The Other Today Studio is located in the world of distributed design, and explores its potential to reduce the environmental and social impact of manufacturing. Our students have focussed on creating designs that could be made anywhere by anyone; experimenting with novel methods of digital and social making. This has meant adopting an open design approach with accessible local materials, clear and open specifications and an emphasis on making. We have not been designing products but interventions into global supply chains. We have been sharing kits, inventing tools, hacking systems, re-coding objects, brewing, melting and crafting materials. In the first term we visited a port where products arrive in this country and a waste centre where they end up. We completed a series of micro briefs that explored modifying existing systems and distribution methods (e.g the letter box!).
The second term began with students leaving their comfort zone to have ‘non design’ experiences. Some learnt new skills like skateboarding, others volunteered or cleaned their local area. We hacked products, interviewed experts, experimented and iterated and throughout, our studio has collaborated with the open design platform Wikifactory (https://wikifactory.com/+othertodaystudio) to share these ideas with a global network, using video, open design instructions and social media. The projects have been designed to be manufactured locally using machines commonly found in makerspaces or by small scale producers. This ethos set the studio up well to cope with lockdown and we shared home 3D printers, built shed and kitchen workshops, made best use of our allotted exercise time to collect materials. Some students found the best ways to contribute to their community, such as creating a method for leaving socially distant messages and a radio station for those in isolation. Our students have created products that aim to change the world. We hope they will.
The following is work produced by the studio in 2019/20.