Flash light: Tom Dixon's new manufacturing system

13.04.2010 Milan : Tom Dixon : ZonaTortona

At Tom Dixon’s multipurpose, multi-product stand in ZonaTortona, in the midst of exhibitions of the company’s ‘Copper Shade’, ‘Peg Chair’ and ‘Pressed Glass Light’ was a small gang of people making things.

This, the Flash Factory, represents a new way of manufacturing which has been pioneered by Piet Hein Eek.

An example of Glocalisation, described in our Turbulent Teen report, and an expression of Leanomic thinking, this new method forges networks with craftspeople around the world, and reduces time, carbon and effort from a wasteful supply chain.

By the method, Hein Eek sends his designs to local craftspeople for them to render them in local materials, using their own, local methods. Hence, from a blueprint that can be distributed globally, a local product is made.

Tom Dixon’s Flash Factory is a similar idea. In the middle of the visitors and lights, the Flash Factory workers fold laser-cut and etched, flat-packed pieces of brass and steel to create ‘Etch Shade’ on sale for Euro100. Nearby, a whiteboard indicates how many have been sold each day.

We expect to see much more of this glocalized production in the coming years.

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