Made on Jupiter is a series of attempts to launch the collective of digital artisans that we are under Jupiter Jazz on a development platform that is relatively new to us:
We think the time is ripe to apply the specific skills we acquired in digital filmmaking and software design to new and emerging markets. But also to use our talents to transform existing disciplines and trades and make them relevant again.
On the way, we hope to transcend from purely digital artisans into post-digital ones. We have had our digital revolution/orgasm. Enlightened by this foray into the purely digital, we are getting a second look at reality.
The result is an increasingly focussed effort to master atoms while not losing sight of bits. Made on Jupiter is simultaneously a (physical) design collective and a software development house, with a strong belief that this distinction is increasingly absurd, and a mission to prove it.
Our physical designs are very intimate with their digital avatars, and anywhere the software and process tries to pull these apart, we write new software and rethink old habits.
By and large our designs are unique pieces, not because we want to be special, but because mass manufacturing is the unnatural and unsustainable state. We think we’re not far from a situation where it makes just as much business sense (again) to make unique pieces as opposed to mass produced ones. For many products, that is already the case.
One in particular piqued our interest, and has been the focus of our efforts over the past couple of years: surfboard design. In collaboration with a high tech surfboard brand & manufacturer, we are experimenting with bringing the digital product & engineering model all the way to the front: in the browser for the designer and consumer to interact with.
We are in the process of sharing and testing this and other opportunities in the New Zealand business community.
- point of purchase (POP) is inserted before manufacturing
- product model (PM) is digitised and made dynamic (DPM) for consumer interaction at the POP
- transport and storage drastically reduced
- user/consumer gets a more active role in the product’s creation
- more direct feedback about the product, faster iterations
Made on Jupiter is positioning itself to ride the wave of highly flexible production lines, which some tout as the 3rd industrial revolution, or the democratisation of manufacturing.
It’s no coincidence that this wave travels in resonance with that other wave of internet-amplified knowledge and awareness. It’s causing the democratisation of one industry after another: print, music, film & photography, and now, slowly but surely: manufacturing. Simply put: consumers are more specific about what they want, because they’re better informed. For manufacturing, that means smaller and smaller production runs, and for many products we’ve already reached the point of making every product instance unique.
Yet there’s a big void right now, between those flexible manufacturing lines, and the consumer. The digital product model needs to be pulled all the way out to the end user for interaction. Right now it only exists in rather arcane CAD systems that drive the design and production aspects of manufacturing. Not marketing, nor the store front, because, obviously, these digital product models and the tools they live in are too complex for you and me to interact with.
That’s the premise Made on Jupiter is built on: the promise to fill that void. With tools and standards that bridge the gap between the CAD/engineering digital product model, and the end user. We build browser-based experiences (extreme ease of use is implied) for deep customisation of products. We pull the digital product model, in all its glory – ie, not just cosmetic aspects like color or decorations – all the way to the store front and the prospective buyer. And we leverage that granularity to its full potential in the social, collaborative web.
Today, it’s about creating experiences around products. Essentially, giving the stuff we make stories again, like they had before the industrial revolution and mass production. It instills a new respect for the things around us, and the brands that made them for us. Giving things a ‘creation story’ by letting their to-be owners have a hand in their outcome, by personalising or customising, is a start. Beyond that Made on Jupiter wants to create digital platforms for encouraging further creation of stories and experiences around products, through post-sale product lifecycle management tools, and making products part of the Internet of Things. You could say we’re building a Facebook for Things (did we just say that?).