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Making is Connecting

Making is Connecting

Written by Christina Cantrill
May 06, 2011

David Gauntlett from the University of Westminster recently published a book called Making is Connecting. The video above is a presentation he gave on this same theme at the London School of Economics in January 2010.

The presentation highlights trends in creative thinking that spike (or re-spike depending on your interpretation) with the introduction/promise of new digital media. Gauntlett speaks to three things he means by the phrase “making is connecting” including the fact of making as the connection of things and materials to one another, making is connecting is often part of social exchange, and then also as we make and connect we “increase our engagement and interactions with our social and physical environments.”

Referring to William Morris and Ivan Illich (of the 19th and 20th centuries) Gauntlett bring us back to these two philosophers who were in the midst of their own similar but different moments of social upheaval and change. Their important reflections on the use and mastery of tools as the means of investing the world with our own meaning and the beauty of creating on the human scale are important reminders for us today as the digital world around us continues to evolve.

Gauntlett also makes connections to the principles of web 2.0 that we can see often enacted through the use of social media and create and compose with many of the making activities that we see in the physical world like guerrilla gardening. These are principles that enrich a spirit of “everyday creativity” that he shares as the “core” (pun intended) to meaning-making, happiness, social action, community and thinking.