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Craft commissions

Alongside the hiCraft research team, three craftspeople and makers were commissioned in the spring of 2022 to spend 25 days to openly explore differing visions for connected things (IoT). Broadly based on notions that have been associated with crafts thinking and practice, they were given an open ‘brief’, which is viewable below.

The following pages unpack the projects made in response to the hiCraft brief. Each of the commissioned craftspeople, and members of the research team, explored aspects of hiCraft that are relevant to their practice.  

Fitbit – Sitbit
Puzzle Jugs
Craft Commissions Brief

The guiding ‘craft’ principles provided to the commissioned makers to help frame their thinking about the work they might develop were:  

  • Bespoke: create meaningful things/experiences/interactions that are particular to a person, family, group or community, rather than aiming to create globally ubiquitous products and services.
  • Localism: create things/experiences/interactions that respond to local issues or concerns, and/or embody the idea of localism, rather than privileging global/universal aspirations. Thinking about interactions that are tethered to a context, whether that be personal (lived experience), community-based or geographic.
  • Environmentalism and Sustainability: create work that reflects on and/or makes visible a recognition that digital technology use is not environmentally benign and there are invisible impacts to all that we do. 
  • Single purpose: create artefacts that do one thing elegantly, rather than something with seemingly infinite capability (that is rarely utilised).
  • Enchanting: make objects that provide enchanting experiences, i.e. creating meaningful things, not compulsive gadgets. 
  • Partial and open: create things/ interactions that leave enough space for people to fill the gap with their own imagination and playfulness, rather than seeking to create fixed, standardised and managed experiences.
  • Qualitative: create things that privilege qualitative experiences over providing quantitative data.
  • Authentic and honest: create connected things that embody honesty and are explicit in their function, data use and ownership, in contrast to the production of products that lack transparency in the way they collect, share and use data.
  • Togetherness: create things/interactions that provide a meaningful link with others, rather than connecting everything as a default goal (i.e. ‘lets create a connected … , it will be so much more useful/functional/profitable.’)