# biomimetic-manufacturing

    Will Felker

    Decarbonizing human systems Anthropogenic_, exploring civic technology Dark Matter Labs, and co-running Tiny Factories. Born at 357ppm

Investigating mass customization and sustainability compatibilities

This paper examines the relationships between sustainability and mass customization in the business field. First a literature review investigates their enablers. This section ends with empirical conclusions about the impact of mass customization on sustainability highlighting some complementarities between these two concepts. Then three case studies illustrate the relevance of the identified enablers to different business sectors. The case studies show that several sustainability and mass customization enablers are deployed within same industrial contexts, thus pointing out potential synergies between them. The lack of sustainability and mass customization frameworks at the operational level is a major barrier for further investigation of the above synergies.

This paper examines the relationships between sustainability and mass customization in the business field. First a literature review investigates their enablers. This section ends with empirical conclusions about the impact of mass customization on sustainability highlighting some complementarities between these two concepts. Then three case studies illustrate the relevance of the identified enablers to different business sectors. The case studies show that several sustainability and mass customization enablers are deployed within same industrial contexts, thus pointing out potential synergies between them. The lack of sustainability and mass customization frameworks at the operational level is a major barrier for further investigation of the above synergies.

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Mass Customization and Sustainability

The society of man has evolved from agricultural to industrial centred and, presently, is living through a digital era. But even in this digital-communication centred world, products still need to be produced, to be manufactured. Indeed the service sector, without manufacturing, could not exist. Manufacturing evolution is articulated in various paradigms, as described in Table 1.1. A key trend of the latest years is certainly “mass customization”, a market paradigm where the consumer is placed once again at the core of the business (as it happened for craft production). In ancient times and in different cultures, the word “business” was related to the deep sense of life. The Swedish called it “naring liv” or “food for life” and the Chinese called it “meaning of life”, when using the old characters. This ancient terminology identified with “business” an action to provide something (food or meaning) for the life of the customer. Mass Customization brings this old way to see “business” back, and changes the way consumer products are designed, manufactured, delivered and recycled.

The society of man has evolved from agricultural to industrial centred and, presently, is living through a digital era. But even in this digital-communication centred world, products still need to be produced, to be manufactured. Indeed the service sector, without manufacturing, could not exist. Manufacturing evolution is articulated in various paradigms, as described in Table 1.1. A key trend of the latest years is certainly “mass customization”, a market paradigm where the consumer is placed once again at the core of the business (as it happened for craft production). In ancient times and in different cultures, the word “business” was related to the deep sense of life. The Swedish called it “naring liv” or “food for life” and the Chinese called it “meaning of life”, when using the old characters. This ancient terminology identified with “business” an action to provide something (food or meaning) for the life of the customer. Mass Customization brings this old way to see “business” back, and changes the way consumer products are designed, manufactured, delivered and recycled.

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Sustainability Evaluation of Mass Customization

This paper addresses the issue whether the concepts mass customiza- tion and sustainability are fundamentally compatible by asking the question: can a mass customized product be sustainable? Some factors indicate that mass customized products are less sustainable than standardized products; however other factors suggest the opposite. This paper explores these factors during three life cycle phases for a product: Production, Use and End of Life. It is con- cluded that there is not an unambiguous causal relationship between mass customization and sustainability; however several factors unique to mass customized products are essential to consider during product development.

This paper addresses the issue whether the concepts mass customiza- tion and sustainability are fundamentally compatible by asking the question: can a mass customized product be sustainable? Some factors indicate that mass customized products are less sustainable than standardized products; however other factors suggest the opposite. This paper explores these factors during three life cycle phases for a product: Production, Use and End of Life. It is con- cluded that there is not an unambiguous causal relationship between mass customization and sustainability; however several factors unique to mass customized products are essential to consider during product development.

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Pace Layering: How Complex Systems Learn and Keep Learning

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