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Book details for Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets) Buy Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets)
Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets)
Book author(s) Book subject

Bruce Sterling

Trends and Future

Sales rank 576,613 Not rated by customers
Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets)

Brief description of Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets)

A guide to the next great wave of technology -- an era of objects so programmable that they can be regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system.

" 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.

Book details
PublisherThe MIT Press
Release date10/2005
AvailabilityUsually ships in 24 hours
EditionPaperback
List price$23.95
Our price$20.31 (you save 15.20%)
Used pricefrom $2.12
This book has been mentioned in...

Summer stuff: The Shape of Things to Come: A rambling, rambunctious exploration of the future of humanity and its relationship with technology (@ Technology Review)



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