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.
That can mean anything from a set of standardized joints that let the user build a bike out of nearly any material, to a solar-powered 3D printer that uses sand from the surrounding desert, to an opensource guide to repairing household appliances. The objects vary, but the ethos stays the same: making is no longer the purview of companies which manufacture millions of the same object. It’s the right of individuals, who are manufacturing one or two objects to fit their own unique needs, then passing along their code. Take a look at eight highlights below—or check out the show until July 7.