The revolution of design by programmable materials



Programmable Materials, Design Process, Production Revolution, Production Principles, 4D Printing


Global technological transformations revolutionize the design process both in conceptual and technical senses and add new meanings to the area of design. The design parameters of past eras are incomparable with today's design parameters. To define and forecast revolutions, Grinin and Grinin (2013) put forward the theories of production revolutions and production principles, to classify global technological transformations. Today, humankind experiences the primary modernization stage of cybernetic revolution and according to forecasts will pass to third ‘stage of self-regulating systems’ within the 2030s and 2040s.

In the light of the information acquired by the production revolutions and the theories of production principles and in the context of industrial design, one discussed within this study the programmable materials, which can be accepted as the pioneer of self-regulating systems. In programmable materials, 4D printing technology that began to be developed in mid-2010, was analyzed. The scenarios on the future of 4D printing and programmable materials were included and forecasts were put forward to assume how these scenarios will affect the design profession. This study emphasizes the necessity of adapting the industrial design profession to the contemporary by broadening its scope, and questioning and renewing the context of the profession, with the emphasis on digitalization being at the forefront.


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