Distributed Design Challenge

Distributed Design Challenge

As part of our commitment to reducing our carbon emissions as a global brand, we are always on the lookout for innovative responses to manufacturing in the digital age. So when the opportunity to collaborate with the Distributed Design Market Platform came up, we not only jumped, but leapt at the chance.

The EU-funded programme serves to re-think local manufacturing, with the advancements of digital technology and the internet in mind. It’s a new approach where the designer designs and self-produces the products they make, and shares their designs globally on digital platforms to be reproduced elsewhere.

Over the course of 5 days, we welcomed 7 emerging designers into Tala Studios to participate in the Distributed Design Challenge. We hosted workshops with our Design Director Joe Armitage and Director of Engineering Bertie Pleass, Origami Artist and Content Creator Coco Sato, and the materials research lab Materiom to get the designers started. Then the making and prototyping began, where the designers were tasked with creating lighting fixtures that could be manufactured anywhere in the world, using digital manufacturing techniques. Sustainable materials had to be used within the design.

Distributed globally, manufactured locally.*

Using our light sources as the starting point, the responses to the brief were incredibly creative, sometimes weird, but all wonderful. We saw lamps made from seaweed and perspex, to concrete found on the streets of East London being turned into a lamp base, to a lamp shade made from molten plastic milk bottles and moulded by hand.

Our guest judges included Oli Stratford, Editor-in-Chief of Disegno, and Sevra Davis, Head of Learning at The Design Museum, who were joined Joe Armitage and the Directors of the Distributed Design Market Platform. The top 4 designers have been awarded a 3 month residency at Machines Room to develop their design, which will then be uploaded to the Distributed Design Market Platform to be manufactured around the world.

The Distributed Design Challenge is on display at Tala Studios until 31st October 2018. To arrange a visit, please call +44(0)2030263246 or email hello@tala.co.uk.

Check out more pictures from the challenge below.

*Fun Fact – Chances are that you are already very well-acquainted with one of the oldest and most popular forms of distributed design – a cookbook. (Think about it – it’s a ‘design’ that is created and self-produced, and then published so that other people can do the same. The only difference is that cookbooks aren’t a method of digital distribution.)