Making my thoughts tangible

Over the weekend, I threw together some sticky notes, as mentioned in my status report. This has been extremely helpful for me to get some of my thoughts out without censoring myself, which is great. When my thoughts are hidden in my head, they’re locked in a black box. When thrown out onto sticky notes? I can move them around, create associations, transcribe the ideas into a meaningful post on a blog, etc.

Theories, Concepts, Issues and Questions
Theories, Concepts, Issues and Questions

Above, is a photo of the wall above my bed. The orange notes are my questions, the blue notes are questions that are explicit from the papers I’ve been reading, and the fuchsia are the theoretical concepts, theories, and issues that I’ve determined from my papers.

My questions

While transcribing my questions, I came up with more questions, which is exactly what I hoped for. Yay!

  • How do modern crafters use digital technology? What is technology’s role in their lives? What is the crafter’s role to the technology? How does this relationship affect the crafter’s identity?
  • What role does digital technology play in handcraft? What roles could it play?
  • Are modern crafters/handcrafters actually opposed to modern digital technology?
  • Why has Steampunk become so hands-on? Why is hands-on being connected with digital technology, and how?
  • Can technology be art? Can art be useful?
  • Why isn’t technology novel and fun anymore?  How are people making technology novel and fun? Why is this important? How does it affect their understanding of the world around them? How does it change their self-perception?
  • Does Steampunk technology make us feel more engaged with the world around us? Why?
  • What is so appealing/graceful about tying together tradition with progress?
  • Is technology escaping our control by hiding behind virtual screens? Is this why we mistrust it?
  • Who is the everyday designer? Why are they considered everyday? How do they see themselves?

Their questions

  • Beuchly, L.: How does DIY shape/impact personal identity?
  • Odom, W.: Can products improve rather than deteriorate over time?
  • Beuchley, L.: Do people have the right to re-purpose? Should they? Can we prevent it from happening?

Design concepts, issues, theories, etc

  • Torrey: “Dormer argues…craft means giving people the ability to value nuance.”
  • Paulos: “Technology must prompt us to think, be curious, and wonder.”
  • Wakkary: Everyday designer… can we design for them? “The whole [product, appropriation] is greater than the sum of its parts.”
  • Rosner: Handcraft considered opposed to modern technology.
  • Ahde: People show social relationships and personal history with the objects they own.
  • Dix: “Improvisation is critical to getting things done.”
  • Rosner: Handcrafts physically embody the time and energy they took to make.
  • Wakkary: Resourcefulness and adaptation.
  • Ahde: Appropriation is biography of product after purchase.
  • Gross: “Knowledge of materials and processes… is fundamental to making things in any domain.”
  • Galloway: DIY means creating your own meaning and message.
  • Dix: “Design for use must be design for change.”
  • Diana: DIY is play, experimentation, appreciation for possibility.
  • Ahde: Personal connections stem from significance and narratives of the piece.
  • Rosner: Haptic satisfaction; DIY culture identifies with creation/hacking of object.
  • Silver: “Makers find resonance with materials and people.”
  • Galloway: DIY is creating your own world amidst dominant culture; power is in the hands of the individual.
  • Buechley: People are driven to customize/tinker with their objects.
  • Odom: Our objects say something of who we are, who we want to be, our relationships.
  • Verbeek: Attachment to a thing vs the thing it represents.
  • Verbeek: Objects can be both useful and beautiful.
  • Harre: To be relevant, material objects must be interpreted.
  • Odom: People desire to be attached to objects.
  • Verbeek: Technologies invite certain ways of dealing with them.
  • Steel: “Steampunk makes technology feel novel and fun again.”
  • Steel: Dial down digital existence and embrace physical materialization as route to creative satisfaction.
  • Dix: You can design a system so a task “can be done” rather than having it “do a task.”

…Phew. Now to select the important concepts and begin applying them to my own Steampunk experience by creating goggles, dressing up for Halloween, etc.

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