Gershenfeld talked about prefabrication and being able to produce anything from one machine and the machine even being able to make more prefabricators. These machines are able to make something almost out of nothing. When Gershenfeld creating his class, How to make (almost) anything, he didn't anticipate how many students and the variety that would be interested. To operate the machinery it was complex so he had planned to teach it to the technologically gifted, who he felt could handle weight of the curriculum. After the class was completed he was amazed at the result and products his students had designed. They had created the purely for their own personal needs but could be reproduced. The products ranged from a parrot alarm clock to a scream catcher. Gershenfeld delighted in the user designing the product. He also enjoyed that it could be reproduced for those who were looking for the same outcome.
Kahn differed in some of his views of design. He felt that a part the designer is left in everything they design and something shouldn't be designed for everyone. We are all different and as desingers we should be working to perfect a solution for one problem and not every situation. We can't meet every criteria for every situation so the result will be a compromise and ultimately mediocrity. The fact that something is mass produced already lessened its value because beauty takes into account rarity. If diamonds were everywhere they would not be as precious. A computer can't define how a space is used or the mood it expresses so prefabrication is limited from start.
Kahn and Gershenfeld agree on the power of design and its intentions. Prefabrication isn't wrong if it is meeting a need. If the mass producing is meant purely make money and poorly then the design is pointless and the product has lost its meaning. Prefabrication could help many people but used incorreclty could result in the opposite. The designer must take control of their product make sure that what they are making is of value to them becuase if it isn't then what is the point of designing.