I love industrial design’s raison d’etre, mass production. This notion that you can design a useful product and a factory will multiply your efforts by several million units.
I also like the opposite notion of one-offs championed by a company like Bespoke Innovations, where an industrial designer can use digital manufacturing techniques to create a truly personalized, one-of-a-kind item.
What I hate is the in-between Limited Edition thing, where a company arbitrarily produces a small run and uses different colors or materials to contrive scarcity, in order to artificially increase the value of a product. I recognize that “Limited Edition” is an important economic tool, and that it causes collectors a joy that I do not understand but must pretend I do in order to be polite; I just don’t like the idea.
That being said, I still found myself guiltily mesmerized by this footage of Leica craftspeople putting together the “Edition Hermès” version of their M9-P camera. At the end of the day, I’m still a sucker for watching beautiful, precision objects (right down to the packaging, in this case) being assembled by hand:
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