Samuel Bernier’s Project RE_ is a playful enigma. On the one hand, there is a clear aesthetic thread that runs through each project’s final form—it’s not hard to imagine spending far too much to buy these things at a high-end boutique. On the other hand, they are all made from household objects and the steps to making them are freely available online.
It seems that Bernier is at home in this enigma. Project RE_ is an academic work, part of Bernier’s graduation project at the University of Montreal. In keeping with the principles of open source design, step-by-step instructions are available online at Instructables and the 3D printing files and laser cutting data is available at Thingiverse.
This is, in a funny way, big business. In August, software giant Autodesk bought Instructables, making a bet on the future of DIY object design as a business. This is perhaps unsurprising. In the same way that GUIs and laser printers democratized graphic design and paved the way for companies like Adobe to thrive, it seems likely that there will be a growing opportunity for products and services that appeal to the industrial designer hobbyist. DIY design organizations like Adafruit or Quirky are growing into empires of their own, perhaps giving us a glimpse of that future.
In the meantime, page through our gallery of Bernier’s designs and see if you can guess what the final result will be, by looking only at the ingredients.