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.:: Friday, July 25, 2008

Sketching in Hardware 08


Nathan Seidle, owner of Sparkfun Electronics, thinks very hard about something.

I am sitting at the Sketching in Hardware 08 conference, being held this year at RISD in Providence, R.I. This is the third annual Sketching conference, and my third as well. I will be posting links to interesting stuff that gets presented here. My presentation isn't until Sunday so I have some more time to work on it.


"Sketching in hardware is the process through which we understand the capabilities of emerging hardware technologies.

As digital technology moved into everyday consumer products, the economics of mass production and marketing moved products from open systems that enabled experimentation to closed systems that emphasized ease of production over the ease of consumption. This technology creation culture emphasized scale, a deep understanding of basic electronics and the development of monolithic products designed for use largely in isolation from one another.

However, that may now be changing. Miniaturization, power-reduction and knowledge embedding enable smart components that abstract much of the low-level engineering complexity, while keeping the capabilities of the technology accessible and affordable to people outside of heavy industry. This has re-created the possibility of vernacular technology that can be built from smart parts. People who would otherwise be unable to directly engage with digital technology tools can now augment, manipulate, experiment, build, explore. In other words, sketch. "

Posted at 11:09 AM by CTP  | 
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