Rick Patrick, professor of art at Holy Names University, recently had his paper, Democratization of Design: Speculation on the Future of Three-dimensional Printing, accepted into the Twelfth International Conference on Design Principles & Practices in Barcelona, Spain.
Rick has worked as a professor at HNU for over forty years. He is a practicing architect and has extensive professional experience in architecture, ceramic design, and jewelry making. His research focuses on the arts as a source for understanding historic cultural transformations.
Rick believes that 3D printing, or additive printing, is the beginning of a new cultural transformation. He theorizes that in the future, 3D printing may provide consumers the means to create objects independent of the modern manufacturing infrastructure.
Freed from the sameness required for mass production, the individual consumer could easily design and produce unique, custom, products. Patrick states that this transformation will “present an entirely new economic paradigm,” and reshape the traditional supply chain by eliminating inventory and distribution. This will allow for individuals to be both the designer and manufacturer, in effect. “The clowns will run the circus,” he posits.
Over the past few years, HNU has acquired two 3D printers. Rick developed the course “3D Design and Printing” to inspire future designers, engineers, scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs to explore the potentials of 3D printing and adapt to the new economic paradigm it presents.