It's a Maker World

Trendupdate September 2011

Sep 22, 2011 by Irene Vermeulen

In the European market, vintage finds, one-offs and handmade products are being sold very well, while consumer confidence is low. What makes it that these goods are so popular? People love products with a story attached. They want to see a human touch reflected in a precious purchase. The maker of the product is at the very center of attention. And we believe the maker should be; he or she holds the skills of bringing a product to life, starting only with a lump of wood or a leather hide.

Creator maker
When a creator is also a maker, interesting stuff happens. Designers are hitting the workshop floors and getting their hands dirty. By experimenting with materials and techniques they create new products. Many of them, like Hella Jongerius are interested in making serial one-offs; industrial products with tiny flaws or marks that make them unique.

  • Bsxcy have mastered the art of paper folding and created a range of lanterns.
  • Oscar Diaz made 3 vases that fit inside each other, by experimenting in a glass workshop.

Global maker
When it comes to global crafts, background stories are even more exotic. The makers often practice traditional crafts, unknown to the rest of the world. By co-creating with designers and sharing ideas and knowledge, more and more exporters of handicrafts are selling their goods in the global market.

  • Front worked with a group of female South African makers on a range of vases with beads on them, each product litterally telling the story of its maker.
  • Tahir Mahmood made a range of tabletop objects by working with Pakistani wood turners.

Local maker
In food, local production is very popular. But now there are also handmade products to be found on weekend markets and in local shops. A lot of attention is given to small maker industries in big cities. Buying your teapot, mirror or bag from a local maker is quite an experience.

  • Royal College of Art London hosted a pop-up-maker-shop during the Milan design week in the buzzing Lambrate area, selling bags made on the spot.
  • Monocle Magazine investigated maker industries in their July 2011 issue 'Made in San Francisco', reporting on the fast-growing community of makers, calling it a 'post-industrial, post-digital phenomenon'.

Storytelling
Do you as a business tell all stories attached to your products? Chances are you don't, while you probably have a very interesting product source and a skilled group of makers. Why not start with gathering information and images, and start creating stories around your products? People are made for remembering stories and sharing them, but forget about facts and figures instantly. So take out that notebook, camera or recorder and start collecting!

People love products with a human touch. They want to hear the stories of its maker, and make sure these are true and trustworthy. Craftscurator calls this trend 'Tale of Truth', and it is one of 8 consumer attitudes revealed in the Craftscurator 2013 Trend Guide. Order the guide now or visit the Craftscurator Trend Event.

hella jongerius, bcxsy, oscar diaz, front, editions in craft, tahir mahmood, wallpaper, rca, kvadrat, monocle, sfmade, council design

Creator maker
Bcxsy workshop
3 in 1 glass vase
Oscar Diaz
Made of paper
Lantern by Bcxsy
Glass making
Oscar Diaz vases being made
Local maker
Pop-up-maker-store by RCA and Kvadrat
Global maker
Story vases by Front for Editions in craft
Global maker
Woodturning designs by Tahir Mahmood
Designer crafts
Tahir Mahmood in Wallpaper magazine
We-Do
Bags being made by RCA in Milan
Local maker
Council design workshop in SF