Computers & Mobile Craft & Design
How-To: Connect with Nature as You Type

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.

26 thoughts on “How-To: Connect with Nature as You Type

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

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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.

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