It's Big And It's Beautiful - The Rise Of Retro Tech

Series considering the meaning of old technology in our modern lives.



Archaeologist Christine Finn examines the importance of collectors of old technology and their mission to educate and inspire.

Focusing on California's Silicon Valley, she argues for the past being important for understanding the technology of the future and considers the various generations of computers and those who collect them.


In the heart of the Industrial Revolution in Shropshire, Christine Finn proposes that being 'luddite' is no bad thing: far from closing their eyes to progress, the 19th century workers who protested against industrialisation by destroying mechanical looms were prescient about the consequences of the mechanical age.

She examines whether the luddites of today - those who refuse to embrace the ever newer, ever smaller technologies on offer - are similarly prescient.


Christine Finn reviews 'retro tech' as a form of aesthetic, asking whether the many designers and consumers who use old forms of technology are being ironic, or do these products have a function which allows a slower and more considered interaction? Do the young Japanese clutching early 90s mobiles really find them easier to use? Are writers who use typewriters simply afraid of change, or are they making a statement about working with what works for them, and not adopting new technology simply because it is there.

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Christine Finn reflects on Cuba, on the cusp of technological change, but where the old technology still holds sway.

And she asks whether the relentless push for the 'mini' and the 'micro' really promotes better communication.