Maybe it started with Ikea. After a generation of Westerners had become accustomed to ordering furniture shipped in from countries in Southeast Asia, a Swedish company came in and said, “We’ll make the parts. You put it together.” And, suddenly, our previously feeble hands became empowered. With the right design, the right instructions, and an allen wrench, anyone could build their own furniture. And, as the Internet spread valuable data and electronics became cheaper, it became possible to DIY even more complex things. Soon, we had 3D printers on our, now empowered, hands.
Ikea designer and founder of Stockholm Design Lab, Björn Kusoffsky, sees this as just the beginning. This year, he believes, we will see a revolution take place, saying, “There’s this do-it-yourself, almost punk movement which you’re starting to see everywhere.” He explains that people don’t need to own a 3D printer to take advantage of the technology, “You don’t even have to buy one these days – you can use a 3D printing studio. So that will change the way we look at product design and design in general.”
The technology, then, will push design even further, democratizing its access. 3D printers will make it even easier to produce brand knock-offs, so, Kusoffsky says that manufacturers, in order to compete, will have to be “even more unique and higher quality, better sourced. It was the same thing when computers came and suddenly everyone was a designer. In the end it’s about having good ideas – that’s the most important thing, and so few people have good ideas. The good idea is the most difficult thing to find and to have.”
The designer may be right. And he should know, since he has played a large part in product design, working with the Swedish home goods company and receiving awards from Cannes, D&AD, Red Dot Design and the Swedish Advertising Association. Kusoffsky’s interpretation of the coming DIY trend doesn’t end there. For more, non-3D printing related, info from his interview with AdNews, click here.