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Making Things in a Digital World

Digital quilt

Just read an interesting paper from last year by David Gauntlett (author of Making Is Connecting) which can be downloaded here. It discusses the following six theses which I think I’m going to pin up on the studio/office wall. In fact I think I might have them printed onto a wallet sized crib card.

1. The internet is ancient (in other words: the internet has affordances which connect with ancient, great aspects of humanity).

2. A world with lots of interesting, creative things is always better than a world which offers only a small number of popular, smartly-finished things.

3. People doing things because they want to is always better than people watching things because they are there.

4. The distribution and funding possibilities of the internet are better than the traditional models.

5. Small steps into a changed world are better than no steps.

6. The digital internet is good, but hands-on physical things are good too.

David Gauntlett 2013

Making Is Connecting remains a frequently revisited reference of mine. For me Gauntlett’s work continues to cut through the internet-is-bad vs internet-is-good debate, particularly as it pertains to creativity.

Yes the original vision of the Internet does seem to have been hijacked to an extent by corporate interests. Yes there’s a lot of poorly executed tack online. And yes the digital divide exists, reflecting the fundamental economic divide that exists in society. But in the digital age there are more people making things together (as opposed to purely consuming) and that’s a good thing. We just need more of it.

Get Six theses about making things in a digital world.

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Discussion

One Response to “Making Things in a Digital World”

  1. Many thanks, Derek. Given your wide range of experience it’s really nice that these chime with you.

    (Also I note that the headings, without the explanations, can look a bit vague or odd, so thank you for including a link to the original thing!)

    Posted by David Gauntlett | October 17, 2014, 8:43 am

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