Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets)


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Some others that you might enjoy are: 'Shaping Things' by Bruce Sterling, it's a short and entertaining look at the potential future of products. The 'Evolution of Useful Things' by Petroski is also really good. It's funny, I just compiled a similar list on my blog after reading Dan's book and 'Findability' is on my list Thanks Jon!

Search Tips Archive. Design by Q LTD. Interaction Design I've invested much of my career defining information architecture as distinct from interaction design. So, now that I'm ready to learn, what else should I read? Want to Read saving….

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book.


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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling. Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling ,. Lorraine Wild Designed by. A guide to the next great wave of technology--an era of objects so programmable that they can be regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system.

He adds: "Seen from sufficient distance, t A guide to the next great wave of technology--an era of objects so programmable that they can be regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system. He adds: "Seen from sufficient distance, this is a small topic.

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Peter Lunenfeld's MediaWork Pamphlets

We have moved from an age of artifacts, made by hand, through complex machines, to the current era of "gizmos. The future will see a new kind of object; we have the primitive forms of them now in our pockets and briefcases: user-alterable, baroquely multi-featured, and programmable, that will be sustainable, enhanceable, and uniquely identifiable. Sterling coins the term "spime" for them, these future-manufactured objects with informational support so extensive and rich that they are regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system.

Spimes are designed on screens, fabricated by digital means, and precisely tracked through space and time. They are made of substances that can be folded back into the production stream of future spimes, challenging all of us to become involved in their production. Spimes are coming, says Sterling. We will need these objects in order to live; we won't be able to surrender their advantages without awful consequences.

The vision of Shaping Things is given material form by the intricate design of Lorraine Wild.

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Shaping Things is for designers and thinkers, engineers and scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers; and anyone who wants to understand and be part of the process of technosocial transformation. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 7th by Mit Press first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Shaping Things , please sign up.

- Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets) by Bruce Sterling

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Oct 31, Frank Caron rated it it was ok. Interesting if obtuse read about a projection of what the future holds beyond our current era of software gizmos and end-usership. Jul 25, Sassa Mifrass rated it really liked it. It's both a credit to Sterling and a somewhat nervous realisation that this book is still so relevant over a decade later. Sterling is prescient, thoughtful, and I really, really hope that the ideas in this book are somehow permeating into the brains of the technocultural elite that have so much power around the shaping of our future. The beginning and end are definitely the most interesting parts, you might lose focus towards the middle as Sterling expands on his initial ideas, but it really is It's both a credit to Sterling and a somewhat nervous realisation that this book is still so relevant over a decade later.

The beginning and end are definitely the most interesting parts, you might lose focus towards the middle as Sterling expands on his initial ideas, but it really is worth going through the entire journey to the end of the book. If you're interested in design, psychology, technology and where it intersects with culture, this is worth a read - yes, even now. I feel it's really worth emphasising something Sterling only comments on in his final chapters - why understanding the design and evolution of technology and culture is so important: because it is an inextricable element required for the continued growth and survival of humanity as a species.

I'm sure Sterling didn't want to sound too grandiose and that's probably partially why that particular idea is only really the direct focus of a couple pages towards the end of the book, but they really, really hit home with me. Sterling describing what we want to avoid as a society: 'What we really ought to fear is not 'Oblivion' but irretrievable decline.

That would be a grim situation in which we all knew humanity's best days were behind us, and that none of our efforts, however brilliant or sincere, could redress the mistakes humankind has already committed.

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Hope has died within us as a species; our hearts are broken; animal vitality keeps us on our feet, but the only satisfaction lies in inflicting harm on ourselves and others. I have always clung to the dream that humanity's endless hope, ingenuity and curiosity leads us to great new ideas, worlds, and ways of being, now and in the future. So what Sterling describes above is one of my deepest fears. He isn't just scaremongering. The entire book is, in part, Sterling thinking about how to avoid such a hopeless world. This section, for example: 'We need to understand that we really don't want to find ourselves in a world that fits that description.

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And in order to avoid that fate, we need to work. We need to tear into the world of artifice in the same way our ancestors tore into the natural world. We need to rip root and branch into the previous industrial base and re-invent it, re-build it. While we have the good fortune to be living, we should invent and apply ways of life that expand the options of our descendants rather than causing irreparable damage to their heritage.

I still have hope, even as I'm terrified of the signs of humanity's growing collective depression.

ISBN 13: 9780262693264

We all need to work together, in our own ways, to build on the great things we possess as humans - that ingenuity, that empathy, that curiosity, that hope - so that the future is a bright one. That's my deepest wish, for all of us. And I'm glad there's a book like this out there, doing its best to help point the way. Mar 06, Tim Belonax rated it really liked it Shelves: reads. A beautiful marriage of form and writing that still holds weight over ten years after its writing which is impressive for technology writing.

I'd recommend this book to anyone entering digital product design or those interested in technology and its interplay with society. Some of Sterling's language can feel obfuscated by his style, but writing clearly about a future yet to happen can be a complicated endeavor. Jul 02, Kirstine Larsen rated it liked it. I read this book as part of the research for my master's thesis.


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The first 70 pages were the most interesting to me, the rest with the exception of the last chapters were a bit of a drag. Aug 24, Ethan rated it really liked it. Unextraordinary, but full of vocabulary that helps to prepare you to think about the future and how to perceive the paradigm shifts to come. Aug 05, Iamreddave rated it it was amazing.

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