FutureFab – Future Fabrication

Danish Design Centre is exploring the new currents in technology and "maker"-culture, which in our view has the potential to enrich and transform production in Denmark. In conversation with our networks we wish to develop a new program under the title "Future Fabrication" (#futurefab - and in Danish, Fremtidens Fabrikation - #fremfab), which aims to uncover the role of design in the age of advanced manufacturing technology.


The development of the new program will take shape in an open process, in which we solicit input from our networks in the attempt to find the ideal answers to how design will play a role in strengthening Denmark as a thriving manufacturing sector. In the coming months of scoping the program we will explore potentials and perspectives for Future Fabrication in dialog with organizations, businesses and individuals through meetings, workshops and public seminars. All this will lead to the establishment of a more long-term program in the Danish Design Centre project portfolio from 2016 and onwards.

We have already identified four exciting themes and a series of preliminary hypotheses, which we believe stand out based on their contemporary relevance. These will be the thematic points of departure for our work in the scoping phase. Read about the four themes here (in no particular order):

#1 Can we use design and advanced technology to revitalize production in rural areas?

Across the world we see a steady de-populization of rural areas and streams of talent heading towards the larger cities, leaving the rural areas under-resourced and challenged. How might design and advanced fabrication tools help reverse this tendency ? Can we reutilize abandoned production space in the rural areas, inspire local engagement as well as create new low-cost production facilities and entrepreneurial opportunities? How can we link future potential with the abandoned complexes of our industrial past?

#2 How can we create sustainable business models based on open-source sharing?

Maker culture is driven by knowledge sharing and, as a result, new economies and business models are being based on open source-principles. We want to investigate ways to overcome challenges in IP-driven business as well as to explore open business development of the sharing economy. New business models pave the way for new exciting opportunities as well as address the severe challenges of bridging the gaps in global knowledge and resource inequality.

#3 Can design thinking stimulate innovation in new fields in production and manufacturing?

Designers have an ability to systematically create insight into the user needs of a product and to transform these insights into tangible solutions – therefore designers compose an invaluable resource in product development and production processes. But how can we best apply design thinking into the development of new production fields, such as, for instance, IoT (Internet of Things)? We want to explore new models for partnerships between industry-related businesses and designers, as well as to share knowledge and cases on how designers can dramatically increase innovation in these developing markets.

#4 Should designers become makers?

Digital is no longer limited to screens and canvases. Is there need for designers to master new technologies and the process of manufacturing in order to remain at the forefront of new design currents, tools and methodologies? And which technology partners do designers need to engage with? How can we enable designers and companies to take part in not only design phases, but also fabrication processes and thereby expand their expertise in cutting edge technologies?

If any of these questions, themes and hypotheses catch your interest and you are keen to contribute to the conversation about the development of the Future Fabrication / Fremtidens Fabrikation program, please get in outch with Julie [jhj@ddc.dk] and Christian [cvi@ddc.dk].