Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!

This fantastic keyboard mod is by my friend and fellow ITP classmate Robbie Tilton, who created it in a class called Design for Digital Fabrication. He calls it the Natural Keyboard:

I chose to create a computer keyboard made of wood and moss. I was passionate about creating this because I feel the aesthetic of modern technological objects are cold and lifeless. Surrounded with tech gadgets made of glass, metals, and plastics – I believe that as a society – we are constantly removing ourselves from nature and have drawn ourselves into a motif of objects that are visually very clean, but also visually bland and tactilely inept. What if our technology lived and breathed? If it required us to water it at night in order to allow it to bloom? If it were both visually and tactilely stimulating would user interactions change and would their relationship toward the object change?

Be sure to check out all the photos and build details of the Natural Keyboard at his site.

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

13 Responses to How-To: Connect with Nature as You Type

Your Thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. I love it! We have a woods on the other side of our parking lot. Now all we need is a tree house…

  2. While in theory this idea has a very “feel good” texture, it is totally impractical . The last thing I need or want in my life is yet another thing to attend to. These objects “are visually very clean, but also visually bland and tactilely inept” because they allow us to forget about them and get the job done.

  3. name required on said:

    The narrative beats the hell out of the picture. Nice work, Tennyson.

  4. At last, a keyboard that WANTS me to spill my tea on it!

  5. Pingback: Moss-covered keyboard lets you commune with nature while you work | Grist

  6. I grow bacteria on mine. :( One day it will evolve and form a government. :)

    Very good idea though. Why not make the keyboard, monitor etc “different”?

    /wonders off to find a candidate keyboard to try this on…

  7. Pingback: Natural Keyboard: A Way To Connect With Nature Through Technology | The Tech Journal

  8. What kind of moss is that? Multi-colored flocking?

  9. Pingback: Robbie Tilton :: Blog

  10. Pingback: MAKE | Your Comments

  11. Pingback: The Natural Wood and Moss Keybaord Brings A Natural Touch to Your Computer | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

  12. I wish they all came out of the factory this way.

  13. Pingback: Tastiera in legno naturale e muschio, l’eco gadget di Tilton | BCasa

Related Supplies at Maker Shed