Fresh from the factory

May 8, 2007

Apropos of my prior entry, Fresh from the orifice, I found the website for a new book called nonobject today. It contains the following:

The state of things now: sameness sits on assembly lines; sameness lives on shelves; sameness is in hands of consumers. Need it be this way – where color is the only distinguishing feature? Why not tackle design in more interesting ways? Rather than considering a product as one of many, diversify the multiple existing molds and consider product a little more freely. Need each be a clone of the other? Why not envision production methodology anew, as a result of more organic processes? Just imagine: a near future where we still make a single product in large volumes, but we do so more randomly, intuitively, eclectically. This way, with advanced manufacturing techniques, consumers are offered more choice within a single product category.


I don’t know yet how this “design fiction” interacts with the points I made about the commodity of human labor. I’m eager to hear what you have to say about it.


2 Responses to “Fresh from the factory”

  1. sleepy kev Says:

    I think to some extent manufacturers are starting to do this, if only to excuse the fact that those artfully and uniquely distressed jeans one buys for $200 are going to disintegrate after you wash them too many times.

    For products that require a warranty, however, I envision executives sweating bullets over the fact that their guaranteed product would have unpredictable characteristics. For them, sameness is safe.

  2. sleepy kev Says:

    More to the point of your reference to a prior post, if manufacturing does reach a point where diversity and unpredictability can be introduced into assembly-line products, I have almost no doubt in my mind that they will be tagged with those same unique identifiers: mouth-blown, handcrafted, kid tested, mother approved.

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