The factories are coming to town! They are moving away from the unseen fringes, and into our cities. Advances in micro-scale engineering point to a global scale revolution where local, disposable factories produce hi tech goods at our very doorstep. What shapes might this new way of “making things” take within our urban landscape ? From garage-workshops to circus-like temporary structures, from street vendor stalls to vagabond encampments, this project explores the factories of the future and what our relationship to them might be, with the exciting prospect of taking back ownership over our production tools.
Comissioned by the EPSRC as part of the Impact! exhibition at the Royal College of Art. 16 students, graduates and teaching staff from the Design Interactions department were paired with scientists to make projects that explore the implications of their research in society. I worked with the 3D MINTEGRATION team, who are researching new techniques to manufacture complex, miniaturised and integrated products, with cheaper and smaller infrastructure than the current silicon industry.
If rogue mobile factories could produce custom high-tech goods, what would the black market of “special orders” look like ?
Mobile Manufacturing Unit
This corporate factory tours the country, setting up in cities for a few months at a time. As the population welcomes a new source of goods, jobs and manufacturing techniques, it is celebrated as an event.
Self Replicating Street Stall
The street Genie can print any product you might think of, including a working copy of itself.
3D Prints and photo-etched bronze
3D MINTEGRATION team
Prof. Marc Desmulliez (Herriot-Watt University)
EPSRC & Royal College of Art as part of the Impact! exhibtiion
What If... - International Design Triennale, Beijing CN
Demain c’est aujourd’hui - St.Etienne Biennale FR
Test_Lab: the Invisible City - V2_ Rotterdam NL
IMPACT! - Royal College of Art UK