Shaping Things / Edition 1

Shaping Things / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Bruce Sterling
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262693267

ISBN-13: 9780262693264

Pub. Date: 09/01/2005

Publisher: MIT Press

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

Sterling offers a brilliant, often hilarious history of shaped things. We have moved from an age of

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Overview

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

Sterling offers a brilliant, often hilarious history of shaped things. We have moved from an age of artifacts, made by hand, through complex machines, to the current era of "gizmos." New forms of design and manufacture are appearing that lack historical precedent, he writes; but the production methods, using archaic forms of energy and materials that are finite and toxic, are not sustainable. The future will see a new kind of object; we have the primitive forms of them now in our pockets and briefcases: user-alterable, baroquely multi-featured, and programmable, that will be sustainable, enhanceable, and uniquely identifiable. Sterling coins the term "spime" for them, these future-manufactured objects with informational support so extensive and rich that they are regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system. Spimes are designed on screens, fabricated by digital means, and precisely tracked through space and time. They are made of substances that can be folded back into the production stream of future spimes, challenging all of us to become involved in their production. Spimes are coming, says Sterling. We will need these objects in order to live; we won't be able to surrender their advantages without awful consequences.

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

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262693264
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Series:
Mediaworks Pamphlets
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
152
Sales rank:
1,227,297
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

1To whom it ought to concern5
2Tomorrow composts today8
3Old wine in new bottles15
4The personal is historical25
5Metahistory37
6A synchronic society45
7The rubbish makers55
8The stark necessity of glamor61
9An end-user drinks gizmo wine70
10Meet the spime76
11Arphids85
12An Internet of things92
13The model is the message95
14Fabbing102
15Spime economics107
16The designer's questions112
17Tomorrow's tomorrow133
18Ublopia or Otivion138

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Shaping Things 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Type a few words into Google and you can find a sushi restaurant, a movie theater, concert tickets or a new car. But if you misplace your car keys in your house, you still have to search the old-fashioned way: room by room, cushion by cushion, coat pocket by coat pocket. If Bruce Sterling is correct, though, one day you'll Google your keys. And your shoes. And your dog. This is the nascent 'Internet of things' made possible by technology, including such items as radio frequency ID tags and traceable product life cycle management. That is where technology is going: to the interactive 'spime,' Sterling's term for objects that will arrive with data attached. In this visually arresting novella-sized essay, Sterling riffs on a number of scenarios, from customized-to-order cell phones to products that 'know' how much carbon their construction required. His aphoristic prose seems at times like madness, but there's method in it: Sterling urges designers to make beautifully sustainable products rather than more proto-trash. We believe his book could reform your ideas about design and provide a stock of carbon-neutral insights you can deliver to your colleagues over a recyclable cup filled with shade-grown coffee.