Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Self expression - or survival

A few postings ago I ranted about how what's considered "technology" varies between the developed and the developing world. Another observation about that:
Recently at Danfoss universe we had professor Neil Gershenfeld from MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms visit us and talk about his "fablab" concept.
His observation was that in developed countries, the fablabs would be used by people who created stuff they need: spare parts, some sort of sensor, a better machine for their work - practical things for daily survival.
At the fablab in Boston and at his classes at MIT, the lab would be used for self expression; art projects, weird non-rational ideas.
To me, the important part is that it's all very creative and no matter if you are creating to survive or creating to fight boredom, you need to get some basic understanding of the tools and the principles of constructing things in order to make an idea physical.
But it underlines the differences in how we approach technology in different parts of the world.

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