Influencer: Andrea de Chirico
Andrea de Chirico describes himself as a system designer – designing the supply chain is as important to him as designing the product. We spoke to the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate to find out more about his unusual approach to manufacturing.
His graduation project, Superlocal, is based around a range of products that could be made within Eindhoven itself, creating a network to connect resources and materials with local labour and production. To highlight this local approach, the people, places, time and area associated with manufacture all feature on his website alongside the description and price of each product. He views this as a more responsible approach to manufacturing – connecting the buyer with a product's narrative, and reducing the emissions associated with transport.
De Chirico views his work as part of the larger maker movement empowering people to engage with production – as previously identified in Design Democracy: Outsider. However, unlike some open production approaches, the role of the designer is retained as the instigator. As he told Stylus: "[The designer] can now become the initiator of independent manufacturing systems, where the driving factor of production is not the just the efficiency, but also the environmental and social viability of how things are produced."
Looking ahead to the future of manufacturing, De Chirico believes that this lies in a combination of traditional and digital processes – an opinion that is evident within his own material choices. His hairdryer design combines blown glass with cork, while 3D-printed components and laser-cut plywood also feature in the designs.
In The Value of 'Made In', we identified the growth in local production, which is fostering a new spirit of brand authenticity. De Chirico takes this further by proffering a future ideal of hyper-local ethical manufacturing that brings consumers closer to the production of their belongings.
Look out for more Influencer blog posts over the next few months, highlighting the up and coming or established talent shaping the design landscape.