At the 2016 Vienna Design Week, ewo hosted a talk between designer Clemens Weisshaar and journalist Marcus Fairs, the founder of Dezeen, an influential online publication dedicated to design and architecture.

The title of their talk was “Industry 4.0—The Future is Now.” This broad topic led to a discussion of the future of design and how advances in digital technology and robotics will alter the sector and society at large. Central to their vision of Industry 4.0 was the idea of a cyber physical approach to technology. This may soon result in dramatic changes through the networking of machines, factories, and supply chains.

Weisshaar & Fairs discussed what the third industrial revolution may look like and how the world of product design is changing: soon, anything that can be connected will be connected. Networked machines will connect to supply chains and talk to one other. Manufacturing is already going digital, which will transform the way goods are made, Fairs said.

Weisshaar presented several projects that he conceived with fellow designer Reed Kram for their design studio Kram/Weisshaar. Innovative software, novel materials, robots, new processes like algorithmic modeling sequences and computer numerically controlled production; these were helpful clues to where industry and design may be headed, for ewo as a company. In the future, companies will produce much smaller amounts of a wider variety of products, with each product tailored to fit the customer’s specific needs. They will create modular systems, with a flexibility that leads to a highly personalized design. ewo’s approach is similar to Kram/Weisshaar’s, said Marketing and Sales director Hannes Wohlgemuth: “The goal is to make highly configurable products that can be mass produced.”

Click HERE to download the full version of the article on Industry 4.0 from Vienna Design Week 2016. Included is the text of our ewoTALK from the same event.

Video by Dezeen