Makerversity: Design for the Real World

By Charlotte Gilks

Celebrate 10 years of Makerversity

To celebrate Makerversity’s tenth anniversary, Somerset House presents an exhibition showcasing the innovative projects and processes behind disruptive design. Supported by the Kusuma Trust.

1 November 2023 – 4 February 2024 
Terrace Rooms, South Wing, Somerset House


“Makerversity was founded with the idea that design and making are tools for social good” Paul Smyth, Director & Co-Founder of Makerversity

Our pioneering community has seen 1500 creatives come through our doors at Somerset House. All working at the intersection of design, engineering and digital practice, developing groundbreaking solutions for the world’s biggest challenges, including climate change, health and inequality.
Join us for a major exhibition featuring award-winning successes, as well as research in progress, across topics as diverse as sustainable materials, customisable product design, ethical AI and pollution reduction. Key to the exhibition is our ethos of designing and inventing with a social purpose, solving problems in the present to create a better way to live in the future.
Across three rooms, a selection of current residents and alumni take you through the process of bringing creative solutions from the Makerversity lab and workshop to life, from initial ideas and prototyping to the making process and real life applications.

Early test-concepts of now successful works of design will be presented alongside documentation of the design process, in an ode to the essential role that trial-and-error plays in developing solutions to the challenges facing the world today. Contributors include The Tyre Collective, who use electrostatics and airflow to reduce microplastics created by tyre wear; Samudra, who have created a water monitoring device for seaweed farmers; Enayball, a tool that allows anyone in a wheelchair to independently create large scale drawings, and Amphico, a 3D printed amphibious garment which functions as a gill designed for a future where humankind lives underwater.

We’ll introduce audiences to the workshop environment through the Workshop of the Future – a live project space fitted with state-of-the-art machinery where new innovations will be created for the first time in front of visitors to Somerset House. This space will show how workshops and making have adapted to new technologies, subverting traditional ideas about what a workshop should be. Led by Makerversity member Rickie Cheuk and Paul Smyth, with a rotating group of makers joining them throughout the course of the exhibition, the workshop will demonstrate the hugely varied making processes that find their home in Makerversity. Cheuk, an artisan whose practice explores peculiar ways of making, particularly through ‘circular design’ (producing objects using waste materials from different industries), will collaborate with other Makerversity residents whose expertise span AI, biomaterials, robotics and beyond. After the closing of the exhibition, the experimental works and equipment will become a resource for the whole of Makerversity, continuing the legacy of the show within the community.

Tickets Free, open Monday – Sunday

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Charlotte Gilks
Posted By Charlotte Gilks