Wired: The Next Industrial Revolution

If you don’t subscribe to Wired magazine (and you really should ’cause it’s awesome), you missed out on a cool article about the DIY movement and the growing trend of home-brewed products that put product design and manufacturing back into the hands of the people. Initially fueled by tinkerers, makers and hobbyists and armed with open-sourced 3D printers, the internet and low-cost technologies have empowered basically anyone with a reasonable level of knowledge and intelligence to crowd source designs and literally build products that  large-scale manufacturers can (or won’t) produce.

Check out the Wired article, complete with a video that features Chris Anderson, Editor In Chief of Wired talking about a company that produces custom-molded Halo weapons for Lego figures.

By the way, this emerging DIY trend is the theme of IDSA’s 2010 International Conference and Education Symposium in Portland this August 4-7. Details on the conference are still in the works.

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2 Responses to “Wired: The Next Industrial Revolution”


  1. 1 Chris Loughnane February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am

    It’s really exciting.

    As DIY and small scale production get cheaper and cheaper, micro production becomes more and more practical. If it becomes practical and fashionable enough, perhaps it will become not unusual for people to make their own artifacts.

    personally, I hope for a world where individuals have a relationship to to the products they use. Right now most of us have a kind of “fast-food” mentality towards our products: consume consume consume. Maybe if we take part in production, on however small a basis, it will temper rampant consumption. Then everybody benefits.

    Too much to ask?

  2. 2 Warren Ginn February 26, 2010 at 10:45 am

    That’s one of the main themes for the IDSA National Conference this August in Portland. I think it introduces an interesting element to the product design and manufacturing community. Many of these makers aren’t designers–most of the time they’re tinkerers, hobbyists, etc. who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty making their own parts and products. I’d like to see some good dialog and idea exchange at the conference.

    I do, however, think there’s an interesting role for design in this burgeoning industry. Now that your average joe is making their own products, how do we help them to design those products? I’m always amused that many of the projects featured in Make magazine are technically successful, home-brewed gadgets, but is that something someone would actually want to use and have in their lives? As a designer (and I know I’m being a bit biased here), there is a place for design. Without it, these products will just be novelties.

    There’s a lot that each group (makers and designers) can learn from each other and I think we haven’t found good ways to mix them together. That’s what I’m hoping the conference in Portland will do.

    ~w~


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