Are we in the middle of a third Industrial Revolution? If the first took place mainly in the 19th century and was about going from craftsmanship to manufacturing, and the second took place mainly in the 20th century was about going from manufacturing to technology, then is the third going from technology to craftsmanship? Or is this the first all over again?
Recently, Natalie Chanin from Alabama Chanin (isn’t this a great name?) had an interesting post about a new manufacturing concept that “establishes an organic supply chain . . . intersecting design, manufacturing, craft, and DIY by joining designers, manufacturers ,and DIY makers.”
Take a look at her posts about Makeshift to see more about this intriguing concept and effort.
Like Ms Chanin, I am fascinated by the recent trend that links craft, design, and manufacturing. In some ways, we’re going forward by going back.
Somewhat ironically, a very “high tech” process, the internet and web, has facilitated this relatively “low tech” activity.
I’ve bought linen clothing from a Linenme whose products are manufactured in a small family-owned manufacturing facility in Lithuania. The internet has allowed Linenme to sell all over the world and let’s me buy products that are handmade or “lightly manufactured” that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to.I
I’ve also bought linen children’s clothing for my youngest granddaughter, Ava, from Adatine, on Etsy, who are two friends and neighbors, also from Lithuania, which has a long history of linen manufacturing.
Take a look at Etsy Think about how the web provides individual designers the opportunity to sell directly to consumers — and from around the world, to boot. And while you’re there, look at the gorgeous knitted items from my cousin Valerie’s site, NaughtyBird
And look at Brika. It also features fashion, home decor, and jewelry designers.
It’s about furniture, belts, wall hangings. Here’s some hand crafted furniture from a small firm in Portland, Oregon, Phloem Studio.
And last but not least, Boticca , which sells handmade purses, jewelry, and other wearable items from all over the world.
Go ahead, keep going. Think about boutique breweries and distilleries like, Yellow Springs Brewery right here in my home town, or go to Distilling.com for a list of all the craft distilleries in the US. There are hundreds. And few of them existed ten years ago.
Through the magic of the web, there are amazing products from creative individuals that are now available to all of us all through the intersection of craft, manufacturing, design, and high tech.
Is this some kind of “reverse industrial revolution”?
As the Buffalo Springfield song says, “Somethings happening here.”