Research report 2014 - Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Post-its: Histories and instruments of planning in Qing China (1645–1912)
Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin
SummaryYellow strips on sketches, models and artefacts bespeak of the Qing empire’s interest in material production. Around 1700, court officials systematically employed these predecessors of modern post-its notes to communicate the design of artefacts of all kinds. The technical and aesthetic documents became the empirical basis upon which Chinese scholar-officials, sophisticating managerial methods, debated the validity of standards and procedures. Alongside ideals and realization, the materiality of planning unfolds how knowledge and action were negotiated to make things work.