From A Mistake

Objects As History Week 15

On popular demand, we also got an extra makeup class from our faculty regarding World War II , and some interesting facts that we hadn’t previously heard of. I would love to elaborate on it, but I wanted to use this blog to talk about the progress leading up to my final booklet. However, this class alone led to 5 whole pages of diary notes, which is the most I’ve written for a single subject in this entire semester. I think that speaks for itself to say how intriguing the topic was. I learnt a lot of unknown facts about the war, and although this class was only because we requested for a random topic asked by our faculty, I hope the next year has it as part of their official course curriculum!

For my book, the two objects that I chose were the roman Surgical knife, and the code of Hammurabi. We had divided disciplines amongst ourselves for the book, so each person was assigned two disciplines. Since I was given PD and SDM, I choose these two objects.

The surgical knife immediately caught my eye when I spotted it on r/ArtefactPorn. This page in general proved very helpful, but this knife in particular is something I wouldn’t even have noticed if not for this subReddit . The Romans loved to open up humans and explore their insides. All the surgical tools used by them look convincingly like torture devices. This scalpel in particular, had a lot that could be fixed. You can read my final write-up and see the scalpel itself in the drive link attached below.

Secondly, I was worried about finding an SDM intervention in general. But then I realized that this code is in fact a ruling strategy, and I could work with it. But to respect the artifact, and the civilisation it was made in, I decided not to give an intervention. We were allowed to only point out the flaw in an object, and that’s how I went with this one. Again, the final writeup is on my drive.

I read several articles about both of these, just to understand the context, and how I could extract a flaw and an intervention. I’d also come up with an idea to modify the King Henry armour. Since I won’t be using it I could talk about that intervention here. As discussed in my previous blog, the King Henry armour is a miraculous feat in engineering, in the fact that it is seamless. For some reason, the first person it reminded me of was Tony Stark, and the very first Iron Man suit. So a great modern innovation to this suit would be to add in liquid armour, and create a new soldier exoskeleton. However,I knew that I would not be able to get into the technicalities of this, so I did not explore it.

I single-handedly had to handle the part where the booklet compiles together. I feel like giving this to me was a dumb mistake, because I would not stop working on it till it looked pleasing to me, thus resulting in submitting it late. However, it looks great, and has just enough text to support the main intervention.

And with that, a wonderful course has come to an end. I started the beginning of this semester wondering, why do we even need a history class in a design classroom? And I ended up waiting for this class every single week, and disappointed when I had to miss one. Thanks to the faculty, I looked at History the way I never had before, and understood how the subject connects to my discipline, and all the others as well. Objects as History will always be one of the most memorable courses from this year!

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