Keyboards. We use them a lot. I’m using one right now, in fact. They’re not interesting or pretty. They’re not natural. They don’t put you in mind of pastoral landscapes. But designer Robbie Tilton is not accepting this as the be-all end-all of what it means to be a keyboard. He is fighting back with a beautiful keyboard that looks like a lawn. It’s made of wood and moss, and also some things that make keyboards work. (Let’s call that “keyboard stuff.”)
The keyboard was created in a class called Design for Digital Fabrication at Tisch ITP, which is a fancy graduate school. It’s the kind of school where you don’t just make stuff, you have to make big pronouncements about the stuff you make, like:
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?
What if? And what if Robbie understood how to use an m-dash? Well. They can’t teach everything at his fancy school.
The keyboard is definitely very beautiful. If I were typing on it right now instead of on a MacBook Pro standard keyboard, I might feel like Jordan Baker walking across a golf course on a spring morning, or insert other iconic outdoor literary image here. We’d like his next one to perhaps have a little birdbath in the corner, and maybe a white wrought-iron table, and a person to bring sandwiches.
Kidding aside, Robbie seems like a clever guy. We do hope he keeps us up to date on the next thing he makes, especially if it is made out of moss.
How-To: Connect with Nature as You Type, Make.
Get Grist in your inbox