20 August 2020
Author: Leila Saad
Let's consider how, since the beginning of the digital boom, furniture has been given some technological add-ons, yet the functions of these objects – be they lamps, chairs or tables – have stayed the same. In future, however, products can no longer promote a passive interaction of the consumer with the object.
The way we interact with each other and the world has also transformed in the digital age, so isn’t this enough reason for designers to reinvent the way we live and consume? Our main focus in changing the perception of the product design profession is to thoroughly study human behaviour and recognise patterns in the ways we interact with the world around us and consider what's next.
For example, constantly evolving technologies mean that many design manufacturers now offer on-demand production alongside personalisation for each consumer. And as 3D-printing technologies develop at a profound speed, what’s keeping us from envisioning a world where each person has a limited amount of material they can use to print the items they need?
Will it be that future consumers only own a limited amount of materials, which they can insert in an advanced 3D printer and download new sunglasses, a vase or the latest Adidas shoes, reusing the materials to reprint a new version the year after? This could see the integration of a circular system in the future home or in the community. And so, when people get bored of their products, instead of disposing of them, they simply reprint them into something new.
Our world is giving us an incredible opportunity to rediscover who we are as humans, our needs and how we function as species. Our responsibility as product designers is to guarantee that future generations will be equipped and prepared to function, thrive and navigate the challenges of the world we’re currently leaving behind.
Leila Saad is a graduate of Lucerne School of Art and Design. Her final year project explores how product designers must dispose of the outdated mindset of reshaping pre-existing products for consumerist satisfaction, while redefining the purpose of the profession.
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