london: the future is here

© design museum

our planet is changing faster than you can blink with your eyes. and no, it's not always in a bad way. currently on at the design museum in london is an interesting exhibition that explores the sweeping changes in manufacturing that contribute to this transformation. the show is called the future is here - a new industrial revolution, and is a collab with the technology strategy board, the u.k.'s innovation agency. it explains how the newest manufacturing techniques involve the users of products as never before, revolutionising the role of the consumer - yes, that's you! - at an ever faster speed. the exhibition looks at what exactly drives innovation and how it can lead to increased productivity and economic growth, and obviously there's a lot to see and find out how the way you consume contributes to all this.

but let's not forget the boosting effect of emerging technologies and platforms such as crowd funding, social networking, online marketplaces, 3d printing, nano-technology, biotech and open-source micro computing. these are all removing the barriers of access to manufacturing and nowadays it's the role of designers and the design process to participate in new technologies, so that more consumers can take part in the production of our physical world. at the exhibition mass customisation is a central story: from sneaker manufacturers offering personalised shoes on a global scale, to 3d printed dolls with features that consumers can design and order online. there's a carbon loom invented by lexus to weave car parts such as steering wheels and dashboards from strong carbon fibre is represented, and other exhibits include an open-source approach to architecture, the wikihouse [on through oct 29]. location: 28 shad thames [bermondsey].

© design museum