Tech Age Leading a Resurgence of DIY Design Education

How is the new digital age affecting the craft of DIY? DSCENE magazine’s contributing editor investigates:

Photo ©Julie Schimel for DSCENE

There’s a common cliché that people in the modern age have become increasingly disconnected from the DIY and design-hack wisdom of their forebearers. Far from the learned and wide skill bases of those who came before us, anybody on this side of the millennial age bracket is supposed to be clueless and lacking myriad life skills like how to repair a broken chair or repurpose a fraying item of clothing.

While this is merely a stereotype, it’s easily possible to make a case in the opposite direction. With the different technological solutions today always at arm’s length, it’s easier than ever for newcomers to get involved, and we want to explore how.

The Online Learning Environment

Of course, online learning is the most accessible and efficient way, in the modern-day, to pick up a new skill or finesse one you’ve already got under your belt. 

Over time, the quality and accessibility of online education facilities have drastically changed. In addition, as technology has progressed, users have shifted from operating simple systems and almost ubiquitous programmes like the Microsoft Office suite to course-specific softwares and interfaces. Once upon a time, education online was merely reading and regurgitating information from a textual source. These days, there’s an abundance of ways to interact with others in the online space and learn through other means that support visual and auditory learning styles.

Photo ©Julie Schimel for DSCENE

For instance, an internet user looking for instructions on how to upholster furniture from home might have had to skim through volumes of literature online many moons ago. However, nowadays, that same internet user could peruse online forums for advice from other people in the DIY community, complete a diploma/university course on interior design, watch videos on YouTube with step-by-step breakdowns on upholstering, or, similarly, follow a set of WikiHow instructions detailed with corresponding images. 

A New Range of Opportunities

Though online education courses have done a lot to bring DIY design into the hands of the public, arguably as influential are the more freely accessible options. Here, online communities and websites take a variety of approaches to help newcomers learn and apply the basics, in a market that’s only growing bigger by the day.

For direct examples of this concept in action, we have services dedicated to selling tools to professional and DIY design enthusiasts. Rather than just sell related design products, many of these websites go out of their way to provide detailed guides on how and where their systems should be implemented. From installing wall trims to attaching towel bars, these tutorials efficiently guide customers through the core steps, demystifying what could otherwise be an intimidating experience for a DIY novice.

Photo ©Julie Schimel for DSCENE

Also helping DIY newcomers are interactive mediums like YouTube and Twitch. Involving live streams, these platforms host channels that are known to bring in hundreds or even thousands of viewers. The relationship between YouTube and Twitch users and their subscribers is very useful as it allows tutors to create a collaborative approach to the DIY design education experience. With media covering everything from embroidery to Japanese woodblock printing, those walking this route are never left wanting, no matter how esoteric their desires.

For those who haven’t broached online educational tools yet, what are you waiting for? There are a plethora of resources available and on just about everything you could possibly desire. From smaller personal artistic projects in your home to major redesigns, use what’s at your fingertips to broaden your mind and your skillset. You never know, you might just find a new hobby or appreciable way to express your creative side.

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