Sunday, November 20, 2005

Technology photographed: Bernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher have spent all their lives photographing industrial artifacts like mine shafts and silos all over the world. In an exposition in the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin these photographs were displayed according to countries; 9-15 artifacts by function together in a group per country (see pictures, each picture is one country). As you can see, the displayed waterreservoirs have very similar features within one country, but look amazingly different across countries, showing the 'vernacular' in engineering. The question is now whether bringing together the engineers and letting them work jointly would have lead to an enriched device and practice? Or they all serve their purpose well enough within their own context? At least it shows there is not one single way of building a waterreservoir. (as there is no one single technology design to support communities of practice)

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