Reconstrained Design

James Auger (Editor), Julian Hanna (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingScientificpeer-review

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The ideas underpinning the Reconstrained Design catalogue represent a radically different philosophy of energy storage and consumption. They indicate a shift away from quick, thoughtless consumption of ancient resources, towards visible, tangible, real-time consumption. Of course, at this stage the Newton Machine is more of an intervention than a practical solution—it is not designed to be an instant fix for the world's energy problems, which are complex and multifaceted.

But before our prototypes and the thinking behind them are dismissed on grounds of impracticality, it is worth noting that our everyday relationship with energy is also a dream, an illusion of through-the-wall magic. It is unsustainable, based on a fantasy of unlimited supply, when in fact it has long been operating on a system of sleight of hand and perpetual deferral. When oil supplies are dwindling, the short-term answer is new technologies of extraction or batteries made from lithium and other non-renewable materials. What Reconstrained Design (and more specifically the Newton Machine project) offers is a new way of thinking about energy—a gesture towards the seismic paradigm shift that is urgently needed to bring about a more responsible future.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMadeira, Portugal
PublisherMadeira Interactive Technologies Institute
Number of pages168
ISBN (Electronic)9781789269680
ISBN (Print)9781789269680
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Reconstrained Design
  • Speculative Design
  • Renewable energy
  • Gravity battery
  • Newton Machine
  • Madeira
  • Orkney


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  • REDEMA: Redesigning Madeira

    Auger, J., Hanna, J. & Nunes, N.


    Project: Research project

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