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Amica Dall and Giles Smith use the contemporary craft movement to look at our changing relationship with labour, value and the material world.

Turner Prize-winning architectural collective Assemble explore the designed and manufactured world. In this second episode of a two-part series, they argue that the advent of digital technologies will upend the way we relate to the material world, but not in the way we think.

Computers have so radically dematerialised our access to information, that it's easy to forget the amount of material infrastructure they rely on. From data centres and transatlantic cables to uranium mines, digital technologies have scored deep and lasting marks right across the surface of the earth.

But if we find it hard to remember the physical impact of existing digital technologies, we haven’t even started to think about how digital production will change the ways that we design, make and occupy the rest of the material world. Together with friends, accomplices and collaborators, Assemble argue that the technologies we grow up with structure how we think. They visit designers and manufacturers who are starting to exploit and explore the social, economic and material changes these new technologies will bring.

Together, these two programmes make an argument for observing our material world better, and for understanding the way that we make objects, and that objects, in turn, make us.

Producers: Sean Glynn and David Waters
AN SPG production for BBC Radio 4

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28 minutes

Last on

Mon 28 Jan 2019 16:00