Makers and Manufacturers
Making is experiences that generate one’s sense of accomplishment, stimulating imagination and cultivates the ability to solve problems. The desire to express and to create is a driving force and an instinct for human beings. However, people barely make anything for themselves any more since they can buy whatever they want from the suppliers. With endless consuming and disposable productions, people start posing questions about the value of producing and consuming.
As a response to against consumerism, maker movement strived, promoting self-making and reusing resources.
Maker is a lifestyle, a spirits in pursuit of innovation and freedom, but eventually grew to be part of the producing and consuming system. Makers developed their business and set up studios and held markets to provide products, but it was no match to the long-standing manufacturers. Indeed, it’s a different way of producing, but it can only share a part of the market from outside the huge consumerism system. Even though makers can provide customization service, they are not capable of supporting the economy of modern society and creating job opportunities. Furthermore, there are no answers if funders and investors are supporting makers, or taking advantage of the “uniqueness” of makers as a new marketing strategy. Therefore, makers can hardly make changes to the current industry chain and market trend without establishing solid system.
Although advocators of maker culture claim that everyone can be maker, techniques, materials and equipment are still obstacles that are hard to overcome. No matter how easy people can buy a 3D printer on Amazon, it’s unrealistic to make everything we need on our own. Maker is more than amateur handicraft or enthusiasts of do-it-yourself, but fulfilling the urge to make and to create seems to be a greater purpose than providing products.
Whether makers can change the mode we make things is still undetermined, but the ideal of maker culture reflects the dilemma of manufacturing and consuming. People benefit from the rich substances of massive production while they are also sick of problems that follow. People start to question the meaning of making, the purpose of products and who we are making for.
The problem is not just for manufacturers, but also the inevitable difficulties faced by designers. As a member of the global production industry, ODIIST has taken up the challenge to help transforming Taiwan’s manufacture industry and to create better design environment for the society.