Objects that Signal a New Industrial Revolution

Objects that Signal a New Industrial Revolution
Year: 2013
Institution: Gizmodo
Location: New York, US

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan


Are we on the verge of a third industrial revolution? The editors at The Economist certainly think so. But while rapid prototyping and the open source movement have been around for decades now, we had yet to see anyone take a truly comprehensive look at the transformation in manufacturing. That is, until the New Museum's latest show, Adhocracy, came along.

Adhocracy is, in the word of its curator, Domus editor Joseph Grima, “an exhibition about people who make things.” In more specific terms, it’s a collection of 25 machines, printers, apps, and objects that illustrate how rapid prototyping and DIY culture is changing how we make and buy objects.

The DRM (or Digital Rights Management) Chair is a commentary on the practice of building planned self-destruction into a particular digital product. After it's been sat on eight times, the chair falls apart—just like a virtual DRM for digital files.