The London Design Museum has collaborated with the UK’s innovation agency on an exciting exhibition about the sweeping changes in manufacturing. "New manufacturing techniques will involve the users of products as never before, revolutionising the role of the consumer. How we manufacture, fund, distribute, and buy everything from cars to shoes is progressing fast. The Future is Here shows what that means for all of us."

In an experimental move the London Design Museum will house its first ‘factory’ where visitors can get face-to-face with new manufacturing techniques and the disappearing boundaries between designer, maker and consumer who can now share and download digital designs online in order to customise them for new uses.

From manufacturers offering personalised shoes on a global scale, to 3D printed dolls with features that consumers can design and order online. A carbon loom invented by Lexus to weave car parts such as steering wheels and dashboards from strong carbon fibre is represented and other exhibits that include an open-source approach to architecture – the WikiHouse.

The exhibition features work by leading designers including Ron Arad famous for his designs for Kartell like the Bookworm and Lovely Rita bookshelves and the FPE chair, the Tom Vac chair for Vitra and the Tu-Be light collaboration with Ingo Maurer. Interviewed in the accompanying film by Dezeen magazine, Arad discusses how rapid prototyping technology shaped his early career.

"I discovered [3D printing] when it was called rapid prototyping... and I thought 'here's another way of making things'," says Arad. "I remember showing it to Achille Castiglioni when he came to see it," says Arad. "I remember taking the time and explaining to him what it is, and I thought 'this is great, I have something new to teach one of my heroes'."

The Future is Here was created in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board and continues at London's Design Museum until 29 October 2013.

 

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