bamboo phone Meticulously crafted cell phone case by African "bamboobender"

No, they don’t call themselves that. “Bamboobender” is my hackish take on “sandbender,” which many of you folks will probably recognize as a term coined by arch-cyberpunk William Gibson in his novel Idoru. Very roughly, a “sandbender” is a craftsperson who makes a living by carefully hand-crafting ornate enclosures for mass-produced electronics. We don’t see a lot of that, at least in the first world (although mass-produced after-market “custom” enclosures and enclosure-decorations are common), probably because our personal electronics are still pretty ephemeral to us: we all know we’re probably going to be sporting a new phone and/or MP3 player next year. This example, however, comes from Cameroon, where, I presume, the device turnover rate is a lot lower. It’s the work of teacher, wordworker, and entrepreneur Lekuama Ketuafor, whose runs a sole-proprietorship cottage industry called Bamboo Magic. [via AfriGadget]

More:

Alt.CES: Wood-housed electronica: ostensibly green or faux-maker?

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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