Hey, my name is Maik, I studied electronics engineering a couple of years ago. In addition to my work as technical staff at the Leuphana University Lüneburg I decided to study again. Now I’m doing cultural studies focusing on the interactions between people, technology and the environment.
Reading Hans Jonas’ ethics of technology (highly recommend it!), debating the ideas of geoengineering vs. sufficiency strategies, looking at carbon footprint along production and consumption chains, analyzing repair cultures and so on. But in addition to all this academia, me and a bunch of friends and colleagues want to do something practical with our own two hands. Our utopia is a sustainable world in which technology isn’t just used as a quick technological fix (Alvin Weinberg) so that we don’t have to change our throw-away societal habits. Rather, we imagine people to have a deeper connection to the things they own through being able to repair, customize and creatively reuse. So, we started our repair and reuse lab where we can learn and experiment together.
I as an engineer try to teach the others who come from a cultural studies background how to use soldering and test equipment to, for example, build custom backlight PCBs to convert a bunch of dead university iMac to external displays. But explaining, for example, our old Hameg signal generator and counter or Philips PSUs with only one analog meter for both voltage and current (which are technically great devices, don’t get me wrong) to people without an engineering background makes it all much harder.
John Kenny spoke to me from the heart in the first live stream, when it comes to nice intuitive user interfaces in education. Especially during Covid a couple of people crammed together looking at a tiny button layout in order to explain in which order they have to be pressed to activate a certain function isn’t a good idea. In addition to the way more intuitive layout, the possibility to connect a big screen (or during Covid even a projector) to the instruments would definitely reduce frustration and increase the learning speed.