From the first stone tools that were smashed together by cavemen 2.6 million years ago, to the relatively modern invention of the internet, Homo sapiens are an ingeniously enterprising and innovative species. Exciting modern technologies such as 3D printing, autonomous transport, and virtual reality, have transcended the realm of fantastical thought experiments and, in reality, continuously challenge what it means to be human. But as these technologies develop and strengthen, so too does our responsibility to harness this potential safely and ethically. How far do we go before we push the boundaries that little too far? Are we willingly enabling a technological dystopia that not only places our jobs at risk, but threatens an enigmatic epigenetic effect on future generations that could challenge our very nature? Where is the line between augmenting and replacing human intelligence; between human and post-human?
Whilst technological innovations create an almost constant capability for us to link and network with one another, they simultaneously create a world where we are forced to disconnect in order to connect. We sit motionless in physical space whilst we roam a virtual world; we open a digital screen whilst we close our doors. But what of the material world we so willingly leave behind? What happens when we use our hands, not to text, type or press a start or stop button, but to create? What is the role of craft and artisanship, and of design and innovation, in human experience. What is the making of meaning, and the meaning of making?
In this activity area we aim to situate craft and artisanship, and technology, somatically and physically in space and place. We aim to explore how the interaction with materials, tools, and technology are all imbued within the human meaning-making process.