Project Team : Kevin Hai, Ryan Erbert
Initially structured as a way to explore knowledge of design techniques, emerging fabrication technology and media, and business strategies, Pop Rocks is a concept that explores the potential for mass customization and the “click and order” business model. By developing a software application created using Processing, Grasshopper, and Rhinoceros 3D, the project hopes to enable consumers to design bespoke pieces of jewelry, which will then be fabricated in a variety of materials using 3D printers and sold back to the consumer.
The development of this project began by asking contemporary questions such as “how can 3D printing be applied to wearables and change the design and crafting process?”, “how can it transform traditional, ‘brick and mortar’ business models?”, and “what is the purpose of the designer in a world where the consumer is granted more and more control?” Pop Rocks is our under-development response to these questions.
The Pop Rocks application is seasonally altered with open-source data from Twitter in order to create an ever-changing product that adjust itself with contemporary trends in jewelry. This establishes the role of the designer as a character that still controls the tools, codes, and lexicon of design while still giving more power to the people, who are growing more accustomed with creating things for themselves through novel fabrication methods such as 3D printing. The research development of this design concept was tailored to explore innovative retail models, the potential of 3D printing and mass customization, design intelligence, and the dialogue between the designer and the consumer in the digital age.