FutureFactories started as a Designer in Residence programme I ran while at the University of Huddersfield. Designer Lionel T. Dean was engaged for a year to work on a research project looking at the potential of rapid prototyping techniques to produced finished goods. With an embryonic idea of using some kind of computer system which could vary the design of a product slightly so that no two would be the same, Dean worked with computer programmer Ertu Unver to produce a piece of software that would allow consumers to watch products mutating randomly on screen, freeze the design at any given moment, and have that particular design produced by direct digital manufacture. The results were a series of designs, each of which could be realised an infinite number of ways.

As a team, we have produced (and continue to produce) a series of conference papers on the subject, copies of which can be found here and downloaded.

I curated an exhibition of Lionel’s Designer in Residence project, which was exhibited at:

the design centre, Barnsley: 27 Oct – 21 Nov 2003
Dean Clough, Halifax: 1 Dec 2003 – 16 Jan 2004
Media Centre, Huddersfield: 23 Jan – 13 Feb 2004
designersblock, Milan: 14 April – 19 April 2004
designersblock, London: 22 Oct – 26 Oct 2004

A PDF file of the exhibition catalogue can be downloaded here

For more information on Dean’s designs, visit FutureFactories.com


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