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DESIGN DEMOCRACY by Branko Kolarevic

“Thanks to parametric design and digital fabrication it is now possible to mass-produce non-standard, highly differentiated products, from shoes and tableware to furniture and even houses. Variety no longer compromises the efficiency and economy of production. Furthermore, parametric definitions of products’ geometry are made accessible via interactive websites to masses, who could then design their own, unique versions of the product.
Such “democratization” of design – through mass-customization – raises many interesting questions such as the authorship of design and the functional and esthetic quality of products (shoes, tableware, furniture, houses…) designed by non-designers. Illustrated with numerous examples, this lecture explores social, cultural and design implications of this emerging “design democracy”, starting with its technological origins.”