Hybrid Practice in the Kalahari


Credits: Jennifer Jacobs and Amit Zoran

People have been making things for a long time, yet digital making has developed mostly within an industrial context. We question how non-digital craft cultures can inform the design of digital tools. Furthermore, what methods can help us understand these cultures in ways that are relevant to digital practice? To evaluate this approach, we visited a hunter-gatherer community that preserves an ancient craft, bringing with us digital design and fabrication tools. Working together, we merged digital tools with ostrich eggshell jewelry craft. We use this experience to draw conclusions about making as a form of communication, the importance of supporting appropriation and immediacy in collaborations, the challenge of combining abstract design tools with concrete approaches, and the value of incorporating design and making into communal life.


Jacobs, Jennifer and Amit Zoran. 2015. “Hybrid Practice in the Kalahari: Design Collaboration Through Digital Tools and

Hunter Gatherer Craft.” The 33th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '15). ACM, New

York, NY, USA. PDF

Amit S Zoran

zoran at cs dot huji dot ac dot il

Office A530, Rothberg Family Buildings, The Edmond J. Safra Campus

91904 Jerusalem, Israel

Amit Zoran


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