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La forma del futuro
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La forma del futuro

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  348 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Da una parte designer e tecnologi stanno offrendoci nuovi metodi di progettare e di produrre oggetti - modi che non hanno equivalenti e precedenti storici e inevitabilmente generano novità sostanziali; dall'altra abbiamo modelli produttivi tradizionali che hanno una lunga storia ma danneggiano il clima, avvelenano la popolazione e fomentano le guerre per le risorse. Che co ...more
192 pages
Published 2006 by Apogeo (first published 2005)
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Olaf Kowalik
This book is easier to read if you've seen Sterling talk about spimes. There are a couple of his talks on YouTube that give context. The upshot of the book is his vision of a technology called spimes which, by nature of their ability to track themselves and be recycled, are environmentally sustainable. He describes a set of technologies including digital fabrication and RFID that contribute to the goal of sustainability. His other point in the book is that designers are uniquely able to create t ...more
One disappointment I encountered--not quite a demerit--is that I'd really hoped Sterling would breathe a sci-fi writer's imagination into the topic, but it was on par with a Vint Cerf YouTube presentation (which would be a fair substitute for this book if you prefer--also, Cerf's "IP on Everything" T-shirt is much funnier than any of Sterling's humor). The book's continuing plus is that it's a short read, and even if you find it dull or passé, you'll have it finished before you can really hate i ...more
In this book, Sterling proposes a very interesting idea that objects can remember its own journey of life. Some inspiring or thoughtful quotes are:

"Why do we want to make this effort? It's because a metahistory is the ultimate determinant of the shape of things. It's through metahistory that people come to realize that new things are proper things. New objects that can fit into a metahistorical context are seen as progressive advancements." -- p. 39

"They have the capacity to change the human rel
Bruce Sterling is a science-fiction writer and he should stay that way. I still cannot understand why he was commisioned to write this book. He doesn't really seem to grasp what design really entails. Rather, he speaks about it like an outsider would speak. His comments are often unsubstantial--lacking much relevance. However, he does make some interesting insights into a future world of spimes and bots. And, on some level, I did appreciate his matter-of-fact way of discussing the field.[return] ...more
DWRL Library
Sterling offers a historical overview of “things,” a history, he says, that’s moved from more sustainable methods (in the age of handmade objects) to the unsustainable age of “gizmos” where we find ourselves today, and into the future of design. He argues that the next phase, or technoculture, we will enter will be an age of more sustainable “spimes,” which he characterizes as primarily virtual objects (information-based) that will materialize physically when necessary. Anyone interested in digi ...more
Joe Milazzo
More a manifesto that it might initial appear to be (it does take a while for Sterling to get to just what a spime *is*), Sterling here proposes a reification of informatics so radical it just might alter the infrastructure of our consumptiveness.

I wonder what might happen if Sterling were to put science fiction aside for a while and concentrate on something a bit less "generic".

The design of the book is crucial to the meaning it aims to make, and, while it might not be for every taste -- some
Shannon Clark
A good read even if it is a bit old - still paints a picture of a future that is rapidly approaching but not quite yet here. Worth reading if you are thinking about how 3D printing or more precisely personal Fabrication will change the future. But it isn't just about that, it is also a great example of a Futurist having fun - yet also painting a picture of a realistic and possible future. Not a perfect book in the least with a lot of neologisms (most of which haven't caught on - yet)
Really, a design manifesto. Sterling sees the world unlike anyone else. His insight into design in this work completely changed the way I thought about environmentalism and the green movement.

Sterling's fiction can often be clunky and his characters awkward and wooden. He's at his best in a work like this where he's allowed to spin out future scenarios firmly rooted in a comprehensive grasp of the present.

The design of this book, appropriately, is also magnificent.
Ray Ogar
yes, another book i liked but have issues with... did Sterling not read "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" by Walter Benjamin? (not that he would agree with it)... but something (my own bias) has to be said for the "aura" of physical objects crafted by human beings... are we to believe that the people of the world break away from tyranny with universal access to "things" once we all have a desktop fabbing machine?... scary stuff...
Bruce Stirling's notions of the evolution of designed objects from Artifacts to Machines to Products to Gizmos to "Spimes" is an insightful and fascinating journey between our past and possible future, particularly significant is the idea that our designed objects will need to become rich with metadata and that this has within it the potential clues to sustainable design.
The illustration of the book is quite lovely, the projections not too far off the mark yet, but as he recently said in a conference talk, the whole rfid-as-panacea-enabler might never happen, that it's just too difficult to give each item all this contextual information.

Still, interesting read.
Oct 06, 2008 Andrew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrew by: Warren Ellis
Sterling isn't just an amazing Sci-Fi writer, he's also a futurist, and this is the pure stuff; pontifications on where we're headed based on where we've been and where we are.

If you want to take peek at the coming "Internet of Things" then give this book a read.
An interesting book, though a bit tough going in place. Lots of interesting thoughts. Nice physical item but I did find some of the highlighting, underlining and the like distracted from the text. Have made a lot of notes which I'm sure I'll refer back to.
Nick DeMarco
Jan 18, 2008 Nick DeMarco rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nerd-jerks
This book is in parts a fascinating read on the way our interactions and objects will be radically different in the extremely near future. It is also, however, extremely annoying, condescending and dated.
Andrew Lovett-barron
Manifesto for now. Hugely important book, very short and readable. If you're a designer, you need to read this to understand any modern or otherwise material context you might seek to explore.
A zany, sometimes off the wall imagining of where the future lies for designed objects and technology. If you've ever wondered where the term "Internet of Things" came from, start here.
Owen Hodda
A fun, light read. At time right on the mark, at other times so so off the mark. Fun to see what has changed in just 8 years, and a good call for better design practices.
Bring on the spimes! Recommended for people who design things, or care about how those things may work together and with people to support a sustainable society in the future.
This book has some really interesting ideas about what the next generation of ‘gadgets’ may look like, but I wasn’t exactly enamored by it’s prose.
Not everyone will be able to appreciate Sterling's vision. This should be required reading for any graduate student in any field of computer science.
Mar 23, 2013 Natalie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in the future
Bruce Sterling's futurist predictions and call-to-action for industrial design and human interaction with objects. He is brilliant.
This book is confusing and the book's design is distracting. The author's writing style feels like he is talking down to you.
Ritchie Macapinlac
It was an interesting read about Bruce Sterling's vision of the future based on his observations of trends of the past.
Imaginative take on where technology should, shouldn't, and will take us.
Words Deeds
Short and full of insight. It's the origin of the word splime, if not meme.
Mark Atwood
Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets) by Bruce Sterling (2005)
Richard MacManus
Very thought-provoking. Futuristic theory.
The future is already here
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Michael Bruce Sterling is an American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which helped define the cyberpunk genre.
More about Bruce Sterling...
Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology Islands in the Net Schismatrix Plus Heavy Weather The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier

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“Science fiction is not about the freedom of imagination. It's about a free imagination pinched and howling in a vise that other people call real life.” 4 likes
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