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the good life in a digital age

robots or heirlooms. nothing in between.

I like robots and heirlooms and very little in between. Heirlooms are things with a lifetime guarantee; binoculars, cast iron frying pans. Robots I shouldn’t need to introduce. If I need to replace something within a year or two and it isn’t a robot then I’m likely to be a bit sniffy about it.

This attitude can appear as occasional Luddism, cosy catastrophism, or an outbreak of Steampunk.

I really really like this pan.


This pan will never die. I will give it to my grandchildren, assuming I haven’t made use of it as a murder weapon. It is better than non-stick. You’re not supposed to wash it up (so clearly this is a better invention than a dishwasher).

Robots encompasses anything properly futuristic i.e. the sort of stuff that appeared in the sci-fi i read as a child. I’m working on a collection of domestic robots.

It’s my attitude to the things in the middle ground that worries my professional peers. Particularly because that middle ground includes smart-phones. And I design things for phones so it’s an understandable concern.

Phones are the middle ground. Useful, yes. Loveable, no. I was a bit stubborn about getting a smartphone but I also refused to wear jeans or watch Jurassic Park when I was a teenager, so I don’t think it’s a coherent principled position.

My iPad is a perfectly nice consumer product. But it’s Jigsaw not Vivienne Westwood.

Written by Karen

February 24th, 2012 at 6:14 am

Posted in future