MIT Media Lab Knotty Objects: Phone

What changes when you stop designing phones for companies and start designing them for people?

This video is one of a series of videos in collaboration between m ss ng p eces and MIT Media Lab for the Knotty Objects Summit, the first MIT Media Lab Summit devoted to design.


Other videos in the MIT Media Lab Knotty Objects series

  • BrickThe brick invites questions about modular building and construction practices across all aspects of contemporary life, and how these are changing as they come to incorporate living materials instead of constraining them.
  • SteakThe steak is a vivid reminder that all manufactured consumables have consequential origins, whether those origins are living, breathing animals, or cells in vitro.
  • BitcoinThe bitcoin defies simple distinctions between currency, asset, and platform, and changes not just the imagining and practice of money, but of trust, reputation, value, and exchange.

See also

  • MIT Media Lab on Medium: Knotty Objects celebrates the chimeric nature of design. The event is therefore centered around four objects–the brick, the bitcoin, the steak, and the phone–that cut across research fields and defy a discipline-specific approach.
  • Casio F-91W: terrorist watchIt is cheap, basic and widely available around the world. Yet the Casio F-91W digital watch was declared to be “the sign of al-Qaida” and a contributing factor to continued detention of prisoners by the analysts stationed at Guantánamo Bay.
  • How the design firm behind the Xbox built the bike of the futureOregon Manifest’s three pillars for the competition were safety, security, and convenience.
  • Adam Savage’s Ten Commandments for Makers — From an address to the Bay Area Maker Faire.
Craft and creativity

Phones for the people

“The phone lies at the foundation of 21st century human (and non-human) communication, and shapes these exchanges for the hand, for the eye, and in the mind.”


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