Cultural Cybernetics: Merging Artisanal Tradition with Digital Fabrication – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Cultural Cybernetics: Merging Artisanal Tradition with Digital Fabrication

Amarna – Set Lapre


Pronouns: She/Her

Research Mentor(s): Ron Eglash, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: School of Information,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 3 (1pm-1:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 16
Presenter: 7

Event Link


Before being subjected to the degrading system of slavery, sharecropping, and the Jim Crow era, early African countries had made countless contributions to the start of today’s science and technology thousands of years before the widely accredited European nations. However, very few of us are aware of these accomplishments, as African history, beyond ancient Egypt, rarely gains publicity. With Indigenous STEM being outwardly different from modern STEM, we find more difficulty in distinguishing it as easily as we do western STEM. Despite having various accomplishments and intricate developments of science and technology already woven through the history and culture of many non-European countries, STEM is still not typically equated to African or POC/Cultural communities. This Cultural Cybernetics study is conducted through a restorative justice approach to determine the best recuperative method to give back to the underrepresented communities by making sure these underserved communities maintain significance alongside advancing technology, by reducing the need for competition between skilled labor and machine fakes in the artisanal fabrication process through increasing the understandability of the user interface. After a thorough analysis of the methods of STEM utilized within certain cultures, a concept is developed and implemented through an educationally tailored online platform and are further introduced for approval from each of those specific groups of people, such as the digital cornrow designs software to African braiders, and later to the general public. This process effectively demonstrates an easy and convenient way modern technology can be integrated alongside cultural traditions without undermining or “stealing” from the communities while educating the public on these cultures through creative means.

Authors: Amarna – Set Lapre
Research Method: Computer Programming

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