ethicsbydesign workshop materials
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# LOW←TECH MAGAZINE
.left[POST Design Festival 2019]
???
Roel, artist and researcher
net culture, infrastructure and DIY
from Rotterdam, PZI
now PhD.
representing solar team
Kris de Decker, Marie Otsuka, Lauren Campbell
---
# Your menu for today
1. ## What is LTM?
2. ## What is Low-Tech?
3. ## Why Low-Tech Web Design?
4. ## solar.lowtechmagazine.com
???
give you some inspiration and conceptual tools for your design work
---
# What is LTM?
???
So first, what is low-tech magazine?
--
## “ Doubts on progress and technology ”
???
LTM is an on-line journal that casts doubts on progress and technology since 2007. The magazine was founded **Kris de Decker** who remains the main author.
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## Obsolete Technology
???
The magazine studies historical and obsolete technologies
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## High-Tech Problems
???
together with research into the social and environmental problems that result from the use of high technology
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## Low-Tech Solutions
???
and combines techniques of yesterday with knowledge of today to create low tech solutions.
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## 12 articles, 900,000 unique visitors per year
???
the magazine releases 12 long, well researched and richly illustrated **articles** each year
over the course of the years has received a **steady following**.
which contribute to the community through lengthy and insightful commentary.
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background-image: url(electric-velomobile-3.png)
#transportation
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background-image: url(albert-anker-tile-stove.png)
background-color: #006951
#heating & cooling
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background-image: url(solar-PV.png)
background-color: #d11305
#renewable energy
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background-image: url(chinese-greenhouse.png)
#buildings
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background-image: url(sps_close.png)
background-color: #006951
#ICT
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background-image: url(ltm.png)
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#2007
???
The website was launched in 2007
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background-image: url(ltm.png)
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#2019
???
And saw little change so far
is in desparate need of a redesign
for one it is completely unfit for mobile phones
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#“ If you are so low-tech then why do you have a website? ”
???
but people kept asking a question that was in need of a serious answer
at the heart of this question are some assumptions about what low tech is and isn't
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# What is Low-Tech?
--
## technique > technology
???
low tech is about considering technique over technology
technique is about how things are used, embedded or contextualized
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### energy impact
???
low tech considers energy impact
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### built-in assumptions
???
but also the built in assumptions about use, reparability, maintenance etc
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### dependencies
???
and it considers the dependencies of technologies, favoring less complex or less problematic dependency chains
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# Useful concepts:
## Affordances
## Externalities
## Rebound effects
???
i want to quickly dive into three concepts that are helpful when thinking about how to take a low-tech approach
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# Affordances
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## “ **the range of functions and constraints that an object provides for, and places upon**, structurally situated subjects ”
Davis, Jenny L., and James B. Chouinard. 2016. “Theorizing Affordances: From Request to Refuse.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 36(4): 241–48.
???
translate from academic to plain english
steering, not deterministic
guns kill people, toaster doesn't
working with affordance is your one of your tools as a designer
---
# Affordances
## “ the range of functions and constraints that an object provides for, and places upon, **structurally situated subjects** ”
Davis, Jenny L., and James B. Chouinard. 2016. “Theorizing Affordances: From Request to Refuse.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 36(4): 241–48.
???
car can go fast or slow,
your choice but nice sounds, looks,
the rules allow you to go 130
the road is nice and straight
free choice but influenced by culture, structures, laws that have influence on your choice
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# (Negative) Externalities
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##the manufacture and use of things has (negative) impacts on others, who have not chosen to use the product but who end up bearing the costs. For example the environment.
Goodstein, Eban S. 2012. Economics and the Environment. Wiley.
???
economics, costs or benefits not taking into account of pricing.
car example, pollution, increased stress of other drivers, increased stress for road
none of this is in the price of the car.
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# Rebound effects
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## If something becomes more energy efficient and thus cheaper, we can use more of it!
Herring, Horace, and Robin Roy. 2007. “Technological Innovation, Energy Efficient Design and the Rebound Effect.” Technovation 27(4): 194–203.
???
environmental economics
fuel efficiency leads to more driving
jevon's paradox
imagine using efficiency gains not to produce more but to reduce negative externalities
---
# Why Low-Tech Web Design?
???
immaterial internet
growing energy use
material basis of datacenters transport and computers.
renewables can but not enough
energy use of internet grows faster
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background-image: url(datagrowth.png)
???
x3 and x10 on mobile
more data means more energy use in transport
but also means stronger and newer computers
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# Why Low-Tech Web Design?
## Growth of data usage
* ### More transport
* ### Need for faster computers
---
# Why Low-Tech Web Design?
## Growth of data usage
* ### More transport
* ### Need for faster computers
# Always on-line
???
used to be desktop in office, library home
now even on-line when you sleep
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* ### Cloud computing
???
what you used to do off-line now happens on-line
writing documents, listening to music etc
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* ### More computing
???
multiple devices, internet of things etc
**conclusion** less data, less on-line
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# solar.lowtechmagazine.com
???
address footprint and on-line time
reverse trend
show how different choices can be made
port existing website
research in public, in the open
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## run on off-grid solar
???
small off-grid system of the office
practice what you preach
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## on a low-power machine
???
to use the small offgrid solar
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## light data foot print
???
serve same amount of visitors
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## support old computers
--
## and slow networks
---
# Let's have a look
# <https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com>
???
communicate materiality
static site
stick to what HTML does well
dithered images → compression but also visual uniformity
default typeface
textual logo
no tracking or advertising
design for off-line reading
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background-image: url(lowtech-book.png)
#Off-line reading
---
# What can you do for your next design?
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## yes: light design, support old and different machines
???
by macbook for macbook
light is always better, will load faster better experience
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## no: off-grid solar, dithering
???
many examples where inspired
huge solar arrays, uptime
dithering becomes an aesthetic, we used it for a specific case
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## consider: self-hosting, static site engine
???
host it at a reputable green hosting provider or do it yourself
static site is less maintenance, can leave it up,
accessibility etc
---
# Thanks,
### from solar.lowtechmagazine.com team
### Kris de Decker + Marie Otsuka + Roel Roscam Abbing + Lauren Traugott Campbell
## Get in touch!
### rra@post.lurk.org -> Mastodon
### roelof.info -> web
### @rscmbbng -> Twitter
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