Artefacts of Work

One interesting notion in the last years was the question of how I can make the process of my work more engaging and transparent? An obvious direction is the idea of artifacts, i.e. books or zines that are a byproduct of the greater endeavor and can be used to present and narrate a project.

One great example is the work of Craig Mod who seems to use every opportunity to turn projects into a book. Be that via SMS during long walks through Japan or by laying out every commit ever made on a software project. Here he is talking about both.

One way of extending this idea is the act of crafting „Anchoring Artefacts“, as described in HDL‘s „Legible Practices“, (pg. 93).

Tangible artefacts—documents, objects and other material—subtly embody or express the values of an organisation. Especially when an organisation is growing rapidly or attempting to transform itself, high-res artefacts help embody organisational or operational change which is often more abstract and invisible.

A more familiar example might also be NASA mission patches—easily replicated in the form of stickers or posters as used by the UK‘s Government Digital Service.

Stickers like that become tokens that represent something more – a shared experience, a shared set of memories that only people who worked on that project will remember and understand. A sticker, like a web page, can be a conscious act of institutional memory.