The Future Is Here And It's At Design Museum

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 63 months ago
The Future Is Here And It's At Design Museum
The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution. Image courtesy Design Museum
The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution. Image courtesy Design Museum
The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution. Image courtesy Design Museum
The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution. Image courtesy Design Museum
The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution. Image courtesy Design Museum
The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution. Image courtesy Design Museum
The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution. Image courtesy Design Museum
The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution. Image courtesy Design Museum

Predictions about future technology don't often come to pass, after all we don't regularly travel by hoverboard or flying car. But this exhibition isn't looking at future products but rather the potential for a revolution in how they are made.

The show kicks off with a quick history lesson in how production became uniform and centralised during the Industrial Revolution. It then moves on to the main focus of this exhibition, 3D printing, and how it might reverse trends, launching a new age where many goods are once again produced locally.

It also doesn't shy away from one of the important questions around sustainability — will owning a 3D printer make us cherish home-made products, or will the prospect of replacement products just a button-push away result in a surge in household waste?

Sustainability and improved production due to technology are evident throughout this exhibition, including new lighter materials for the Lexus LFA supercar, a pair of entirely biodegradable trainers, and a rather creepy light that repositions itself according to your position relative to it.

The downsides to this exhibition are that it's very text-heavy and visitors may find themselves lost in tech-speak at times. But, then again, though it raises interesting philosophical questions such as the potential for printing illegal objects such as firearms, these questions could have been explored in more detail.

Despite these slight drawbacks, it's a fascinating exhibition and the opportunity to watch both a robotic arm and a 3D printer in action is a memorable and hypnotic experience.

The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution is on at Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD until 29 October. Tickets are £10.85 for adults, concessions available. Ticket price includes admission to the thought-provoking United Micro Kingdoms exhibition and Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things.

Last Updated 29 July 2013