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Consumers- the new (co)creators. December 17, 2008

Posted by ieva in design competition, Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

I recently wrote about the design-it-yourself trend. Here is the part 2.

“Broad cultural, technological, and economic shifts are rapidly erasing the distinctions between those who create and those who use, consume, or participate. This is true in digital experiences and information environments of all types, as well as in the physical and conceptual realms.”(Joe Lamantia)

More and more companies make sure they satisfy the needs and desires of consumers, letting them be heard, developing systems of (often online) communication. For example, the French company MyFab produces the objects (furniture) that get the most votes on their website.

All kinds of crafts and diy (do it yourself) are gaining popularity. More designers will soon provide users more possibilities of using their designs for free or low costs, by downloading patterns from internet sources. Will we soon be able to make our own “Prada” coats? Open source, open data and co-creation will be the keywords for anybody who does diy.

There are more and more companies that ask for consumers’ opinions, so that they can get free or cheap business ideas and give them feeling their opinion matters. There are firms like Starbucks that successfully use this principle. They collect real ideas’ banks that are worth… a lot!
Letting consumers choose and decide is for sure one of the shortest ways to their hearts (and wallets).
In the future active and successful co-creators could benefit of different advantages from the companies, integrating their structure.

Nowadays one doesn’t need to be a designer to be a creator. Like the Latvians who made the TrousersLondon brand as a result of their own difficulties to find cool jeans.

Consumers and creators won’t have totally separate roles any more. Already now the Second Life owners earn millions of dollars thanks world the to the users contributions. They have developed a sophisticated world comparing to the primitive one the Linden lab started with.

Diy also matches the “going green” trend. It encourages to recycle waste materials, reuse things we would throw away otherwise. It also stimulates small scale community creation and development (online and off line). We are already familiar with all kinds of knitting groups. These communities will become even more popular, bringing together people from different parts of the world, allowing exchanging ideas, tips and cultural questions.

The quick ongoing technological development will also stimulate the diy in the future. The technologies will become much more affordable and will provide more high quality possibilities for creating in virtual and physical world. One could draw a piece of furniture, jewellery etc. and order it from a rapid prototyping company and get it delivered in a few days. Or “print” directly at home (at least small scale) 3 dimensional objects.
This will change business and economical structures. One of the results will be the growth of virtual economies.
What role will have designers when everybody will become a designer?

For sure, it will change. Will they be there just to make systems and tools for creation? Will designers become some kind of design “coaches”, teachers? Probably they will be like gurus, the ultimate “know-how” holders and some kind of translators, who know, how to give 3 dimensions and life to the ideas people have? Will they be mostly preoccupied with designing services and experiences? There will be creativity courses for children and adults- to help them to develop their creative skills and imagination. Creativity and ability to improvise will be extremely important in the future for each one of us.



1. irena - December 18, 2008

Ļoti pozitīva tendence, beidzot cilvēce lēnām nāk pie prāta!

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