Algebras for Stuff : Grammars for Things

Making is Doing and Sensing with Stuff to make Things. We explore this view of Making through algebras and grammars. (more)

 Doing includes actions like drawing, knotting, folding, typing, throwing, stomping, and so on. Sensing includes touching, hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, and so on. Stuff is physical or phenomenal material that has properties. Things are objects made of stuff. For example, shapes are things made of line stuff; knots are things made of string stuff; paintings are things are made of watercolor stuff.

 Algebras for Stuff describe the making properties of stuff – in other words, their properties based on what we sense from stuff and what we can do with stuff as artists, designers, or makers. They articulate properties distinct from the physical (mechanical, thermal, electrical, and so on) properties of stuff, or materials, studied by materials scientists, and represented with quantitative measurements and formulae. We do not need to all the details about the core physical properties of stuff in order to make with stuff.

 Grammars for Things are based on algebras for stuff. They give rules for particular doings and sensings with stuff to compute, or make, certain kinds of things.