Redistributed Manufacturing: A New Normal
An open source exhibition exploring the future of manufacturing: digital, customised, localised, and at scale.
I’ve been working as producer and curator, with the Distributed Everything Lab at the Royal College of Art, and Machines Room makerspace in London, on an open source exhibition exploring a possible future for mass manufacturing.
Digital manufacturing tools and online platforms are changing manufacturing. These changes won’t just alter factories, but design, material sourcing and lifecycle, the environment, labour and consumption. This is a world where mass manufacturing means engagement by the masses rather than en masse.
These new technologies allow manufacturers to develop products collaboratively, and share designs globally. Products can be made that are highly responsive to user needs but also the places where they’re made, used and recycled. Local makers or micro-factories can service local markets for goods, optimising production for locally available materials. Customers can be engaged to varying levels in the design or production of goods, through online personalisation, or by participating in final assembly or finishing.
Our work exists as an exhibition at Machines Room in London Design Festival. but also as an online resource for other to use as the basis for their own exhibition, released under a Creative Commons license, and designed to be reused, adapted – and distributed.
Photo by James Tooze.