In 1968, American activist and publisher Stewart Brand famously adopted “access to tools” as the motto of his countercultural listings guide, The Whole Earth Catalog. His ambition was to change the world ecologically, economically, socially, and drastically. Brand–like other design thinkers of his era such as Buckminster Fuller and Victor Papanek–was emphatic in describing the creation and distribution of tooling as the key to cultural transformation. This was no left-wing fantasy in which the “people” or the “movement” or the “freaks” would simply take hold of the means of production. For all their visionary tendencies, Brand, Fuller, Papanek, and their contemporaries were more pragmatic than that; they saw that change would require finding the right (perhaps old) tool for the (new) job. This sort of invention might involve intentional misuse of tools–turning a hammer or paintbrush the other way round, for example. It might involve creating interactions between tools from radically different spheres of production. Artists are empowered through tooling; no tool is too simple to disregard, and none is too complex to be off limits.

Glenn Adamson, The Invention of Craft.