Whilst writing a paper for Fiscar 2010 I have been exploring the issues surrounding development of a file sharing culture in the design profession (more specifically the product or industrial design profession). I suggest that as personal fabrication becomes more commonplace, a trend we are observing, that the value (for the average citizen) of product design files will increase and consequently a file sharing culture might emerge.
I spoke previously of “The Product Bay‘ established by the founder of the ‘Pirate Bay’, an action which demonstrates that a file shared product design future is not only feasible but also considered commercially viable. While open source development of Makerbot and Fab@Home, among other open source development of personal fabricators is bringing personal fabrication closer to reality. Consequently, I am considering the implications for the design profession, implications that are wide ranging and to date unconsidered by the profession itself.
To be presented at Fiscar 2010 in Helsinki from May 23-25th 2010