"Knopen" Systems and the IoT

A Twitter question today brought a recollection of a fantastic piece written by Dan Lockton on Medium late in 2014, titled "As We May Understand". In it, Dan talks about the IoT as socially constructed systems created in large part by users, rather than top-down imposed architectures or conflicting platforms. He also helpfully introduces the idea of "knopening," or systems and tools that we learn from as we engage with them.

Of the IoT's potential, Lockton writes:


"The IoT is a huge von Hippel user innovation space, and it involves not just innovation by users, but innovation that is about building things. Its very sustenance is people building things to try out hypotheses, addressing and reframing their own problems responding to their own everyday contexts, modifying and iterating and joining and forking and evolving what they’re doing, putting the output from one project into the input of another, often someone else’s. And yet it is still quite a small community in a global sense, overrepresented in the echo-chamber of the sorts of people likely to be reading this article."

It's a great piece worth taking the time to sit with if you haven't already read.