Interview: Power of Making curator Daniel Charny

Power of Making was curated by product designer and lecturer Daniel Charny. BCA asked him a few questions following our visit to the exhibition.

BCA: Firstly congratulations on the exhibition. We went on a Wednesday afternoon and it was packed. We were curious to hear in your own words about what you feel links the pieces?

DC: Imaginative use of skills is the broad idea that links all the pieces in the exhibition.

BCA: Looking at the future of making and the potential for more production in the home, do you think we might witness the death of aesthetic trends in the coming years?

DC: If by ‘aesthetic trends’ you mean the dictatorship of looks by brands, then there is a very strong case for individual taste to grow in presence, although I think design will grow in value and people will be looking for designs and the aesthetics that come from talented individuals. It might just be that it is delivered through data rather then artefacts or through designed materials. If anything, there will be a strong aesthetic trend of designs and products that are open to change, exposed, accessible, to some degree raw (so that they can be adjusted, altered, changed, hacked, modified etc.)

BCA: What do you think will happen to mass production if people continue to make their own things?

DC: There will be an increase in mass production only it will happen accumulatively. Possibly this is the thing that that happened to the paperless office – a reverse of expectation – perhaps we will be seeing many more things produced and many more rejects?!

BCA: Do you think that the role of mass production is set to change?

DC: Yes, it looks like responsibility will shift to the user-makers, it could be said that we are already entering into the Production Revolution (a third counterpart to the industrial and technological revolutions) in terms of personal fabrication it could be significant though hard to imagine medicine being open to self production.

BCA: What is your view of 3D printers and its potential?

DC: 3D printers are amazing tools with potential to liberate personal adaptability and empower invention for people of all walks of life and accelerators for innovation that could be fed back into society for others to benefit. Though personal 3D printers are still very demanding, with the networks of knowledge and ambitious roadmaps (such as from MIT Bits and Atoms) it looks like the leaps and bounds in this area in recent years are just ripples in a big change.

Thank you Daniel!

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