Artifacts is a human-centered framework for growing ideas.

Computers can be tools for thinking: They can help us shape our thoughts and express our ideas, making us more creative and letting us solve more complex problems.

What if a system was designed from the ground up to support this process? What would file management look like if it was built from the ground up to support humans in expressing and developing their thoughts and ideas?

I. Documents as Units of Meaning

Different ideas need different forms of expression – sometimes a text is the right way to go, sometimes you want to sketch it out, sometimes you want to create something more complex, like a 3D-model. But when you use different forms of expression for different parts of one thought, the thought get’s scattered across many different libraries, files and folders.

Artifacts uses documents as units of meaning: one document is used to express one thought and it can be made up from any combination of content and media, allowing users to always use the right form of expression while retaining the structure of a thought and keeping everything in one place.

II. Open and Unrestricted Organisation

A hierarchical structure of folders and files inhibits the making of cross-connections and limits creativity, because it is slow, inflexible and too rigid. Organizing documents using tags helps users to organize their collection in a meaningful way and look at documents in any context that it is relevant in. This could even be the metadata about the location where it was created.

III. Contextful Working with Documents

By taking into account what the user is currently working on, which documents he opened and information like the current position the system can derive the context of the user’s current thoughts and support him in his expression of thoughts. The system helps the user to organize the documents seamlessly and offers information from the user’s collection and other sources in order to inform him about recent developments and support him in his creative process.

IV. Tightly Integrated Collaboration

Today, collaboration is a core part of the creative process. It is integrated tightly into the system, enabling users to share documents from their collection with others and edit them together in real-time. This enables a more collaborative creative process and supports users in organizations to develop ideas in ways not possible before.