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Material 2020

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Event cancelled
20th March 2020

Reykjavik, Iceland

Part of the Material series

This event has been cancelled. Please refer to the organizers for more information.

A friendly 1-day, 1-track conference exploring the concept of the Web as a material — Reykjavík, Iceland — by Joschi Kuphal & Brian Suda

The Web as a material

20+ years of the Web and we are still at the very beginning of understanding and implementing digitization. For the first time we are facing a generation that never got to know the offline world. By nature they are riding the wave without ever having touched the ground. We might have unlearned our ancestors' knowledge about materials and crafts, it's easy to overlook the intrinsic characteristics of the Web in favour of the newest framework or boilerplate.

Let's re-explore the material Web and evaluate what we have learned so far. Join us in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a trip through history, views and cultures.

For centuries we've worked with wood, metal, glass, ceramic, paper, textiles. More recently, new materials have emerged; plastics, fiberglass, silicon, and more. We understand their limitations, their affordances. We can fold, heat, manipulate and warp some of these materials. But the Internet and the Web are still very new to us. We don't fully understand them as a material.

What does this mean for the Web? What are the properties of the Web as a Material?

We have lost the apprentice / master relationship in the digital world. Spending years getting our hands dirty with an expert, learning slowly and really understanding the material rather than the framework. We need to be asking ourselves what sacrifices should we be making for the convenience of our customers rather than shortcuts for ourselves.

What properties of materialness exists in the Web is what this conference is meant to explore.

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  1. Profile photo of Chanel Fu

    Chanel Fu

  2. Profile photo of Charlie Owen

    Charlie Owen

  3. Profile photo of Rune Madsen

    Rune Madsen

  4. Profile photo of Stephanie Rieger

    Stephanie Rieger


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Get to know the organizers

  • Avatar of Joschi Kuphal

    Joschi Kuphal (@jkphl) Organizer Pro

    IndieWeb architect, Designer, Developer, Lecturer, Mentor & Event organiser

    lives in Nürnberg, Germany

    Joschi is an interior designer, programmer and restless tinkerer from Nuremberg.

    He's working on the web since the mid 90s, founder of tollwerk and the Open Device Lab Nürnberg, IndieWeb enthusiast and author of several of Open Source tools. Since 2013 he launched several event series like the border:none and Material conferences, the Accessibility Club and the CoderDojo Nürnberg. He's running IndieWebCamps, the Homebrew Website Club Nürnberg and used to be one of the driving forces behind the Nürnberg Digital Festival.

  • Avatar of Brian Suda

    Brian Suda (@briansuda)

    lives in Reykjavík Iceland

    Brian Suda is an informatician currently residing in Reykjavík, Iceland. He has spent a good portion of each day connected to Internet after discovering it back in the mid-01990s. Most recently, he has been focusing more on the mobile space and future predictions. How smaller devices will augment our every day life and what that means to the way we live, work and are entertained. People will have access to more information, so how do we present this in a way that they can begin to understand and make informed decisions about things they encounter in their daily life. This could include better visualizations of data, interactions, work-flows and ethnographic studies of how we relate to these digital objects.

    His own little patch of Internet can be found at where many of his past projects and crazy ideas can be found.