Adhocracy: Hacking The Design Process In Hackney

“New methods of production are stimulating a cultural revolution,” states Thomas Ermacora, one of the Adhocracy exhibition curators and founder of Lime Wharf.

Adhocracy is a highly interactive exhibition exploring the radical transformation of the design and manufacturing process though innovations like 3-D printing, open software systems and distributed networks. The exhibition covers many areas, from the design of specific objects such as wooden bicycles and 3-D-printed kitchen ceramics to architecture, urban planning and political criticism.

The aim is to provide a showcase for the products and processes of the “new industrial revolution”, but the exhibition also examines, with a critical eye, the actual design process itself, and how it contributes to society as a whole, encouraging collaboration and igniting ideas.

Adhocracy was part of the 1st Istanbul Design Biennial, first conceived by Joseph Grima. It has also visited New York, and has been brought to London by Thomas Ermacora, urbanist and architect of the Lime Wharf space. It is global in scope, showing works originating in Africa, Europe and the Americas. An Adhocracy is defined as a “structureless organisation that is used to solve problems in opposition to a bureaucracy”, and the organically-developed, networked projects on display certainly embody this concept.

Many ingenious projects are on display, including the “Musical Gloves” that were made for singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, the “Kiosk 2.0“, a mobile 3-D printing station, and “Be Your Own Souvenir“, a project using Kinect software to create 3-D printed miniature figurines of yourself to take home.

The exhibition also provides a platform upon which to discuss and question the accepted practices of design, manufacturing and ultimately consumption, with projects such as the “DRM Chair”, which self-destructs after exactly eight uses, bringing to light questions of sustainability and quality of craftsmanship in manufacturing. Green architecture is represented by the “Barefoot Architect”, Johan van Lengen’s designs for simple, self-built homes.

The Lime Wharf space will also host several “Make-a-Thons” in conjunction with the Adhocracy exhibition, in which participants can become actively involved in the “cultural revolution” surrounding new fabrication processes and technology, and might even take home a self-made synthesizer or 3-D printed object.

This is indeed an inspiring and thought-provoking exploration of the future of making.

Adhocracy runs at LimeWharf, 45 Vyner Street (11am-8pm) until 12 October. Admission Free. 

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