Multi-property Additive-manufacturing Design Experiments – MADE – is the concerted manifestation of 15 years of research and knowledge at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) into emerging digital technologies – specifically 3D printing – and its commitment to educating students for a changing and challenging new world.
The teaching staff of MADE come primarily from practicing backgrounds in industrial design and have observed the changes of the past decades affecting economies and societies, worldwide and locally. Changes like dropping of tariffs and whole manufacturing plants moving off-shore required radical new teaching goals to enable New Zealand to grow and prosper.
CONNECTING RESEARCH WITH INDUSTRY
Investment in research & development may seem like a costly indulgence in times of economic changes, but for a long-term future for a nation as much an individual this is the foundation of sound economic solutions. MADE is establishing connections between researchers and a huge range of industries (from Weta Workshop to New Zealand Limb Service, entertainment to health care). As facilitators of those interactions we are proud to be part of the NZ Product Accelerator which aims to transform New Zealand companies through innovation. Intensive research at university level is given the scientific and administrative support to create attractive alternatives for industries. Read more (linked to the following text which, according to Ross, might need more extensive discussion amongst VUW)
“THE FIRST TO FALL ASLEEP IS THE FIRST TO AWAKE”
David Ten Have (COO Makeymakey)
The enforced sleep of New Zealand’s economy at the end of the 20th century ensured that at the beginning of the 21st century New Zealand is wide awake to the possibilities of new technologies and international trading. To fully understand the relevance of MADE one needs to know about the history of Design; why New Zealand is known as a hot house for innovative thinking – taking No.8 wire places it’s never been – and willing to explore possibilities no one has dreamed of before.
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS AND INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
With the huge steps taken during the first and second industrial revolution not only did new technologies develop, but new kinds of jobs were created. Before the revolution the design of a product reflected the demands of the client, the skill of the manufacturer and the resources available. As the revolution perfected its materials and processes, more products became more readily available. These processes and materials – and their rendering into desirable products – needed harnessing by product and industrial designers. Starting with draughtsmen fine tuning their skills to new schools being set up teaching ‘how to design’ – a whole new group of experts developed. This revolution also had created a more homogeneous mass of consumers that wanted to partake in the glory of acquisition.
SUSTAINABLE SOCIAL INDIVIDUALISM
Fast forward 3 centuries and the world is on the brink of its fourth industrial revolution. Since then a major shift in attitudes has occurred: keeping up with the Jones’ has evolved from having everything they’ve got but newer to having something that they don’t have and preferably can’t get. The individual and its unique desires and preferences have become the main market target. Involving a lot more work to cater for: environmental and ethical awareness of production processes has developed increasingly, forcing manufacturers to find out not only what the consumer wants but also how to achieve the feel-good factor of buying an ethical and sustainable item. Now designers have to create for a market that wants to buy products that have been manufactured according to fair-trade rules, have as low an impact on the environment as possible and make the owner feel connected to their own past and future.