Here is my documentation from the Pro-Am panel that I hosted at the Helsinki Design Week. The discussion touched different aspects of amateurization, including the longetivity of the trend, the legal implications, the new business opportunities, the role of social networks and third spaces, and the implications for brands.
Snowboarder Ville Lahtinen is well known in Finland not only for his snowboarding skills, but also for starting the DIY beanie boom among teenagers. Ville talks about why he crochets beanies and how he still views himself as a hobbyist even as his online beanie business keeps growing.
HEL LOOKS street fashion site founder Liisa Jokinen gives three reasons why HEL LOOKS has become so popular. She also explains on what basis she selects her photo models, and shows examples of different styles from the Helsinki streets. Second-hand, customization, and style-copying make up the elements of street fashion according to Liisa.
Chris Heathcote from Nokia's Corporate Strategy describes how mobile phone users around the world are personalizing the look and the function of their phones, and how device manufacturers react by introducing mass-customizable products. According to Chris, the internet changed personalization by allowing people to share images and sell their craftwork online. Now, new technologies of personal fabrication are taking crafting to the next level. "There has been a fashion for mass consumption over the last 30 years, and we're finally breaking out of that," he sums.
Sociologist of consumption Elizabeth Shove from Lancaster University describes the findings of her research on DIY customizing of houses in Britain. She reasons that people are spending more on DIY because the cost of tools has dropped, and they have become easy enough for almost everyone to operate. Not so long ago painting, for instance, used to require a lot of knowledge and skill. "But now the paint has got the skill in it," she says.
We're a bit stiff but talking business:
Photo by Sampo