During human evolution, work and leisure were not separate concepts. With the rise of modernity, factory and office work has domesticated us to follow clock time and artificial light. Yet how “natural” is it to sit in front of a computer screen eight hours a day? We need technology that resonates with our senses, rather than numbing them, that empowers the human condition, rather than undermining it. How can we create an office garden that teems with life and possibility?
All too often, technology frustrates us. It forces our behavior into constrained pathways. Even more insidious, technology can knock us out of alignment with our values, goals or health. While conventional tech creates new problems even as it solves old ones, ‘humane technology’ has the opposite effect. It is a…
Our second principle: Humane technology revives human intuitions, in particular those we might have forgotten about. ‘Conventional’ technology aims to overcome our hominid instincts, bodies, and physiological process, but humane tech augments them. Humane tech might help us to recall intuitions such as food-gathering, social bonding, even natural movement. For…
The third principle of humane technology: It should take human values as a cornerstone of its development. Technology doesn’t have to be expensive or electronic to be humane. Think of it as the Occam’s Razor of humane technology. The simpler the solution, the better the outcome. For instance, the Hippo…
Principle number four: Humane technology should resonate with the human senses, rather than numbing them. If you’re an office worker or a video game fanatic, you may spend most of your waking hours staring at a screen, and not tasting, touching, or smelling much of anything. How much more engaging…
Principle number five: Humane technology doesn’t outsource people, but instead empowers them. How healthy or humane is it to have an escalator to the gym? Humane technology should not aim to replace the human mind and body. Rather, it should be used as a tool to augment existing capabilities. The…
Has modernity fully domesticated us? Or do we still have a hangover from our tribal days?
Time Between Emergence and Design
Previously, experiences of time emerged from nature as given – offering seasons, the rhythm of humans, plants and animals. Nowadays, people integrate nature-time, body-time, inner-time, clock-time, and global 24/7 systems-time. Human beings, in past, current and next natures, have to deal with emergence and design of time in order to survive.…Read more
'If next nature includes human presence it has to take into account that human beings integrate their own rhythm with the environment'
Nitipak Samson creates conceptual buttons that move beyond the paradigm of on/off to integrate social and environmental functions.
Why Handwriting Must Die
Associate professor Anne Trubek argues that handwriting will soon be history, because writing words by hand is a technology that’s just too slow for our times, and our minds. A copy-paste summary from her essay:
“Handwriting has been around for just 6,000 of humanity’s some 200,000 years.…Read more
What animal is so naive to come into this world as a naked and crying infant, completely vulnerable, helpless, and an easy prey for any predator? Newborn lamb or giraffe’s babies can walk within a few hours, but it takes humans years and years to learn to take care of themselves.…Read more
Experimental Office: No Chairs, No Desks
How natural is it to work from nine to five sitting on a chair behind a desk, staring at a computer screen, wearing a suit and tie? Although it is today’s standard, genetically people aren’t really attuned to this norm. To counter the sitting dogma, design firm RAAAF and artist Barbara Visser experimented with more dynamic office concept, entirely based on movement and leaning.…Read more