Crazy things don't stop for no one.

  • "Fabbers, Dabblers, and Microstars" - a stellar article on the future of home fabrication from Icon Magazine. I've heard this vision before: people will all own rapid prototyping machines and will print downloaded products, or design their own. However this article deftly navigates from this utopian vision, to other possible scenarios:

    "This doesn't mean that you'll make everything at home... 2D printing is a good analogy. Just as we used to have local copy shops, high streets will sprout fabrication shops where people can take their designs on a memory stick. It is quite feasible that a lot of products will start to disappear from our shops, and will exist simply as data... "We're moving into a world where the only thing that's for sale is information," says Dr Adrian Bowyer..."

    "Perhaps fabbers will be most useful simply to repair things. It doesn't seem too idealistic to suppose that a repair culture could replace our disposable culture - that throwing away a remote control because one button has come off will be a socially unacceptable act. Instead, you could scan the offending product and print out a new part."

    "...in theory at least - it ought to be more sustainable. No more planned obsolescence, no more landfills. You simply don't produce anything that doesn't have a proven user demand first, that way nothing is speculative or wasteful. There is an obvious flip side to that, of course. Given that we are error-prone, wasteful creatures, will putting the power to manufacture in the hands of everybody reduce the potential for waste or massively increase it? What happens when millions of people press print and then think, "Oh, actually, I don't really like how that came out, let's try again"?"

    "What people will actually use fabbers for is difficult to predict... One designer, Tim Stolzenburg, designed and printed a functioning revolver, an early indication of William Gibson's notion that "the street" finds its own uses for technology."

  • A recording of Ludwig van Beethoven's ninth symphony stretched to fill 24 hours. A continuously running webcast.

  • 'Table, Bench, Chair' by Industrial Facility for Established & Sons - Wow. Absolute conceptual purity. I love this. Read more about it here.

  • More Sam Hecht led design: coverage of RCA Platform 12's final design projects. Ideas that are so smart, they're obvious.

  • Atlier A1 - All of Belgium's best & brightest designers under one roof (and lots of great photos of their workspaces). Home to some of my long-time favorites: Big-Game (new website & collection!), Sylvain Willenz, Marina Bautier, and new favorite Diane Steverlynck. I love the work coming out of this studio.

  • On the history of Chicago's Street Life, or a 3 point history of how the highway came to dominate (ruin) the city:

    "[Daniel] Burnham's plan, with its unimpeded traffic flows, also represented a transition into the automobile age, which dramatically changed the relationship between Chicagoans and their streets..."
    "The extension of Ogden Avenue from Chicago Avenue to Armitage at Lincoln Park symbolized a new attitude. In the quest for an efficient way to link the West and North Sides, the roadway slashed thought existing neighborhoods and scaled Goose Island with a lofty bridge. That same attitude that almost any part of the built city might be expendable was present in early plans for wide, limited-access roadways. The idea of the street as a place for getting from here to there was about to triumph... "
    "The expressway system, which removed much of the traffic from the major city thoroughfares, represented the near triumph of the idea of the single-use street: the only possible function was as a place for cars to drive... Neighborhoods that lay in the way were now regarded as irrelevant piles of rubble-to-be, and the older transient districts were flattened to make way for superhighways."


  8/18/2009

 

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