Debate Low-Tech Factory
Staalstraat 7B, Droog Amsterdam, 1011 JJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Amsterdam, Netherlands
What at first glance appears to be a rocking chair, turns out to be a knitting machine. And while you sit and rock on the chair, a knitted hat is created. As you do a little dance on a platform, an expandable carrying bag is made. Another spectacular machine makes popcorn—a single kernel at a time. Low-Tech Factory is a project by ECAL/Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne, Switzerland. In a workshop led by Chris Kabel and Thomas Kral, students from Bachelor in Industrial Design and Master in Product Design created a series of simple but sophisticated machines that not only create an experience, but actually produce finished goods—hats, mirrors, bags, toys, lamps and popcorn. With this project, the theme of auto-production is raised. Recently we have seen countless designers make their own machines. And while it often seems the machine becomes more important than the result, in this case, the design of the machine and its resulting product are in balance. The exhibition presents six machines with videos. At the opening on March 21st, the designers will demonstrate the machines themselves. The question—why are designers making so many machines—still remains. With this question, we will enter into a debate on March 21st with Alexis Georgacopoulos, director of ECAL, Chris Kabel, Joanna van der Zanden and Joris Laarman. The evening will be moderated by Tracy Metz.