Revised Artifact Project: Just the Facts.

Here is a recommended guide to assembling this project.

  1. A detailed paragraph describing the artifact. How much information can you pack into a paragraph?
  2. Where was it produced?
    • How many components? What kinds? Who produced them, where?
    • With what machines and processes?
    • How many companies are involved?
    • What kinds of agreements do they have?
    • Countries? Labor?
  3. Distribution
    • What is between production and final point of consumption (you)?
    • Means of transportation, distribution, oversight, inventory?
    • Companies, labor?
    • International distribution?
  4. Regulations, patents, etc.
    • Regs on production?
    • Regs on sales and distribution?
    • Who oversees this artifact? (and go beyond/inside of the FCC, FDA, FTC)
    • Standards? How decided? How measured? How do consumers find out?
  5. Marketing, How is it a commodity?
    • Who is it marketed to? (everyone? Targeted to certain groups? Countries?)
    • By whom? (companies involved in marketing?)
    • How else is the artifact discovered? (what/who else functions to get the artifact to you and others like you?)
  6. Consumption (not a big section, okay)
    • How does the company keep making a profit?
    • How are you kept buying the product, or ones like it?
    • How are your values, identity, way of life supporting it?
  7. Political Economy (Support)
    • Who is supported by supporting you directly?
    • What professionals/experts depend on this product for their jobs?
    • How large are these supporting industries?
    • What other parasitic industries depend in part on this artifact?
  8. History
    • What different inventors of it are there?
    • How international is its invention?
    • What industry is it a part of? What is its history within that industry?

You will probably want to do a little research. Some librarians and information experts are into this kind of research. Make it interesting: speculate on the above questions and allow your curiosity to guide you. And keep a record of your search strategies.

Feel free to add questions. And please proofread your analysis before handing it in (or trade and have someone else do it).

Examples Computer Hardware