Transient Workspaces

Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga


  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 2014
  • English
  • Hardcover
  • 312 pages


In this book, Clapperton Mavhunga views technology in Africa from an African perspective. Technology in his account is not something always brought in from outside, but is also something that ordinary people understand, make, and practice through their everyday innovations or creativities -- including things that few would even consider technological. Technology does not always originate in the laboratory in a Western-style building but also in the society in the forest, in the crop field, and in other places where knowledge is made and turned into practical outcomes. African creativities are found in African mobilities. Mavhunga shows the movement of people as not merely conveyances across space but transient workspaces.


[Mavhunga's] account upends traditional understandings of everything from African independence movements to poaching to what we think we know about technological innovation. - Bruce E. Seely, Michigan Technological University


Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga is Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at MIT.