FutureFactories Studio founded in 2002, is the creative practice of Lionel Theodore Dean. The studio is focused exclusively on 3D printing and the creative use of digital design and manufacturing technologies.
Works range from limited edition gallery artwork to functional pieces. The significance of the work is illustrated by acquisitions by MoMA, The Museum for Modern Art in New York and DHUB, Design Museum Barcelona for their respective permanent collections.
Co-curated by Bryony Windsor and Anne Chick, the exhibition offers an insight into the complex social, political and environmental issues surrounding 3D printing, including the role of the designer with a technology that is openly available to anyone. Lionel T Dean presented a selection of works including the Cascade pendant luminaire
“Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital explores the 21st-Century phenomenon of extraordinary creativity made possible by advanced methods of computer-assisted production known as digital fabrication. In today's postdigital world, artists are using these means to achieve levels of expression never before possible”
PRECIOUS supported by the UK Technology Strategy Board 2013 – 2015 was a consortium project of five organisations that set out to: “make a definitive step change to how 3D printing for precious metal jewellery is used through an empirical set of trials, benchmarks and demonstrators making it easier for the entire jeweller supply chain in the UK to design, manufacture and retail to adopt the technology” The consortium comprised Cookson Precious Metals, Lionel T Dean/Future Factories, Delcam, Finishing Techniques and The Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC)
Disseny Hub Barcelona (DHUB) is a combination of a museum, a centre and a laboratory intended to promote a fuller understanding and better use of design. The exhibition FULL PRINT3D, 15 June 2010 to 29 May 2011 set out to introduce additive manufacturing systems and to present a series of projects illustrating the design potential of the technology. A set of Lionel T Dean’s Tuber luminaires was selected for this exhibition and ultimately acquired by the Design Museum of Barcelona for a permanent collection
Lionel T Dean was one of the artists contributing to KeyPiece, 2009 “A public exhibition and research event that brings together leading metalworking practitioners and their work at the new Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery” Lionel T Dean, Maria Hanson, Grace Horne, Antje Illner, Drummond Masterton, Sarah O’Hana, Cóilin Ó Dubhghaill, Tine de Ruysser, Lucian Taylor and Christoph Zellweger
Digitability curated by Antilano González-Peréz for Berlin’s DESIGNMAI Festival in 2007 explored the “democratisation” of digital instruments of design and production. Alongside Holy Ghost, Pallavi made her debut; a sphere of 55 individually lit, flower like trumpets providing a subtle mix of indirect and diffuse light.
In 2006 The Holy Ghost chair was commissioned by Arts Council England for the exhibition Perimeters, Boundaries and Borders curated by John Marshall. Whilst early works had used computer animation to generated a solution space, Holy Ghost was driven by a computer script that created a unique out each time it was run. Perimeters, Boundaries and Borders set out to explore computer-based technologies in the context of hybrid art and design practices. “this exhibition should be viewed as the sum of a set of ‘in-betweens’ - a negative space that grants permission to rethink the nature of creative practice driven by computer-based technologies. The exhibition does not try to define what should be inside or outside these edges - it attempts to present examples that can be viewed to cross-over or even ignore these kinds of distinctions.”
In 2006 Lionel T Dean was invited to be artist in residence at The National Institute of Design, NID, Ahmedabad India. This was an inspirational experience with the corporate technology of the institution juxtaposed with the colour and life of the old town. Here Dean used 3D printing slicing techniques to assemble and then cast pieces using the backstreet woodcutters and foundries of the city. Puja (the act of showing reverence to a god in Sanskrit) takes its name from the religious chants played on a loop in these workshops.
In 2005 Tuber6 from the original residency collection and Tuber9, a larger more complex design evolution were selected a group exhibition at the Mary Boone galley in New York. Curated by Bruce Ferguson, Dean of the School of the Arts at Columbia University, A Few Domestic Objects Interrogate a Few Works of Art “is at once understatement and spectacle”. “The logic is simple: people buy things. Lamps, chairs, pots and various vessels, et cetera, even art. It’s clear that, despite their initial appearance as everyday items, these are Artworks, meant to be appreciated for their application of skill and judgment, but not used in any functional sense. They are precious.” Following this exhibition Tuber9 was acquired by MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York for its permanent collection and the piece would go on to be included in a publication of the Museums 250 most significant acquisitions since 1980.
In 2003 software company Materialise launched a 3D printed design label Materialise-MGX. The brand proved an instant success when it launched at 100% Design London that year. By coincidence MGX were also focused on lighting and the brand and Dean were soon talking. Creepers and RGB were launched at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2005.
Lionel T Dean’s one-year Design Residency culminated in a touring exhibition, first regionally in the North of England and then taking in Milan and London Design Weeks (April 2004, October 2004 respectively). At the same time the study developed into a PhD thesis and became the focus of Dean’s working practice under the newly formed FutureFactories Studio brand.
The concept of an Artist in Residence is well established in academia, industry and the Arts where an established practitioner provides a window into their working. The idea of a Designer in Residence is younger as a concept and rare. In spring 2002 The University of Huddersfield advertised for a Designer in Residence to work alongside 3D design undergraduates for the 2002-2003 academic year. Lionel T Dean was selected for this post with ‘FutureFactories’, a proposal to use then embryonic 3D printing for end-use manufacture and the concept of designs that change over time.
Your message has been sent.
There has been an error sending your message
Please email Info@FutureFactories.com directly.