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The New Means of Production

We've been reading a very interesting article by Greg J. Smith of Serial Consign, which discusses the implications of advanced personal manufacturing capabilities on art and design.

Smith explains the basics for those who aren't familiar with modern fabbing, but then goes to review thoughts by several designers, writers and analysts. A key concept we picked up was the notion that design is a relationship between "representation" and "assemblage". In other words, can the design actually be built? Can a vision become reality? In the past the trump card was always held by the assemblage half of the equation. But with today's tools - and we don't just mean the manufacturing devices, we also mean the very advanced software that powers our 3D models - the scales are tipping towards the designer.

As each day passes, equipment is more capable and less expensive, while software becomes more powerful (and sometimes less expensive) and repositories of 3D models and associated assembly paradigms grow vast.

Smith lists several recent exhibitions that attempted to go deep on the fluctuating relationship between representation and assemblage. We're all exploring the new relationship to determine more precisely where it lies. But in the end we expect the line between model and object will get much, much closer. So close that in some situations it won't even matter.

Via Serial Consign

The Social Engineering-Knowledge Database

Stratasys Results for 2009