We will likely buy more unfinished products in the future. This could happen for a lot of reasons: more choice, better economics, and the ability to upgrade. But there are behaviors even more exciting at play. When we ‘unbundle’ products, the role of people changes.
As we break down the things into Raw Systems, how will it shift the roles of people and materials? For decades we have organized around production, soon production might organize more around us.
a / Products as Platforms
Instead of buying finished goods, we wondered if we might see Products as Platforms that allow us to make goods for ourselves. You can imagine starting with a core and then building on top of it. As you build you can follow traditional patterns, or have the freedom to try something different. It’s a similar approach to how we create software...or maybe hamburgers?
We thought about how our supply chains might evolve as we create more things on demand. We also wondered how we would cope with the overwhelming choice a flexible systems can create. This idea could affect almost everything we buy. We wondered how it might even be the future of fast food.
b / Making Ecologies
As we work more with product systems, we’ll need tools and communities to help us cope with this new level of flexibility. Imagine if your tools could guide you in using the product components. You might combine those products with outside inspirations. Then, as you complete your idea, could an expert help you get it made? This Making Ecology would create new dynamic markets that allowed people to trade ideas and skills.
To explore this idea of a making ecology, we wanted to design for an extreme situation. Could you source ideas only through your immediate surroundings? Could you create something physical with no physical tools at your disposal? How would you get your idea made? We wondered what is might look like to make something with only a smartphone.