Thoughts On The Future Of Product Design

Author and journalist Cory Doctorow questions how design will evolve in our society.

Blogger, journalist and science fiction author Cory Doctorow pondered the future of manufactured products in a recent article for Make magazine. Research for one of his novels, which mostly takes place in the factory cities of South China, caused him to think about the goods that are made on the assembly lines in those factories.

These items, from designer goods to knockoffs, are produced day after day, in exactly the same way. They are manufactured to look identical with no imperfections or individuality, “untouched by human hands.”

But there is increasing negativity associated with products made in this way, especially considering the effect on the environment and the working conditions for the people involved.

Doctorow questions whether more and more companies will try to break away from this unpleasant image and try to design their products to make them look hand-crafted. Will a new culture evolve in which fake handmade goods,  designed to look like they haven’t been manufactured by machines, are the norm?

Cory Doctorow

Make: “Untouched By Human Hands”

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