critical reading for the rude

sterling, klinker, Google Tech Talk

Google Tech Talks April 30, 2007 / ABSTRACT / World-renowned Science Fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling will outline his ideas for SPIMES, a form of ubiquitous computing that gives smarts and ‘searchabiliity’ to even the most mundane of physical products. Imagine losing your car keys and being able to search for them with Google Earth. This same paradigm will find you “wrangling” with product-lifecycle- management systems that do for physical objects what the iPod has done for music. These and other radical ideas are delivered in Sterling’s latest book`Shaping Things’. This concise book was written to inspire designers to visualize radical scenarios connecting information technology and sustainability in a new ecology of artifacts. Sterling suggests new connections between the virtual world and the physical world that will have you rethinking many of your assumptions about how we relate to products.

He will be joined by Scott Klinker, 3-D Designer-in-Residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI who leads a graduate design program known for giving form to experimental cultural ideas. Klinker’s own design work focuses on digital customization as industry shifts from mass production toward niche production in a networked society.

The presentation will include an invitation for Sterlling and Klinker/ Cranbrook to team-up with Google to create a short documentary film that would portray a speculative future of life with SPIMES. Distributed online, this short film would convey the look and feel of SPIME scenarios as a provocation for widespread industry discussion about the new potentials of ubiquitous, ambient, searchable, geolocative products.


May 4, 2007 - Posted by | books, green, info sci, info viz


  1. I wasn’t impressed with the presentation(s); even less impressed with the audience.

    Comment by csven | May 8, 2007 | Reply

  2. It seems very odd to me that the “spime movement” has turned into a media pitch… at the Google campus… Sterling’s been beating this drum for a good long while now, and he’s made much better pitches in the past. Why this pitch at this place at this time?

    Comment by woody3 | May 9, 2007 | Reply

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