Thursday, January 19, 2006

SPIMES

Well, another interesting book that crosses the vast fields of information technology and design. Bruce Sterling's new book "Shaping Things" presents a highly creative and imaginative perspective on the world of design and as he puts it "a book about everything".

Sterling is a science fiction writer and as a reader of Wired magazine you recognize him as a frequent writer of articles and comments on new technology.

Sterling is moving freely in the landscape he is examining and with a extraordinary open mind he creates new concepts and ways of thinking, and even new words -- like "spime".

I really enjoy this book since it touches on big questions, is not afraid of drawing conclusions, and is still within what is built on an underlying realistic foundation of knowledge. I wish we could see much more writings like this from academia.

I want to come back to some of the ideas that is presented in the book later on. The notion of spime is a good one, and might become really valuable!

2 comments:

Apurva said...

Now that you have us all excited, what is a spime? :)

Erik Stolterman said...

Well, this is how Sterling defines them: "SPIMES are manufactured objects whose informational support is so overwhelmingly extensive and rich that they are regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system. SPIMES begin and end as data." He goes on with more definitions. They are not all very precise and concrete. But, the basic idea is that SPIMES are, with my words, designed manifestations of digital material. I guess we will see many more ideas and similar proposals for this new kind of designed objects.