your particpation grade.

readings

Readings will be assigned throughout the semester. Everyone is expected to read the readings. One or two people will be selected for each reading to prepare a class presentation. Each student is expected to engage in class discussions when readings are assigned. This counts towards your class participation grade.

zip.crit

Most classes will begin with a zip.crit. A zip.crit is a rapid crit of an interface, object, design, etc. We will be rotating through the class roster and choosing one person to do a zip.crit each class. That person will select an interface, object, design, instructable, kickstarter, toy, etc. At the beginning of class that person will briefly introduce the object, interface, design to us. The class will collectively critique the artifact.

evaluation

Work and performance in the course will be evaluated after each Provocation and the Final Project. In addition, the process of exploration is as important as the final product, so it is important that students manage time well and devote time to working on the assignments during the course of a week. If class time is given as a worksession and is not put to good use, students’ grades will be penalized. For assignments done in teams, students will be graded on individual contributions as well as synthesis with the team. Work that is late will be decremented in grade.

rules of engagement

One of the main learning exercises in this course is the critique. We will be building this skill throughout the semester Each of the assignments will be critiqued in class.

Be there!

Critique days mandatory attendance. If you are not in class or late, we will deduct from your attendance grade. There will be no exceptions.

Attendance of all classes is mandatory. You are allowed one absence for the semester without penalty (except critique days); thereafter you will receive zero credit for the missed studio. To receive an additional excused absence, you must ask in advance, and receive an acknowledgment from the instructor.

Excusable absences include family emergencies, job interviews, and presenting at a conference. It does not include wanting to leave early for long weekend or vacation. To receive credit for attendance, you must arrive on time. No late assignments will be accepted

Be active!

During the in class critique everyone is expected to be engaged in the discussion. Assignments, timely attendance, and in-class and team participation are a critical part of the grade. Bringing examples from outside of the class is considered to be an assignment and is also important.

Be attentive!

No laptops, phones, electronics out or used during critique and at other selected parts of class.

grading criteria

participation in assignments
good use of class time: attendance, critiques, (NO multitasking)
problem selection
rigorous design explorations
quality of craftsmanship and level of completion
quality of the team’s reflection and communication about a design solution and process
For projects done in teams, students will be graded on individual contributions as well as synthesis with the team.
Work that is late will be decremented in grade.

PARTICIPATION 20%
PROVOCATION 1 20%
PROVOCATION 2 20%
FINAL PROVOCATION 40%"

[See also: http://www.paulos.net/
http://www.krisfallon.com/
http://www.isopoddesign.com/ ]
education  sustainability  making  classideas  syllabus  2013  ericpaulos  krisfallon  chrismeyers  environment  biology  democracy  activism  healthcare  socialjustice  studioculture  openstudio  openstudioproject  makers  berkeley  bayarea  programming  coding  computing  electronics  digitalfabrication  technology  learning  lcproject  kickstarter  instructables  prototyping  glvo  edg  srg  syllabi 
may 2013 by robertogreco
IsoBots
"Welcome to my robotics site, first a little about myself, I am a product designer and educator. As a product designer I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects including concept automobiles, electric vehicles, medical equipment, exhibit design, wearable computers and toys. Although I am a certifiable car nut and lover of cutting edge technology, my favorite projects are toys. I love creating toys that might become a child's treasured object, I look back on my favorite toys that I had as a kid and can clearly see how they allowed me to develop my imagination. My goal is to give today's kids the opportunity to learn how things work and make working robots! My partner Anne Mayoral and I developed the ArtBots to implement this goal. Many times it is the first time the girl or boy has actually constructed something that actually works! The pride on the young makers face is priceless and the successful completion of the working bot instills confidence which is needed to encourage further engagement. I feel that this encouragement is missing in so many of today's toys and games. We have created several generations of kids that can turn on and off toys, have excellent hand eye coordination but lack in the knowledge and even the curiosity of how stuff works.

I reside in San Francisco and spend my free time tinkering with British cars, old motorcycles, RC gliders and building various robotic creatures. I teach at the Academy of Art University in the Industrial Design Department. I also run an after school robotics class for seven to nine year olds called ArtBots."

[via: http://make.berkeley.edu/ ]
robotics  robots  youth  kids  education  bayarea  sanfrancisco  making  chrismeyer  criticalmaking  makers  design  learning  toys  toydesign  toymaking  glvo  edg  srg  isobots  berkeley 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Make Summer
"MAKE. WRITE. REMIX.

Events and Projects All Summer Long Linked by a Powerful Shared Interest:

Making learning more relevant – connecting learning to people's interests, to real life, real work, real communities, and to the demands and opportunities of the digital age."

[From the about page:]

"This summer, major advocates for the potential of the Internet – including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla, the National Writing Project, and others – are putting Connected Learning into practice. The Summer of Making and Connecting organizes hundreds of events, projects and programs in communities across the nation, around the world, and online to help youth connect learning to their interests and to enable teachers to learn from and network with their innovative peers.

The campaign will engage hundreds of thousands of people in creating things on the web, with hardware, and on paper—working in schools and community spaces and at kitchen tables. The campaign brings together organizations from the worlds of DIY, making, writing, and learning to build the Connected Learning movement.

Our partners believe Connected Learning is an essential learning approach if we are to engage more students and better prepare today’s youth for real life and real work in a world of constant change. Just as previous generations harnessed the advancements of their times, schools and community spaces such as museums and libraries should leverage new technologies to deepen the connections between student interests, academic rigor and real world paths to success. Schools need to build on the basics so students graduate with the higher-order skills such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication they need to succeed. Because for education to be relevant and useful today, it must recognize that retreating from these realities means leaving a generation of children behind.

Learning Principles
1. Interest-powered
2. Peer-supported
3. Academically oriented

Design Principles
1. Production-centered
2. Openly networked
3. Shared purpose"
mozilla  making  makers  learning  summer  2013  networkedlearning  connectedlearning  change  interestdriven  doing  purpose  sharedpurpose  community  communities  peersupport  connectivism  constructivism  nationalwritingproject  nwp  macarthurfoundation  events  relevance 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Chinese DIY Inventions - In Focus - The Atlantic
"One visible sign of China's recent economic growth is the rise in prominence of inventors and entrepreneurs. For years now, Chinese farmers, engineers, and businessmen have taken on ambitious do-it-yourself projects, constructing homemade submarines, helicopters, robots, safety equipment, weapons and much more. Some of the inventions are built out of passion, some with an eye toward profit, (some certainly safer than others), and a few have already led to sales for the inventors. Gathered here are recent photos of this DIY movement across China."
china  engineering  photos  photography  invention  inventions  robots  housing  arks  submarines  2013  vehicles  motorcycles  slides  houses  portability  mobility  nomads  disasters  airplanes  diy  making  makers  bikes  prosthetics  helicopters 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Los Angeles Young Makers (Los Angeles, CA) - Meetup
"We are a group of educators, hackers, artists, and others interested in building the Young Makers movement in LA. Whether you call them Fab Labs, SmartLabs, or Makerspaces... whatever permutation they take, let's join forces and get more going here in SoCal."
openstudioproject  lcproject  smartlabs  hackerspaces  makerspaces  fablabs  hackers  makers  losangeles 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Los Angeles Makerspace
"The Los Angeles Makerspace is a non-profit community space for makers of all ages to work on projects and take classes in software, hardware, electronics, robotics, art, filmmaking, bio-tech, eco-tech, wearable-tech and more!"

"Mission: To provide an all ages 24×7 community space in Los Angeles where makers of all ages learn to use tools and materials, explore their own interests, and develop creative projects.

The non-profit space is for members to develop and prototype ideas, work on projects, program events and classes and be the home for tech groups and school meetups. Our focus is on youth and families as well as those that support kids in learning through DIY. For the past several months we’ve been hosting events at locations around Los Angeles and we are very excited to announce that we have a new space located at LA Mart in Downtown Los Angeles.

Over the next couple of months we will be building the space out with help from community members."
hackerspaces  makers  openstudioproject  lcproject  tarayoung  losangeles  makerspaces 
november 2012 by robertogreco
MAKERSANDFOUNDERS, an always expanding collection of video interviews with makers and founders from a variety of sources and perspectives...
"MAKERSANDFOUNDERS is an always expanding collection of video interviews with makers and founders from a variety of sources and perspectives. To get in touch, send us an email or find us on twitter or facebook.

MAKERSANDFOUNDERS is an hernandezsilvalab project done out of Montevideo, Uruguay."
art  collections  designers  founders  music  artists  design  video  videos  interviews  youtube  makers 
november 2012 by robertogreco
The dream of the internet is alive in Portland: inside the XOXO Festival | The Verge
"Should XOXO happen yearly, or never again? Should current attendees have first dibs on future festivals, or be discouraged from returning to make room for new people and ideas? My friend Leonard Lin imagined an OLPC model, where those who can afford to attend help pay the way for new makers, to ensure that the next Julia Nunes or Super Meat Boy can have a better chance to blossom. I might like to see more hands-on activities, more attendee diversity, and more Q&A sessions. These are standard questions for exciting new events: How do you keep the energy going? How do you reach more people?

SUMMER CAMP ISN'T SUPPOSED TO SCALE

But maybe the usual questions miss the point of XOXO. You go to summer camp to see old friends, to make new ones, and —if you're in Portland — to eat locally sourced, organic s'mores. Summer camp isn't supposed to scale, and you don't always come away with merit badges or a clear plan of action. But you re-energize the best part of yourself. You share ideas, stay up late, find a new crush, eat pizza or poutine, and laugh. You depart PDX inspired, with a head full of ideas, a belly full of tacos, and a heart full of Twitter handles.

XOXO wasn't really a conference. It was a face-to-face reminder of what's possible, a Sex Pistols gig of legend for modern creative geeks. That's the internet we should all live in."
summercamp  doers  makers  internet  oregon  portland  glvo  openstudioproject  events  conferenceideas  conferences  lcproject  andybaio  2012  xoxo 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Is Cuteness Bad for Craft? | The Etsy BlogThe Etsy Blog
"We’ve come a long way since the days of William Morris, the designer and leader who fostered the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 1800s. For Morris, craft was a serious endeavor that focused on putting handmade, functional objects in homes. “Rather than three sets of elaborately decorated transferware china, you would have one set of handmade and glazed plates,” explains Lange. The movement was consciously putting its foot down against the introduction of impersonal mass production.

Since Morris’s time, craft has lost its heady undertones, but we’re now seeing a return to the original tenets of the Arts and Crafts movement. Lange cites blogs like Unconsumption and Make It Do, which echo the founding sentiment of the Arts and Craft movement that Lange summarizes as “make it yourself, buy better quality items, think about each purchase, keep it for a long time.”

“I wonder if we are not in the dawn of another reform era,” says Lange."

[See also: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/08/dont-put-a-bird-on-it-saving-craft-from-cuteness.html ]
craftwars  makers  making  possessions  meaning  materialism  consumerculture  consumption  sustainability  qualityoverquantity  madetolast  slow  artsandcraftsmovement  alexandralange  cute  williammorris  unproduct  makeitdo  unconsumption  crafting  craft  etsy  2012 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Makematics: turning CS research into maker tools
"No generation of artists has ever been more dependent on scientific and technical advances than today’s. Today’s artists work on computers. Advances in computer science and related mathematical fields underlie everything that digital artists make. Recently these advances have lead to the advent of whole new creative fields like interactive art, generative graphics, data visualization, and digital fabrication.

In order to produce excellent and novel work in these new fields, artists have had to learn computational and mathematical techniques. They started with basic material like trigonometry for 2D games and graphics, the rudiments of computer vision for interactive installations, and primitive signal processing for embedded electronics.

Increasingly these new creative fields are becoming the basis of art and design across our culture. And these techniques are becoming the foundation of a new kind of art and design education."
education  design  electronics  programming  generativegraphics  fabbing  digitalfabrication  datavisualization  2012  technology  science  somputers  computing  computation  makers  making  makematics  art  math 
march 2012 by robertogreco
More thoughts on writing and making | Design Culture Lab
"Unstable. Shifty. Unreliable.

Yes please!

I love that people and our words are all those things. As I replied to Peter, and would say to Matt, I prefer the sense of potential that comes from this kind of material and making.

It’s less prescriptive. Less efficient. Less technological. Less machinic.

More space to become something, someone else."

"I don’t mean to romanticise words and writing. And I don’t mean to suggest they are divorced from technology or machines or even code.

By identifying what is included in our definitions of making or Making–and asking what is excluded–we might, as Ben Highmore writes in the introduction to The Everyday Life Reader, be able to “find new commonalities and breathe new life into old differences.”

And I’m pretty sure there’s lots more to be thought and said about what gets made, how, when and where it gets made, and by whom it gets made."

[Follow-up to: http://www.designculturelab.org/2012/02/26/hi-my-name-is-anne-i-make-stuff-with-words/ ]
materials  technology  craft  text  benhighmore  everydaylife  patrickness  robertcreeley  poetry  jwarton  peterrichardson  mattjones  makerculture  makers  making  writing  2012 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Hi. My name is Anne. I make stuff with words. | Design Culture Lab
"I’m interested in words as materials for making, and in the written word as an artefact or thing that has been made. I’m also interested in why words (or the written word as distinguished from books) are generally not considered part of “Maker culture.”

Barry’s point was that Maker culture is specifically concerned with hardware, and since I think this definition is generally accepted then words-as-materials have no place there. If Making is about problem-solving, then creative writing has no place there either."

"So, does this mean that if the primary goal of (creative) writing is expression, the only way it can be incorporated into Maker culture is to use words explicitly for problem-solving, or the production of (cultural) solutions? How, exactly, does that differ from aesthetic goals–and especially if we do not distinguish between aesthetics and ethics?"

[Follow-up post here: http://www.designculturelab.org/2012/03/01/more-thoughts-on-writing-and-making/ ]
2012  peterrichardson  knowledge  discourse  glenfuller  kiostark  erinkissane  giovannitiso  tomhenderson  sallyapplin  design  materials  makerculture  makers  making  expression  comments  wordsmithing  writing  annegalloway  ethics  aesthetics  digitalsertão  expandingtext  stackingwords  telescopictext 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Monitor: More than just digital quilting | The Economist
"Technology and society: The “maker” movement could change how science is taught and boost innovation. It may even herald a new industrial revolution"

"It is easy to laugh at the idea that hobbyists with 3D printers will change the world. But the original industrial revolution grew out of piecework done at home, and look what became of the clunky computers of the 1970s. The maker movement is worth watching."
makers  technology  innovation  diy  glvo  programming  making  fabbing  3dprinting  reprap  2011  rapidprototyping 
december 2011 by robertogreco
russell davies: talking on the radio / the internet with things
"This makes me feel like we're on the edge of something interesting; something Andy Huntington has called 'the GeoCities of Things' - the moment when it's as easy to make personal technology objects as it was to make a GeoCities page.

So I wonder whether the 'Internet With Things' is a more useful term than the 'Internet Of Things'. As Matt Jones has said "The network is as important to think about as the things" and the network has people in it. We're in there with the things. And people are looking for more than just sleek efficiency, they're after something else, something unexpected."
geocities  geocitiesofthings  internetofthings  russelldavies  arduino  shapingthings  brucesterling  andyhuntington  making  makers  hacking  2011  spimes  post-digital  iot 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Generation Make | TechCrunch
"We have a distrust of large organizations…don’t look down on people creating small businesses. But we’re not emotionless…We have anger…flares up to become Arab Spring & OccupyWallStreet…We have ego…every entrepreneur who thinks their tech startup is the best…We have passion, & an intense drive to follow…through, immediately. Our generation is autonomous…impatient. We refuse to pay our dues…want to be running the department. We hop from job to job…average tenure…is just 3 years. We think we can do anything we can imagine…hate the idea that we should ever be beholden to someone else. We do this because we have been abandoned by the institutions that should have embraced us…We are a generation of makers…of creators. Maybe we don’t have the global idealism of the hippies. Our idealism is more individual: that every person should be able to live their own life, working on what they choose, creating what they choose…"
socialmedia  makers  making  generations  millennials  2011  justinkan  williamderesiewicz  entrepreneurship  ows  arabspring  occupywallstreet  idealism  attitude  trends  passion  unschooling  deschooling  hierarchy  revolution  via:preoccupations  davidfincer  markzuckerberg  individualism  self-actualization  independence  work  labor  behavior  startups  startup  workplace  motivation  geny  generationy 
november 2011 by robertogreco
MAKE | Is It Time to Rebuild & Retool Public Libraries and Make “TechShops”?
"Let’s explore what could be ahead for public libraries and how we could collectively transform them into “factories” — not factories that make things, but factories that help make people who want to learn and make things. Will libraries go away? Will they become hackerspaces, TechShops, tool-lending libraries, and Fab Labs, or have these new, almost-public spaces displaced a new role for libraries? For many of us, books themselves are tools. In the sense that books are tools of knowledge, the library is a repository for tools, so will we add “real tools” for the 21st century?

Before we dive into the future, let’s take a look at the current public library scene now. Feel free to skip this part. I think it’s pretty interesting though."
libraries  future  technology  books  hacking  make  education  lcproject  makers  hackerspaces  2011  philliptorrone 
november 2011 by robertogreco
The Public Library, Completely Reimagined | MindShift
"Earlier this year, MAKE Magazine’s Phillip Torrone wrote a provocative article asking “Is it time to rebuild and retool libraries and make ‘techshops’?” In other words, should libraries join some of the other new community centers that are being created (such as General Assembly which we covered yesterday) and become “hackerspaces” or “makerspaces”?

“Yes!”, says librarian Lauren Smedley, who is in the process of creating what might just be the first maker-space within a U.S. public library. The Fayetteville Free Library where Smedley works is building a Fab Lab — short for fabrication laboratory — that will provide free public access to machines and software for manufacturing and making things."
libraries  lcproject  makerbot  2011  audreywatters  philliptorrone  laurensmedley  lafayettefreelibrary  library2.0  makers  hackerspaces 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Venessa: Superhero School An Epicenter for Disruptive Innovation
"I put a short post up a few days ago in an online group I’m in, with the above image and this brief description:

superhero school. center for disruptive innovation. continuous learning zone. collective intelligence. live/work startup incubator. community center. hackerspace. makerlab. autonomous zone. permaculture and sustainable food production. cooperatively owned communications infrastructure. resilience. r&d; lab. a place for creative troublemakers. hudson valley. i want this to exist.

It blew up to over 100 comments in less than 48 hours, with many people sharing their own thoughts and plans and existing initiatives to create similar things in their areas. I was inspired! Is this an idea whose time has come?"

[Also here (with comments): http://emergentbydesign.com/2011/11/09/superhero-school-an-epicenter-for-disruptive-innovation/ ]
lcproject  cv  hackerspaces  unschooling  deschooling  glvo  kaospilots  incubator  communitycenter  communitycenters  creativity  sharedspace  collectiveintelligence  continuouslearningzone  learning  superheroschool  sharing  collaborativeconsumption  cocreation  makers  knowmads  twinoaks  tamera  kibbutzim  findhornfoundation  lionkimbro  centerforalternativetechnology  friendsofgaviotas  gaiauniversity  edenproject  schumachercollege  teamacademy  generalassembly  unreasonableinstitute  maisonnotman  blackbox  barcamp  unconferences  fablabs  workshops  chaordinatedevents  prototyping  rapidprototyping 
november 2011 by robertogreco
MAKE | Zen and the Art of Making
"Some of the most talented and prolific people I know have dozens of interests and hobbies. When I ask them about this, the response is usually something like “I love to learn.” I think the new discoveries and joys of learning are the crux of this beginner thing I’ve been thinking about. Sure, when you’ve mastered something it’s valuable, but then part of your journey is over — you’ve arrived, and the trick is to find something you’ll always have a sense of wonder about. I think this is why scientists and artists, who are usually experts, love what they do: there is always something new ahead. It’s possible to be an expert but still retain the mind of a beginner. It’s hard, but the best experts can do it. In making things, in art, in science, in engineering, you can always be a beginner about something you’re doing — the fields are too vast to know it all."
philliptorrone  making  learning  unschooling  curiosity  education  experts  generalists  creativegeneralists  2011  zen  knowledge  expertise  lewiscarroll  makers  electronics  art  artists  science  scientists  tinkering  tinkerers  lifelonglearning  deschooling  mindset  beginners  invention  arduino  fear  risktaking  riskaversion  teaching  lcproject  failure  stasis  yearoff  openminded  children  interestedness  specialists  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  exploration  internet  web  online  constraints  specialization  interested  beginner'smind 
november 2011 by robertogreco
DYI Sci | The Science Friday Blog
"When you wonder where all the youthful creativity is; where good old “Yankee ingenuity” has gone, it’s still here. But not in formal education. Anyone who is looking to find the next generation of engineers, technologists and free-thinkers need only go to one of these Faires or visit the thousands of Hacker Spaces springing up across the country. It will leave you breathless…and hopeful."
science  stem  makerfaires  making  learning  informallearning  unschooling  deschooling  doing  makers  2011  iraflatow 
october 2011 by robertogreco
We, Who Are Web Designers — Jon Tan 陳
"I’m self-actualised, without the stamp of approval from any guild, curriculum authority, or academic institution. I’m web taught. Colleague taught. Empirically taught. Tempered by over fifteen years of failed experiments on late nights with misbehaving browsers. I learnt how to create venues because none existed. I learnt what music to play for the people I wanted at the event, and how to keep them entertained when they arrived. I empathised, failed, re-empathised, and did it again. I make sites that work. That’s my certificate. That’s my validation."
posteducation  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  certification  pln  authority  curriculum  curriculumisdead  problemsolving  2011  design  webdesign  webdev  empathy  learningbydoing  web  making  makers  make  do  autodidacts  jontan 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Mitch Resnick: The Role of Making, Tinkering, Remixing in Next-Generation Learning | DMLcentral
"…best learning experiences come when people are actively engaged in designing things, creating things, & inventing things—expressing themselves.

…if we want people to really be fluent w/ new technologies & learn through their activities, it requires people to get involved as makers—to create things.

…best experiences come when…making use of the materials in the world around you, tinkering w/ things…coming up w/ a prototype, getting feedback…iteratively changing it…making new ideas, over & over…adapting to the current situation & the new situations that arise.

In our after school programs, we see many kids who have been unsuccessful in traditional educational settings become incredibly successful when they are given the opportunity to make, tinker, & remix.

…there are lessons for schools from the ways that kids learn outside of schools…

Over time, I do think we need to rethink educational institutions as a place that embraces playful experimentation."
tcsnmy  mitchresnick  mit  mitmedialab  medialab  scratch  mindstorms  lego  informallearning  learning  unschooling  deschooling  schools  play  prototyping  making  doing  remix  remixing  remixculture  self-expression  technology  lcproject  howardrheingold  makers  creators  iteration  iterative  wedo  lifelongkindergarten  education  experimentation  invention  feedback  2011  toshare 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Andrew Sliwinski | Thisandagain
"Hi. My name is Andrew.<br />
I help solve problems and make things using design, technology, science and fabrication."
andrewsliwinski  engineering  making  makers  doing  make  hackers  building  electronics  multimedia  via:javierarbona  technology  science  design  problemsolving  thisandagain  makerfaire 
july 2011 by robertogreco
notes on "an empathetic plan"
"But I do feel that many people who take shots at products (some they don't even pay for) are overly critical of them with no goal of providing their readers or friends with a constructive perspective.

Worse is when the people doing the complaining also make software or web sites or iPhone applications themselves. As visible leaders of the web, I think there are a lot of folks who could do a favor to younger, less experienced people by setting an example of critiquing to raise up rather than critiquing to tear down.

If you're a well known web or app developer who complains a lot on Twitter about other people's projects, I am very likely talking about you. You and I both know that there are many reasons why something works a certain way or why something in the backend would affect the way something works on the front-end."

[via: http://kottke.org/11/04/how-to-complain-about-software ]
development  empathy  making  makers  philosophy  iphone  insight  web  andretorrez  complainers  showmehow  alltalk  examples  teaching  learning  doing  doers  twitter  complaints  2011 
april 2011 by robertogreco
The Play Ethic: Playing well: ten years of The Play Ethic
"wanted a new generation of "soulitarians" to exult in flexibility of new kinds of employment, be excited about transformative power of digitality & networks, recover child-like sense of optimism & creativity…very energies of play - not exclusively our own as a species, but something we uniquely retain right to end of our lives - shows we are a radical animal. Play gives us capacity to flexibly respond to almost any situation our environment throws at us. My aim now is still to explore what an "ethic" for play might be - but one which picks through its wide range of potentiating options, & tries to develop best ones for sustainable society.

…rise of "maker" culture…moved from coding to concrete reality - is an example of a dimension of play that could really help us get beyond a wastefully consumerist society. Makers promote a sociable tinkering, where we use hi-tech to skill ourselves and provide for ourselves more and more, rather than a lazy, brand-directed consumption."

[via: http://magicalnihilism.com/2010/12/31/leg-godt/ ]
play  work  patkane  playethic  makers  doers  hackers  hackerculture  well-being  flexibility  education  unschooling  deschooling  ethics  tcsnmy  learning  sustainability  society  consumerism  consumption  tinkering  glvo  lcproject  teaching  experimentation  joy  janemcgonigal  gamification  hideandseek  happiness  policy  briansutton-smith  competition  gamers  videogames  gaming  games  environment  innovation  invention  narcissism  freedom  openness 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Target Mocks Your Homemade Costume | GeekDad | Wired.com
"You may have seen this ad for Target, in which a mother dresses her child in a homemade Iron Man costume. Slate had an excellent take-down of the ad, which basically says that making costumes is a terrible idea and your kids will suffer for it.

Aside from the fact that there are some costumes you just can’t buy, Target has just ticked off the entire Maker movement in just fifteen seconds.

Maybe they forgot that Tony Stark’s suit was homemade, too. And his first one didn’t turn out so great, either."

[See also: http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/scocca/archive/2010/10/19/target-despises-homemade-halloween-costumes.aspx ]
make  makers  geekdad  glvo  costumes  target  creativity  diy 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Musing about learning by doing – confused of calcutta
"the Maker Generation could be in for a fantastic time when it comes to learning by doing, and when it comes to being able to augment that experiental learning with observation of example. Why do I think that? Serendipity. A number of things are coming together: Experience-capture tools are getting better, cheaper and more ubiquitous...Communal tools for sharing are getting better...The Maker Generation is more inclined to share..The need for experience-based learning in the marketplace has never been greater...There’s an increasing focus on education worldwide, with more appetite for radical approaches...Trust in historical command-and-control “broadcast mode” institutions has never been lower...A change is gonna come." [This + Parts 5 and 6 of "Facebook and the Enterprise" (http://bit.ly/5ECGKp AND http://bit.ly/ay8IXP ) have me thinking about Tumblr and other online tools at TCSNMY, and how we use it to learn, model, and observe.]
jprangaswami  education  make  making  makers  experience  experientiallearning  learning  participatory  schools  change  gamechanging  unschooling  deschooling  via:cervus  learningbydoing  toshare  topost  constructivism  doing  resilience 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy - Cory Doctorow's Makers
via: http://io9.com/5311990/how-to-survive-the-next-depression-with-cory-doctorow "it's a fun, smart thought experiment that basically asks the question: What if the people who read MAKE: magazine became activists who wanted to subvert more than licensing agreements? In a near future of economic collapse, unemployed hardware hackers start setting up guerrilla amusement park rides and making the good kind of trouble that earns people a little more freedom. And of course, sinister representatives from major entertainment corporations are hot on their tails . . ."
makers  corydoctorow  books  sciencefiction  tinkering  engineering  fiction  future  recession  greatdepression  diy 
july 2009 by robertogreco

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