A New Normal 18-23 Sep

A New Normal 18-23 September 2017

A New Normal, Machines Room’s exhibition for the London Design Festival, is an exhibition which asks the question Who is making products for a world beyond mass-production?’ The participants, many of whom have been incubated by Machines Room, were chosen because they are making the future happen right now: the future where people are engaged in the design and production of their own goods by participating in online customisation and digital manufacture. These are not proposals for a future of manufacturing; each exhibit is a real business and invites the visitor to actively participate in the manufacturing process, such as laser cutting their own jacket, or parametrically designing a table for their home.

A New Normal guides you through this new normal way of life, a portrait of how it is to interact with these products and processes as part of an everyday, lived experience. It speaks from the perspective of the user, bringing the people into these new ways of designing and manufacturing, where mass means by the masses, not en-masse.

A New Normal is a collaboration between Machines Room and Distributed Everything, a research group at the Royal College of Art.


Kobble is a pioneer in parametric furniture and website design, creating products that are infinitely customisable and made to order. The customer can input their desired dimensions into the website and Fusion 360 design software parametrically adjusts the design, ready for CNC. This cuts out wastage, made locally without exploiting labour or environment, replaces massive flatpack store culture with affordable made to order furniture. https://kobblefurniture.co.uk/

Animaro is a Furniture design studio founded in London by Matt Gilbert in 2016. The manufacture and launch of the CNC’d crane lamp was enabled by the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in combination with Machines Room’s Maker in Residence programme. All parts of the lamp are made in the UK. During LDF the final assembly of lamps will take place on a production line in the exhibition, ready to fulfil Kickstarter pledges. http://www.animarodesign.com/

Disrupt Disability is using open source design programme Fusion 360, digital fabrication and distributed manufacture to make the wheelchairs people want to wear. Their designs will be fully customisable and modular with interchangeable parts, available in their library for anyone anywhere to freely use, adapt, develop and share. Their designs will be durable, affordable and repairable. They will be made from local materials with local equipment. They will be as beautiful, fashionable and individual as their wearers. https://www.disruptdisability.org/

Kniterate is a compact digital knitting machine that brings fashion fabrication into small workshops. It allows designers, artists, illustrators and makers to automatically create custom knitted products and share their work across its platform. Kniterate predicts a world of completely personalized garments which will be embedded in daily life. The machine aims to recover artisanship in fashion manufacturing while bringing modernity to its users. Kniterate has been enabled by the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, Machines Room’s Maker in Residence programme and the HAX accelerator. http://www.kniterate.com/

Post Couture is a fashion collective making garments that can be distributed digitally, adapted to different laser cutter specs, cut locally, and assembled by hand without additional tools, offering an alternative to today’s fashion system. They’re introducing a new era in the production of sustainable and affordable clothing, operating on open-source principles and using 21st century technology. They are the first fashion label that truly embraces the Maker Movement and the Third Industrial Revolution. http://www.postcouture.cc/

Wonderbots is democratising 3D printing by creating an app that allows people to customise their own robots using a simple swipe action. The app plugs directly into 3D hubs and the customer can the easily get their bot 3D printed ready to play with at home. http://www.rossatkin.com/wp/

Batch.Works is the 3D printing lab in residence at Machines Room, run by Julien Vaissieres and Dylan Bahnan. Their aim is to manufacture things closer to the individual user – the right thing, at the right quantity, at the right price. After trying to make their own products they realised the normal way of getting things made was a little constraining. Small batch seemed to mean expensive and bespoke whilst big batch meant cheap at 10,000+. To make things in the middle of the city at a small scale, the obvious choice was digital tools. They print for and collaborate with others, making 3D printed consumer products part of people’s everyday lives. With their 1mm nozzle they print faster, with their auto-print technique they print more easily, and with years of printing experience they print better. https://batch.works/

Smile Plastics is a materials design studio making exquisite handcrafted panels from waste materials. Smile transforms a range of different mass manufacturing waste streams into unique decorative panels for the architecture and design market. Their materials have been used in wide ranging applications from small products to large scale installations in both residential and commercial premises. https://www.smile-plastics.com/