October 7, 2009
This NY Times article discusses a new collaboration of young designers and software developers. They aim to give non-designers and design amateurs control over the 3D shape of everyday products like pens, vases and lemon squeezers. The article focuses on the shift in attitude that underlies the mass-customization and co-creation and is a good introduction for those new to these concepts. I believe Digital Forming is on the right track. Letting a designer set the manipulation boundaries for a product and then allowing the user to play around within the “save zone” makes the whole process less scary for consumers. As we have noticed during our own interface explorations, good and easy-to-understand interfacing between product and user is essential for building confidence. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a screen shot of the software, so it’s hard to see how well it fits their target users. If anyone has some more info on this project, please post links in the comments!