Last week the Design Museum announced nominees for their annual Design of the Year award. The nominees sit in seven categories, from Architecture and Fashion, to Digital and Transport. Antwerp-based designers Unfold were nominated for their entry Kiosk 2.0 in the Product caterory, a transportable 3D printing lab based on the carts of mobile street food vendors. The Kiosk 2.0 can print 3D objects on the move and in their entry founders Claire Warnier and Dries Verbruggen replicated two works by the other finalists, testing notions of authorship, authenticity and intellectual property.
As reported by Marcus Fairs for Dezeen last week, with no pre-existing 3D format production data available to download, the duo developed their own computer scripts by watching films online on how the products were made online and downloading drawings from the web.
Fairs notes intriguing questions raised by Curator of the award exhibition Daniel Charny: ‘some people have reacted very strongly to it…This is part of what’s going to happen with 3D printing. Is it a cheap fake or is it a new piece? When is it okay, when is it not okay?’
Based on an earlier design and inspired by Bruce Sterling’s science fiction short story Kiosk, Unfold’s prompt for the project was an interest to explore what a near future digital era would look like for designers:
Kiosk is a project that explores a near future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous, that we see them appear on street corners, just like fast food today is sold in NY style mobile food stalls. A place where you can quickly get a custom made fix for your broken shoe, materialise an illegal download of Starck’s Juicy Salif orange squeezer that you modified for better performance or quickly print out a present for your sister’s birthday.
How does this scenario challenge our perception of authorship, originality, design and what is the role of the designer when goods are moved around in the form of digital blueprints and appropriated in ways beyond our control?
So, with 3D printers set to cost less than a PC by 2016, how do you feel about 3D printing changing the way objects are made? Would you mind if your artwork or design was reproduced in a 3D print replica and do you think there is a danger to anyone being able to create certain objects? Let us know.