I recently read Cory Doctorow’s Makers which is a near-future based sci-fi exploring the ramifications of 3d printing on society. In one particularly interesting thread, a manufacturer makes garden gnomes that are based on a genetic algorithm so no two are alike. Some may look more asian, some have more evil eyes, others have shorter arms with different smiles, and one ends up having three eyes.
Nervous System has implemented this idea and is now manufacturing genetically-derived lamps. They’re quite beautiful, and perhaps a glimpse into the future of manufacturing where mass production doesn’t mean generic.