Exchange between university and craft
The Design Tower is located on the Trinity Technology and Enterprise campuses, next to digital assets like Google or Facebook.
The building itself belongs to Dublin's famous university, the Trinity College, which here allows small trades studios for comparatively moderate rents the opportunity to pursue their business. In return, the craftsmen also give courses at the universities or exchange with them.
Pioneer in the changing world of work
Collaboration between higher education and trade would probably be almost unthinkable in Germany, and the connection is almost unique in Ireland as well - the combination with the IT location makes the project almost an ingenious pioneer in the transition from the indistrualized to the digitalized workplace.
I meet the two goldsmiths Lee Harding and Seamus O Donaghue, who have a small studio on the top floor of the design tower. Fear that digitization could take them away from the work they did not. They see great chances in her. The most important innovation so far: 3-D printing.
How the 3 printing changes the craft
"3 printing has greatly simplified our production conditions," O Donaghue explains. The two of them design their jewelry on the computer and can then directly produce molds in wax or metal blanks themselves.
"In the past, we had to spend a lot of money on producing them, and 3 D printing made this process much easier and cheaper," says the goldsmith. In this way, the two can produce faster and easier and offer their jewelry cheaper.
Far from industrial mass production
From industrial mass production, the two still see themselves far away. "The industrialization has meant that products had to be produced and sold in large quantities according to a specific template. There was no room for individual customer requests, "says O Donaghue.
"As a small one Company we now have the opportunity to react much more flexibly to customer requests. At the same time, digitization helps us offer the individual products at a reasonable price, "he explains the difference.
"Need for quality will continue to grow"
On the contrary, fear that 3 printing might make their work superfluous, because potential customers would like to print their jewelry in much larger quantities themselves, the two have not - on the contrary:
"This technique is likely to cause people to make all sorts of plastic items themselves. With this weariness, the need for quality will continue to grow, "D. explains, adding:" The quality lies above all in the design and our expertise. The material also makes a big difference. "
Small business with customers on all continents
Rather, the two see their advantage in the individual consultation and production of products that are tailored to the needs and budget of the customer. "The future will be that, for example, a trader in Australia will measure us, send us these measurements, design the jewelry and make it locally - a kind of global design group," says Lee Harding.
Even today, the two customers have in 20 countries on all continents - an international distribution, which was previously reserved only for large companies and thanks to the Internet today one-man companies is possible: "A small shop does not need many customers, it is enough good 150 to survive, "summarizes O D. the important difference in the transition from the indistrualisierten to digitized work together.
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