Craft debate: Professor Neil Gershenfeld

Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and Design Indaba 2007 speaker, Professor Neil Gershenfeld weighs in on the craft debate.

From the Series

“The distinction between art and artisans is a mistake that was made in the renaissance, when ‘liberal’ arts (that provided a path to personal liberation) were separated from ‘illiberal’ arts (that were merely for commercial gain). But three-dimensional machining or microcontroller programming can be every bit as expressive as painting a painting or writing a sonnet. The ultimate impact of the digitisation of fabrication will be to finally eliminate this distinction, by allowing anyone anywhere to make almost anything. Such personal technological expression is already possible with prototype tools for personal fabrication, available in the growing network of community Fab Labs in South Africa and around the world.”

FabLab founder, Gershenfeld points to the significance of the FabLab in Soshanguve, a township outside Pretoria in South Africa.