Back to Products and Tangible Output as Content

3D Printing

Why are 3D printers on the trend watch list?

Because while we enjoy connecting and relating on the basis of service, we still live in the real world and like to hold, touch, and use real things with a dimension to them. Service can differentiate you from the pack and support your business as content, so imagine what innovative products can do as content.

Some of those things used to be called necessary evils — cars, especially those, and homes, on top of that list. Utilitarian kinds of goods one had to have. Which then became status objects — the bigger, the more luxury, the better. You showed the Joneses, didn't you?

Renegotiating our surroundings

Being connected is not just an online phenomenon, it's a basic human need. When we talk about value and utility in the things we support, we mean they help us fill a need. And we do need to live somewhere. The content of our lives — and the products in it — meets the context of where we choose to operate.

Bjarke Ingels' special kind of storytelling is not limited to the content of his deck or client presentations. It's a true social object that becomes the starting point of a reality. Invest the 18+ minutes to watch his TED Talk.

The evolution of architecture is where the creative class meets our cognitive surplus, which, according to Clay Shirky, is the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles.

RIchard Florida calls what is happening now the great reset, the economic crisis has accellerated the change in the way we live and work. He noted how changes in our economy and demography are altering “the texture of suburban life in favor of denser, more walkable, mixed-use communities.”

Shirky says that using cognitive surplus we're starting to see truly incredible experiments in scientific, literary, artistic, and political efforts. He stipulates that cognitive surplus is a resource we can design around. It dips in the well of intrinsic motivation.

So take these two tendencies and stories, and build a sustainable architectural context around them. This is why 3D printers are trending — content is tangible output. What kind of products are you creating to meet this new customer in a new habitat?


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