Getting all convivial.

When you start to look into innovation and technology, sooner or later you end up reading Ivan Illich’s Tools for Conviviality. This great challenging book seeks to turn the world on its head and create a completely transformed society. Along the way it provides some interesting insight into how individual creativity can be amplified and maximised using convivial tools.

Currently I am doing an investigation into how I might discover more convivial tools. That search has led me to the following article on the characteristics of convivial tools, by Michael Slattery. To help visualise these characteristics, I reinterpreted ┬áMichael’s text description into the following diagram.



For the purpose of developing a measure of how convivial a tool is, it appears that the following characteristics are most important:

1. Usability

2. Repairability

3. Durability

4. Environmental friendliness

5. Promotion of Autonomy

6. Social friendliness

I think there is also something interesting about the bottom characteristics as basic building blocks:

1. Robustness

2. Simplicity

3. Modularity

4. Open Access

These items appear to underpin all the others. More investigation needs to occur.