For those of you turned on by mass-customization, there's a new initiative called Design Democracy '08 - Power to the People. It's not tied to the election, but rather, is an "educational and interactive mass customization manufacturing website." Designers submit designs, and selected pieces will be prototyped and displayed at this year's International Contemporary Furniture Fair in NYC.
The website offers curriculum for "DD08 citizens" to learn about mass customization processes, philosophies, materials, design elements and software/hardware applications. A panel of industry professionals will choose the designs that best exemplify mass customization principles for the showcase. Here's the pitch:
Design Democracy '08 is looking for citizens who believe in industrial evolution, and that object design and fabrication can have a positive impact on society and the environment. Kerry Moore, the co-founder of DD08 says, "This website and ICFF event is primarily about addressing how the world interacts with the goods it creates." Design professionals, students and enthusiasts alike can participate within seven design districts: 3D Designers, 2D Designers, Educators, Students, Trades, Media and Constituents."
Core-fave Scott Klinker, who advised on the project, puts it perfectly: "This grass-roots effort should demonstrate what's possible with the powerful new digital tools that have leveled the old hierarchies of mass production. Mass customization through digital fabrication is a valid and growing format for young designers to build a voice."
Deadline for submissions is March 21st 2008, but the DD08 website will continue beyond the ICFF by continuing to offer mass customization content and to serve as a networking hub for consumers, designers and fabricators.
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.