3D Scan in progress of improvised artefact. The pixelated image was captured during the scanning process. Though not in high visual resolution, the scan image includes the topological information vital to digitising a one of a kind, hybrid artefact.
Post Human Craft

A Humble Attempt to Reorient Makers to the Inevitable






posthuman, digital design, craft, digital fabrication, cybernetics


Nearing the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century many craftspeople and makers are waking up to the inevitable reality that our next human evolution may not be the same, that this time it could be different. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum refers to what we are beginning to experience as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab 2017, 01). Schwab and his colleagues believe that this revolution could be much more powerful and will occur in a shorter period than the preceding industrial and digital revolutions. This revolution will cause a profound change in how we practice, labour and orient ourselves in the world. Rapidly evolving technologies will proliferate the use of robotics and personalised robots (co-bots) that can sense our presence and safely work alongside us. Digital algorithms are already becoming more reliable predictors of complex questions in medicine and economics than their human counterparts. Therefore, the gap between what a computer can learn and solve and what a robot can do will quickly close in the craft traditions. This article will engage in the discourse of posthumanism and cybernetics and how these debates relate to craft and making. Intentionally this work is not a proud manifesto of positions, strategies, and guidelines required for greatness. Alternatively, it is a humble attempt to reorient makers to the necessary discourse required to navigate the inevitable changes they will face in their disciplines. Thus, the article seeks to transfer posthumanist literary understanding to intellectually position craft in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

How to Cite

Stevens, J. (2020). Post Human Craft: A Humble Attempt to Reorient Makers to the Inevitable. Cubic Journal, 3(3), 150–165. https://doi.org/10.31182/cubic.2020.3.029



Author Biography

James Stevens, Lawrence Technological University

James Stevens is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at Lawrence Technological University, where he is the founding director of makeLab, the University’s digital fabrication lab. James is coauthor of the book Digital Vernacular, Architectural Principles, Tools and Processes (Routledge 2015). He is a licensed architect in the State of Michigan, USA and certified by the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the recipient of the AIA Henry Adams Medal for Excellence in the Study of Architecture and was the 2016 Fulbright Scholar in Albania. He holds a master of architecture degree from North Carolina State University and a bachelor in fine arts degree from The Savannah College of Art and Design. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Ferrara, Italy at the Polis University campus in Tirana, Albania were his research focuses on digital fabrication and digital craft.


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