The Future is here: a new industrial revolution

Exhibition about the sweeping changes in manufacturing that are transforming our world

by Valentina Ieva
3 Love 1201 Visits

Design Museum in collaboration with the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, presents a new exhibition about new manufacturing techniques, named ‘The Future is Here’. The exhibition, that runs until October 29th, looks at what exactly drives innovation and how it can lead to increased productivity and economic growth.

The Future is Here presents today's emerging technologies that will become the growth sectors of tomorrow. Emerging technologies and platforms such as crowd funding, social networking digital looms, online marketplaces, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotech, networked manufacturing, CNC [computer numerical controlled] routing and open-source micro computing, are all removing the barriers of access to manufacturing.

The museum will house the first ‘Factory’ of its kind where visitors can discover how 3D printing works and witness live production. These are exhibition highlights:

The Future is Here Factory: a small workshop area dedicated to digital fabricating projects, where technicians will be operating a small laser etcher or cutter and 3D printers. They will be producing various objects and projects for exhibition visitors to pick up and assemble. The Factory will also have a gallery area to display a range of products made during the weeks the exhibition is open. The Future is Here Factory is set to run a series of special events – regularly inviting established and emerging designers to spend a day using the Factory to work on new projects with the public.

Makiedolls: action dolls designed by the consumer, who chooses the eyes, nose, jaw, smile, the hair, the clothes and the hands and feet. The dolls are 3D printed give a porcelain effect in a London lab, then posted in a cardboard tube. The inside is designed with space for owners to experiment with fitting LEDs, RFIDs and battery packs, voicechips, Bluetooth and Arduino. There is room in the neck for wires and in the back cavity for batteries. Hacking the design is encouraged by the manufacturer so that variations can be shared with other fans.

Crowd-sourced sofa: Design Museum and invited the public to design and vote for a new piece of furniture. The most popular piece, chosen through the use of crowdsourcing/ peer-production and social networks, will go into production, be sold on the website and feature in the exhibition. An experiment in a democratic approach to design.

Micro community manufacturing: Assemble and Join, funded by Lambeth Council, runs community workshops that re-imagine the role of the high street. Local residents, school children, shopkeepers, market traders and community groups have chance to collectively imagine, design and build changes to the public space to better suit their needs, as well as those of the community as a whole.

Biodegradable shoes: the process of manufacturing Puma shoes made from materials that are durable yet compostable, breaking down into their original building blocks, showing what is possible if we apply the same high-tech approach used in manufacturing to ‘unmaking’ and ‘remaking’.

The Future is Here online space: where you can explore more content and share ideas on where the future is going through film, image and articles. From 3D printing to hacking at home, stay in touch and get involved with this rapidly transforming revolution wherever you are.


    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)