The Future of Making
The Way Things are Made is Being Remade
On May 3 and 4, 2008, more than 75,000 people from all over the country descended on a fairground in Silicon Valley to see a glimpse of the future through a lens on the present. This was the annual Bay Area Maker Faire, a celebration of do-it-yourself culture where more than 500 “makers” showed off their robot pets, home-brewed 3D displays, biofuel-powered vehicles, and extreme crafts.
The event is a science fair meets craft fair meets farmer’s market. Yet, Maker Faire is not just about seeing great DIY projects. It’s about breaking established modes of thinking and questioning traditional approaches to living, working, and organizing. In Institute for the Future (IFTF) terms, Maker Faire is ripe with weak signals that point toward the way technology may be used, or made, over the next decade. Two future forces, one mostly social, one mostly technological, are intersecting to transform how goods, services, and experiences—the “stuff” of our world—will be designed, manufactured, and distributed over the next decade.
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