Richard Butterworth Digital Media Design


A manifesto nailed to a computer

There is no divide between the real world and the digital world. It is all part of human experience, but the distinguishing feature of the digital world is that it is entirely artifice.

The digital world can have no existence without  being consciously and deliberately designed and implemented. This is a great danger to the developer in the digital world. Too much of the digital world serves only its own purpose; to involve the users ever deeper in the self reflecting digital world itself, to turn them away from a richer and better appreciation of the real world through the seduction of the easy and responsibility-free achievements in the digital world.

We aim to contribute to digital world in a way that makes the experience of the real world better and richer. We do not build in the digital world purely for the benefit of the digital world. We aim to create technology that makes you look at the real world in a better way.

We are not neo-Luddites and we know that the digital world has been, and continues to be a force for breathtaking change. But we know that on a personal level the most challenging, interesting and therefore most worthwhile endeavours are in the real world. We aim to create technology that inspires you to do amazing things in the real world. We have made hundreds of thousands of artworks available on demand, but we don't want you to just look at those on a screen, we want you to grab a box of paints and create your own artwork inspired by them. We have made tens of thousands of folk songs freely available and sharable, but again we don't want you just to be clicking on them in your browser we want you to be singing them, playing them, making up your own versions.

Our technology is always a means to an end -- it is not the end itself.