The digital revolution was about turning atoms to bits. The next revolution is about turning bits back to atoms.
– Chris Anderson
Until the release of Star Wars in 1977, the future was nearly always portrayed as clean & uniform.
We all wore the same clothes, drove spotless futuristic vehicles and went to work in uniform skyscrapers.
Back then, this was an understandable extrapolation of Industrial Age thinking – mass produced perfection even minus the dirt.
Star Wars changed that with a ‘more real’ future that looked used, lived in. It was a future that looked like it had a past. That future became more ‘believeable’.
Yet, even Star Wars’ future was an Industrial Age future – where all the X-wings, Tie Fighters and Storm Troopers looked the same because they were all mass produced, presumably to take advantage of (galactic!) economies of scale.
It turns out that with the accelerating growth of 3D printing, the future is actually one of personalised desktop manufacturing.
In such a future why have the same widget as the Jones’ when you can have it in your colours, materials, textures, size and shape?
Star Wars was right and it was wrong.
We are heading towards a used future, but it won’t be a mass produced one.
A safe, secure job in this future starts with creating things that matter to an audience today.