C14 Journal Issue N02
via Morimondo 26, Milano
This issue is dedicated to, customized, tailored design, also referred to using the super fashionable “tailor-made”, or the more refined “bespoke”, whose meaning (here I publicly confess all my ignorance) I only learned very recently. The usual jokey opening gambits aside (I can’t help it), C14 loves this kind of design approach, intended for the reproduction of one or a few samples. I consciously (or perhaps its merely professional bias) use the term design here, to mean the idea of design indiscriminately including everything, which is a long way from the original concept of industrial design. For more on this topic I would strongly suggest reading the excellent“Industrial Design: a re-examination” written in 1991 by Tomas Maldonado. The substantial difference is that the need for serial reproduction of the perfect object with optimized costs is challenged by access to high-precision technologies, and refined production even on a small scale, without significantly affecting the cost of each single product. Basically, computer and CNC machines allow for a techno-artisanal approach to design, while prototyping becomes very fast, through the use of modelling techniques and virtual 3D printers. This is an extraordinarily significant change, an unprecedented possibility for new generations for the first time in history. Obviously, there are pro’s and con’s: the biggest risk is widespread superficiality, which results in lack of attention to detail, and therefore to the study of the object’s function itself. However, when possibilities are opened up so suddenly and exponentially, taking a risk is not so bad after all.