Friday, November 7, 2008

Human Adaptability

Human beings, as a species, have a remarkable ability to adapt: to environments, to conditions, to circumstances, to conveniences, and to technologies. With relation to products, what is the rate at which the things we buy become ordinary (or necessary)? And then, once we have lost our innocence, is it possible to retrieve? Can something stay fresh and new? If so, how? Today, because of fashion, trends, and technological advancements, products become outdated practically instantly. This system of production and consumption that industrial design (and styling) has driven is obviously unsustainable.

In Bruce Sterling's Shaping Things, he calls on designers to guide the next, dematerialized, technocultural revolution (after Artifacts, Machines, Products, and Gizmos) of Spimes. Sterling defines a technocultural revolution as when that technoculture cannot voluntarily return to the previous technocultural condition. Can the networked set of sensors and data that define Spimes be a key to 'living objects' to which we can't adapt and therefore don't need replacing?

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