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Response to [From Garments to Gardens] by Goodman and Rosner


Goodman and Rosner studied handworkers’ (gardeners’ and knitters’) attitudes towards technology involved in their crafts, how they currently use what technology and, as a result,  elicit three metaphors for designing for handwork practice – extending, interjecting and segmenting. In their study, they found people make handwork meaningful by valuing its sensory sensitivity, devoting their virtuous effort, realizing their cleverness, testing their patience or using it as resistance to (the overwhelming) technology. However, handworkers do relied on technology that connected them to materials that facilitate their work or people that they work with. By considering the meaningfulness of handwork and the existing patterns of technology usage, the authors proposed the aforementioned metaphors. In particular, ‘extending’ has handworking occur as “the handworkers attend to other simuli”, ‘interjecting’ involves a brief use of “an external tool … during hand work activity”, and ‘segmenting’ breaks down the continuous work progress into sets of organizable and documentable activities.


* “[knitting and gardening] both are extremely common leisure pastimes that require long term commitment to a single project or goal, have significant participation in online support forums, yet produce very different kinds of activities.”

* “… craft scholarship has treated handwork as a product of an individual’s reflective consciousness and manual dexerity.”

* “During interviews, both knitters and gardeners were asked to imagine integrating an experimental technology into their handwork practice.”

* “The first

concerned a familiar technological situation… The second was deliberately provocative…”

studying handwork activities as unified pursuits that exhibit textures of tool use

“They define texture as ‘the feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface’ – that which allows us to experience an environment as a ‘meaningful whole.'”


1. Learn about writing:

* “These new technologies prompt us to ask: …”

* “At its simplest, … ”

2. The handworking practice also exists (mildly) in everyday life. When you consider interaction as an aspect of life, you might want to take a look at the three metaphors. They try to convey the values of the context or object of certain technology and to answer how we can integrate both digital and real-world things.


About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

Making an Impact in Your Life


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