25 August 2009

Alice Rawsthorn about “design democracy,” “co-design” and “customisation”

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Lemon squeezer
Alice Rawsthorn, the design critic of the International Herald Tribune/New York Times, approached the topic of co-design last week:

“We can now “co-design” real objects thanks to digital technology, which enables us to communicate directly with manufacturers to personalize aspects of their products. Fancy customizing the style and fit of Nike trainers? Choosing the colors of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses? Specifying the interior of a Fiat 500 car? Rapid manufacturing processes, like the one used by Digital Forming, will soon allow anyone to adjust the shape of objects — and not just to indulge stylistic whims but to make, say, a pen, easier to grip by someone with arthritic hands. There could be environmental benefits, too, as bespoke manufacturing erases the need for stock.”

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