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December 8, 2006

Interpretations of Articles

Gershenfeld talks about an interesting reaction that he observed when MIT students heard of a class he was proposing titled “How To Make (almost) Anything.? The students at the college were thrilled about the prospect of being able to fabricate anything that they saw fit, all for their own personal benefit. The students were eager to express themselves in their own way and create something that would be exclusively for them and fit their need. Gershenfeld goes on to describe the various degrees of success of his class, but the key point was what a large response the students gave at the thought of being able to express themselves and create.

Kahn wrote a much deeper article, one that was a bit harder to follow. He talked about how people are naturally inclined to create and design to express themselves, how they wish to design things they need or just things they find beautiful. He regards this in terms of silence, and how our world can begin to be filled by it. And the design and creation of things by people is how we fight that silence. Silence, then, would be the void of design, the absence of creation. Without creation we are isolated, and it is through this design process that we are able to think and communicate more freely.

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Both of these articles, in very alternative ways (one directly one abstractly), talk about the basic nature of the human, and how on some subconscious level every person feels the need to express themselves and create something. Innovation and invention has been the key to the evolution of the human race, and that is an aspect that is found in every one of us to this day. We all want to create something to call our own. There is obviously a sense of satisfaction that comes from it, a sense of pride in creation. Every person does this in some way, from rearranging their living room to doodling on a piece of paper, every person tries to express who they are by creating or designing something. It could be that simply going out and buying something for ourselves that have been designed for a larger market by other people is like admitting defeat. It is saying that we were unable to create our own things to suffice our own need, and we therefore had to rely on others to get this accomplished. All that is shown with certainty is the fact that people enjoy creating, and as humans we all have this urge, this desire, this basic need to design and create something to express ourselves.