Bruce Sterling has been tracking the future as a SciFi author for years. Now, he's working on creating the future. He's postulating the possibility of a fully downloadable world. Raw materials would be manufactured into whatever you want (in this case, a chair) based on downloadable designs. You pay for the design, not the chair. When you're done, you give the material back to the manufacturer, and they turn it into something else.
The process would eventually expand beyond simple items, like furniture, allowing appliances and electronics to be manufactured in a similar local, sustainable, not-being-shipped-from-China kind of way. Of course, Sterling's "Spimes" are a ways off, but that doesn't mean we aren't hanging on every word.
Another interesting development in downloadableness...TreeHugger has started up it's first Niche blog, which seems to be largely paid for by Absolut Vodka. The subject...downloadable everything. It's worth a read, if you can get past the fact that every third word is "Absolut."
written by Mark Vanderbeeken, September 29, 2007
written by Christiaan, October 02, 2007
written by Euro Tailors, March 28, 2008
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