Innovation in Extreme Scenarios

By Stahl Stenslie, Boris Debackere, Michelle Kasprzak, Carsten Friberg, Jakob Sabra, Andreas Eggertsen, Jurij Krpan, and Elizabeth Jochum, 2013.
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Working together for five days, a team of contributors wrote the original content for the ebook Innovation in Extreme Scenario’s covering topics from 3D printing, robot aesthetics, to modernity, and their relation to the overall topic of Innovation in Extreme Scenarios.

New Materialism: Will New Material Magic Save the World?
Excerpt from the text by Stahl Stenslie.

Materialism is the belief that economic or social change is closely related to our material conditions. Current advances in digital production techniques such as 3D printing promise to sustainably and ecologically secure the high level of our material well being as well as the furtherance of material progress. But how can this be? Is there really a material heaven, free from degrading side issues? New materialism claims a utopian future, but it might also lead to a dystopian acceleration towards depleted resources and a collapse of human civilization as we know it. Then again, a return to conceptual or spiritual values might represent a third and immaterial way. As with a Hegelian shift in history, our society might find its way from one extreme to another. Within this scenario, the current and extreme overconsumption of natural resources in combination with a capitalistic world order of materialism might lead to a sociocultural shift that inverts all values and focus on non-material products such as those associated with the experience economy.

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