Artefact Cards Blog
My talk today from Best of Britannia, a show of the finest in British Design and Manufacturing. It's about Origin Stories, both from the perspective of the retelling of Superhero stories, and the power of making things in Britain:
David at Hiut Denim asked me earlier in the year “would you like to do something together for our second year book?” I eagerly said yes.
Fast forward a couple on months, and the new year book has just landed on my desk.
At the back, there’s this: “A small shop of products that we curate to show off those that we think do their one thing well”
And in there, you’ll find the limited edition Hiut Artefact Cards:
You would not believe how long I sat and just looked at that page. Yeah, I know.
There’s something about the red and yellow that just works. It’s rhuburb and custard, perhaps. They’re my favourite ever Artefact Boxes.
They’re available now, from the Hiut Shop:
Got get some before I buy them all back myself.
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“It’s genius, it’s Moleskine for Post-its”
So said Matt Sadler, my friend and fellow graduate of the IPA Excellence Diploma’ of Artefact Cards, as we caught up for the first time in AGES tonight.
I liked that so much, I made him write it down. Then put his face very close to it.
We were down at the launch of an initiative at The Bakery, which has been started by Alex Dunsdon & friends; Alex is another friend of ours from the Excellence Diploma. The Bakery brings together brands, agencies and technology companies, to try and solve problems consumers have with technology, rather than just use it to deliver advertising.
MTPW > MPWT, etc.
Anyway, the two things together (“Moleskine for Post-its” and Tech startups) made me remember a conversation that Mark Earls, Tim Milne and I were having yesterday, about one of the subjects around Mark’s new book he’s writing.
When people are pitching new tech startups to people, they tend to throw together two familiar things to make an unfamiliar thing. It’s Last.FM for Running. It’s Etsy for Auto Parts. It’s Mailbox for Calendars. It’s Instagram for Video. It’s X for Y.
Anyway, there’s probably a clear formula to use.
It’s [POPULAR THING] for [BROKEN THING]
And it’s all out the “Cut Up Technique” play book, of which Artefact Cards a definitely of the school of. Cut Up Technique is basically where you take an existing body of text (or images)’ cut through them all, and start rearranging to find new combinations.
It’s what the brilliant William S Burroughs quote “When You Cut Into The Present The Future Leaks Out” refers to. Cut into what exists, reorder, and see what might exist in the future.
Try it tomorrow. Write down lots of popular things in culture, and a set of broken things around the thing you’re working on. Then mix them all up, and see what you can create.
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After what must be nearly three months of work, we've cracked the new box prototype.
To say we're delighted would be an understatement.
Into production very soon, expect them in September...
I've just taken delivery of the new batch of stickers for inclusion with the Deluxe Boxes. Rather pleased with them; the idea of playing with ideas is becoming a more consistent territory for the cards, I feel, as it seems to apply across the board for whatever people are using them for.
It also goes back to what Tim, Fraser and I discussed at the beginning of the summer:
It really feels like we're conceptually getting to the interesting parts of the Artefact Card thing. More news very soon...
I did a wee presentation on Artefact Cards down at The Future Laboratory yesterday, and at the last minute on the train interspersed the presentation with a rudimentary Artefact Reading List (snapped and exported using the Artefact app, of course)
...so if you want to investigate some of the key texts which inspired the working method of the cards, here's not such a bad place to start: