In April I wrote a blog post on ‘making meaningful connections’, which seemed to summarise and boil down some of the central ideas that have emerged from my research about creativity and making today. The points made there have turned out to be applicable in a number of spheres – for instance, only last week I used that frame for considering the future of universities.
The current trend of self-production activities is reshaping the role of professional designers in a society where everyone does design. Manzini – one of the most acknowledged researcher in the design field – investigated this topic in his recent book (2015). At the presentation of the book, the author stressed that designers should improve the capability of people to create their own biographies.
To this end, designers can contribute by designing ‘enabling solutions’, i.e.
A week ago I have been invited to a panel at the inauguration of MakerLand: a retail store in a shopping mall in Monza, Italy. This initiative appears rather peculiar considering its main partners: Talent Garden (a 4 years old company managing co-working spaces in Italy and quickly expanding in Europe), and the Italian subsidiary of Auchan (a French international retail group).
The #DiDIY team visited WeMake and OpenDot in Milan.
What difference does the 'digital' make in 'Digital DIY'?
Amateurs committed to self-production (i.e. Do-It-Yourself or, simply, DIY) are reshaping the relationship between production and consumption. The spreading of this trend suggests scenarios in which non-professional people are, or will be, able to create artefacts. The socio-cultural changes fostered by the development of open-source and digital technologies have introduced a significant shift towards the revival of making and crafting, thus fostering creativity, sustainability and customization.
Low bandwidth technologies favoured sparse, formal representations of the real world: from musical notation, to line plans of buildings. With increasing storage and computing power, these will be supplanted by more detailed, "descriptive", representations that are beyond human power to directly produce and understand.
For hackers, makers, tinkerers and other participants of Digital DIY, an important way to find out about, use and participate in technological projects in this domain takes place through Internet platforms. There are quite a few different platforms that allow people to share hardware designs.
She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Design. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Design and Design Dept at Politecnico di Milano, where she is also in charge of scientific co-ordination within and between the IDEActivity Center and the BioDesign Laboratory.
The phenomenon of ‘digital Do It Yourself’ (DiDIY) has much to offer to creative society. By ‘creative society’ we mean the levels of creativity in society – which are vital for both personal well-being and economic growth. The rise of online communication has meant that for many years now creative people have been able to share ideas, have conversations and inspire each other via the internet.