Concept Revisited

(Oh no, not again!)

Yet again we feel the urge to further describe our “shop concept”. In previous posts we declared it a platform for MORE DEMOCRATIC TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT. One of the first requirements for a more democratic process is TRANSPARENCY, access to information about everything involving the making process. Being accessible and visible, our shop demonstrates transparency through public practice (you can look through the window and see us working, the materials and tools that we work with), through our open source designs and online documentation you can see what we make and how it is m ade, through our investigation and publication of material “nutrition facts” and design guides we also begin to demand more transparency from our suppliers.

But another concept we are trying to communicate with our shop is the IMPORTANCE OF MAKING. Physical making, manipulating of tangible materials to produce physical results. Let me define making as a process of physically manipulting our environment both to better understand what we don’t know, as well as to express ourselves through intentional manipulation of this environment. And while we don’t want to discard a multiplicity and diversity in kinds/styles/types of making, we are definately looking to promote a certain kind of making. And I think the more particular, the more stubborn (Mika would now say “soup nazi” referring to a US sitcom Seinfeld character), the more “stuck in our ways” we are on this topic the more interesting our story could become. Because it is a story we are telling, not a law we are trying to pass. And I think a character (in this case us, KOBAKANT) with quirks and strong opinions will make for a stronger story, with a louder opinion that invites opposing views and debate.

And again, to summarize, we are communicating our “Shop Concept” through the following aspects:
Shop signage and what can be seen through the window
Show showroom for those who enter
Commissions or examples on show (fake commissions or an example collection?)
Online story telling through diary on website and social media
Storytelling through the press
Regular events (ideas: “Shoptalk” curated talk&discussion series, “How things are made”)