DIY reigns in the virtual world. With so many old points of friction removed, we can freely and cheaply build our own blogs, e-books, and Web magazines. But making real, live stuff still seems like a slog reserved for those who know their way around a bandsaw.
Open Schooling is an approach which takes on relevant local and global challenges; it can contribute to community development, and promote an active global citizenship attitude. For students it offers the opportunity to learn together in the real world, and widens their horizons to learn from people other than their teachers.
Based on work over the last decade within Nairobi’s tech-for-good sector, followed by a year of ethnographic research within organizations in Nairobi’s research landscapes, “Postcolonial Objectivity: Reaching for Decolonial Knowledge Making in Nairobi” traces the contours and edges of what is considered to be good knowledge within an emergent regime of scientific representation in Kenya. I show how this regime, which I call postcolonial objectivity, can be better understood by drawing out how histories haunt the problem space; the idealized figures that shadow the problem space, how rising diversity expectations have played out, and modes of care and stewardship are practiced and idealized. A recurrent argument and goal of postcolonial objectivity is robust contextualization of knowledge. “Postcolonial Objectivity: Reaching for Decolonial Knowledge Making in Nairobi” scales between analyses of the geopolitics of translocal knowledge production and ethnographically rich descriptions of Kenyan histories of imperialism and post-war Development. These geohistories established the knowledge infrastructures that have created conditions where everyday research amongst particular communities in Nairobi are often experienced as extractive, externally-driven, and extroverted for a Western audience. If methodology is a way of being in the world, ultimately, my argument is enacted through my methodological approach of archive ethnography as well as collaborative authorship of the final textual form. In these ways, I demonstrate my own attempts towards postcolonial objectivity, working to build supporting technical infrastructure as an experimental space for collaborative effort to figure out what kinds of questions can be asked under postcolonial objectivity going forward.
DIRTY DESIGN MANIFESTO*
1. KNOW what you design, buy or discard: research what it is made of, where raw material originates from, who put it together, how it came to you, where it goes when you throw it away.
2. REPAIR/ADAPT what is broken or not optimal. Design things that invite intervention.
3. RECYCLE CREATIVELY (for both designers and consumers)
4. LET GO OF THE CULT OF THE NEW AND ANONYMOUS and appreciate traces of use, history and craftsmanship.
5. QUIT TRYING TO MAKE THE UNIVERSAL. Life and survival is about variety, adaptability and customization, and so should design be.
6. STOP DESIGNING, start making.
The Institute of Making was founded by Zoe Laughlin, Mark Miodownik and Martin Conreen in 2010* in order to celebrate and explore the relationship between materials and processes. It became part of University College London (UCL) in 2012, and opened the current space on Malet Place (London, WC1E 7JE) in March 2013.
At the heart of the Institute of Making is the Materials Library – a growing repository of some of the most extraordinary materials on earth, gathered together for their ability to fire the imagination and advance conceptualisation. A place in which makers from all disciplines can see, touch, research and discuss, so that they can apply this knowledge and experience to their own practice.
Designer, maker and materials engineer Zoe Laughlin dismantles and dissects three classic items to understand the wonders of form, function and material that go into making them, before building her own truly bespoke versions, step by step.
We wanted to create a game that would resonate with the experience of real people. The story mode of Common’hood is a story based on real world events, as factories fail and become abandoned, many citizens lose their jobs, get evicted and end up in the street. In a way we are talking of communities at the edge of homelessness. Debt is problem for many and we wanted to create a game that would give a sense of hope in terms of the empowerment obtained from making things with your own hands. The work of Ron Finley, has been particularly inspirational. Common’hood tries to engage real issues and share recipes for autonomous communities to become empowered and resilient. We hope to be able to develop a community around the game and grow the project organically for many years.
BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. ist ein anerkannter Qualifizierungs- und Bildungsträger für Frauen in Bau- und Ausbauberufen.