The Change in Paradigm from “Made In” to “Designed In”

German industry turned a corner when it began sophisticating its design processes

You might find it hard to believe, but there was a time when products labeled “Made in Germany” were deemed unreliable. In the early 19th century, German products had a poor reputation and the British even demanded they be labeled to differentiate them from their own.

Aware of the need to surmount this barrier, German industry began focusing on more sophisticated design processes, marking a complete turnaround with results like Deutsche Werkbund in the early 19th century and Bauhaus in the 1920s, a movement that produced internationally renowned maestros like Walter Gropius and Max Bill, to mention just a few. This change in paradigm continues to impact consumers even today, to the extent that the “Made in Germany” label is now synonymous with well-designed, top quality products.

Design is the central theme of this year’s edition of MEM Industrial, the country’s leading woodworking and furniture tradeshow. The goal this time around is to raise awareness of the need to change our own industrial paradigm from “Made In” to “Designed In”.

In previous editions, we have dedicated this column to the “Makers for Good” @ MEM 2020 makeathon, which finally kicked off this week. Following a meticulous selection process, a group of young creators were able to manufacture their furniture prototypes under the mentorship of experts and acclaimed designers like Emiliano Godoy.

To get the ball rolling, finalists took a workshop given by our partner DMD (Solidworks) under the guidance of an expert in furniture and interior design. Day two was equally educational thanks to Asia Robótica, which gave a theoretical CAM workshop, while Hettich Mexico gave an introduction to the topic, followed by a demonstration of furniture fittings and a discussion of technical specifications for their use.

Over the following three days, our makers rolled up their sleeves and got down to work at the Asia Robótica shop testing materials sponsored by Proteak’s Tecnotabla plant. Thanks to the know-how acquired and the time and effort so generously put in by their mentors, our makers’ projects finally began to take shape and will no doubt be instrumental in illustrating the connection between design and industry. The winning projects will be exhibited at MEM Industrial 2020 on January 22-24 at Centro Citibanamex in Mexico City ( ).

By Christoph Hesse

MEM Industrial Manager