Dan Williams’ Postcards From a Supply Chain series was part of an expedition to follow the unmaking of our electronic devices. He made the trip with design and research studio Unknown Fields, starting at the corner store where our electronics are sold, through the mega ports and shipping lanes of our global logistics infrastructure, to the factory floors of China where they are made.
Here are some videos that will give his journey more context, finishing with a TED talk by Joi Ito looking at how hardware development is changing and the impact that could have on the supply chain.
1) A stunning time lapse of The Gunhilde Maersk at sea from Ho-Chi Minh, Vitenam to Ningbo, China:
Video courtesy of Toby Smith.
2) Dan Williams walks us through his journey along the supply chain:
3) Watch the construction of the world’s biggest container ship in a 1-minute 16-second time lapse:
4) Christmas isn’t really made in Lapland–it’s made in China. Unknown Fields and Toby Smith unwrap Christmas following the decoration supply chain to a factory in Yiwu:
5) MIT’s Joi Ito reflects on his visit to Shenzhen, pointing out that hardware development is beginning to follow the agile software model–and that factories in a box could signal an end to the need for cheap labor in China:
How We Get To Next was a magazine that explored the future of science, technology, and culture from 2014 to 2019. Postcards From A Supply Chain follows Dan Williams as he traces consumer goods back through the global shipping system to their source. It was organized by the Unknown Fields Division, a group of architects, academics, and designers at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.