Materials, machines, meanings: Possible design strategies to compensate three key shortages of distributed manufacturing

Viktor Malakuczi

Abstract


This contribution starts by observing the low presence of “indie made”, distributed and digital fabrication based products in the everyday life of most people. We assume that this low presence is a result of limitations regarding the available physical behaviors, achievable functionalities, and accessible market, all of which can be optimized to the extreme with mass manufacturing. The paper explores possible design strategies to compensate these three key shortages of indie manufacturing for everyday life, aiming at better materials, more advanced functional “machines”, as well as alternative ways of creating meaning. To broaden the available material qualities, the discussed strategy is developing (and designing with) microstructures to simulate various materials. To enter more functional product domains, or machines, the paper suggests facilitating the integration of mass-produced functional elements (e.g. electronics) into product “shells”, realizable with distributed manufacturing. Finally, to compensate for limited distribution and marketing resources, we discuss the strategy of leaving the design project open for user interventions, focusing on the conceptual development of meaningful personalizable design. Regarding this latter, the paper also describes a design method and canvas tool, while the suggestions on materials/machines raise awareness around issues and upcoming solutions, contributing to some parts of the canvas.​


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Licença Creative Commons
Esta obra está licenciada com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional [atualizada em 11/11/2016]

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