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Somerset House explores the possibilities of design and invention for radical social and environmental change in a new exhibition, Makerversity: Designing for the Real World. Curated by Paul Smyth, Director and Co-Founder of the Somerset House based community of designers, Makerversity, and one half of artistic duo Something & Son, the interactive exhibition featuring a live workshop space, will give a behind-the-scenes into the world of innovative creative design. 

The exhibition will open by showcasing prototypes – either in progress or as examples of early-stage designs gathered in an open-call to the Makerversity community. 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
  • AMPHIBIO, a 3D printed amphibious garment which functions as a gill designed for a future where humankind lives underwater.

The second part of the exhibition will 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. This space will show how workshops and making have adapted to new technologies, subverting traditional ideas about what a workshop should be. 
 
The final section of the exhibition will show a series of short films to spotlight projects that began in Makerversity, now scaled up and solving problems in the real world.  Films will spotlight projects including EL Warcha (Arabic for workshop), a collective founded in 2016 in Tunisia that aims to promote hands-on education and civic actions through the making of temporary urban furniture, art installations and public events with local inhabitants.

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