The New Making Renaissance: Programmable Matter and Things

Today’s emerging “Manufacturing Renaissance” is radically different from the more traditional tides of innovation seen over fifty years of computation such as Moore’s Law.  Instead this disruptive innovation is more akin to the introduction of major transformative technologies such as the printing press, the programmable loom, and the computer itself.  This new renaissance, driven by personal, creative, and independent manufacturing, will change not only the way that most items are designed, manufactured, and delivered, but also radically expand the range of potential artifacts, materials, interactivity, and applications.

This Manufacturing Renaissance has at its root the confluence of three major technological trends: (1) accessible, cheap, and fast creation of matter in new forms (e.g. 3D printing and digital fabrication technologies), (2) on-demand electronics, and (3) programmable intelligence in every object.  The creativity and change unleashed by this revolution could fundamentally change how society operates with a return to craftsmanship, an adoption of mass customization, and new models of sharing, crowd-funding, and making.

This two-day workshop brought together experts in 3D printing, digital fabrication, synthetic biology, printable electronics, end-user programming, manufacturing, robotics, design, healthcare, CAD/CAM, and intellectual property.  The goal of this workshop was to inspire the computing community to envision future trends and opportunities within this critical emerging landscape.  Where are the potential opportunities, disruptive trends, and blind spots?  Are there new questions and directions that deserve greater attention by the research community and new investments in computing research?


Date: June 3-4, 2014
Location: Harvest Inn, St. Helena, CA


The agenda is available here.


David Culler
University of California at Berkeley

James Landay

Prabal Dutta
University of Michigan

Eric Paulos
University of California at Berkeley