Intermediate Technology

This project is a catalog of devices that try to mediate our human’ needs. The project is actually a few years old, but with this rehash the catalog gets a new graphic design and a print version.

The devices illustrate the trend which tends to not so much adapt the technology to serve us better, but bend our nature to fit what the technology is good at.
They help us objectify our feelings by breaking apart complex emotional phenomena into simple physical events that appear as something we can control. A complex emotional reaction is but a series of simple physiological steps, and accessorizing these steps makes them seem what they are on the very basic level: there’s little meaning in each, and the entire emotional drama is dissolved in the mechanics. The devices focus on the moments of human weakness, moments when we feel vulnerable and in need of support. Often perceived as private and somewhat embarrassing, these moments can now be addressed properly, metamorphosing the unfortunate emotion into pride of the stylish accessory.

Here’s a little preview:

iFear hand holder

iCry tear collector

iCry tear collector makes it easy to collect and store your tears in a custom made case that can clip conveniently to your belt, necklace or purse.

iShame escaper

This practical eye shader provides a way to escape the uncomfortable situations for a second.

iBelieve spiritual suppressor

With this device you can release a waft of premium McDonald’s hamburger smell, which is guaranteed to bring you down to earth from any unfleshly heights. Comes with a convenient wrist band.

And a little bit of background behind the title:
‘Intermediate Technology’ is a term first describing the ideological movement of started in 1960s and 1970s, which then turned into the ‘Appropriate Technology’, and which encompasses technological choice and application that is small scale, labor intensive, energy efficient, environmentally sound and locally controlled. ‘Intermediate Technology’ was a term discarded because it suggested inferiority compared to advance technology.
Appropriate Technology meanwhile thrived for a while but in the last few decades experienced decline, as it morphed into other sustainability trends that replaced it: “design for the other 90 percent”, “sustainable development”, and various other “environmentally sound technologies” trends.
The trouble with names reflects the trouble with the general idea, the “appropriateness” of the technology is judged by current cultural values, rather than any objective aspect of the technology.

I like the term ‘intermediate’ because it is denoting the inferiority, and being temporary: something that will need to be eventually replaced by something better.