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.

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FutureFactories Studio

United Kingdom

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3D Printing in Practice: Digital Craft, Design and Making, Vijay Patel Gallery, De Montfort University, May 2024

Two decades on from the first creative forays into what was termed ‘Rapid Prototyping’, 3D Printing in Practice reflects on the transformative influence that these technologies have had on creative expression and contemporary 3D practices. The exhibition explores these seismic changes and illustrates how 3D printing is shaping the future of art, craft and design.

Collectible Design Fair, Brussels, March 2024

Art & Design Belgium, Arsenaal, Gentbrugge, October 2023

Private Exhibition at The Bhavan, London, October 2022

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Purple Reign celebrating HM the late Queen Elizabeth II. Trooping the Corgis 26th May – 1st July 2022

Venus and David, 2022

Venus and David for Androgyny, House of Shadows, Tampa, Florida, USA, January 15th - 12th February 2022

Dubai World Expo 2020, 2021

Lionel T Dean’s 3D printed titanium clutch selected to represent De Montfort University at the rescheduled Dubai World Expo 2020, 2021. State of the art direct metal additive manufacture with Renishaw plc

Pop-up Exhibition at The Box, Luxembourg, September 2020

Back on the road in spite of Covid

Deakin University collaboration March 2020

Exploring the potential of functional objects in colour and the HP Multijet Fusion with Jennifer Loy and James Novak at The Cadet Fascility, Deakin University Australia March 2020

Pop-up Exhibition, Porte de Versailles, Paris February 2020

Puja, Seirēnes, Faberge and The Redhead

Keynote address, Xiguacity Conference, Shanghai, January 2019

A showbiz stage and an audience of 2000. Lionel T Dean’s biggest event yet

Layers, Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Oregon, USA, 2018

Lionel T Dean was the featured international artist for the themed exhibition layers. The Redhead made her debut and Seirēnes picked up the Joan Eliot Sappington Award

Tresor Contemporay Craft, Basel, Switzerland, 21-24 September 2017

Lionel T Dean’s Seirēnes collection was selected for the Voxelworld group exhibition at the inaugural TRESOR Contemporary Craft fair in Basel, Switzerland

Gustavsberg’s Konstall Revisited 2017

In 2017 Gustavsberg’s Konstall, Stockholm celebrated its foundation with a 10th anniversary exhibition curated by Carin Kallenberg. Lionel T Dean was one of six artists selected for this event with T-Rex Versus the Gorilla, jewellery rings and video

3D Printing: The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful, National Centre for Craft and Design, UK, 2017

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

Zodiac Metamorphosis, California Tower, Hong Kong 2016

Solo exhibition at the Stunning, 22nd Floor, Loft 22

Artist in Residence, The University of Pretoria, South Africa 2016

Lionel T Dean was Artist in Residence at The Faculty of Arts and Design, The University of Pretoria. Dean work with Prosthetist Orthotist Hienrich Grimsehl and the Netcare Rehabilitation Hostpital, Johannesburg

69 Smith Street Gallery, Melbourne 2015

Solo exhibition

Rapid 3D Print Fashion Show, Euromold Dusseldorf, 2015

Curated by Natacha Alpert and featuring Lionel T Dean’s LED illuminated headdresses and jewellery pieces

Runway fashion at the 3D Printshow New York, 2014

Alongside his LED illuminated headdresses Lionel T Dean’s Divine Intervention heels make their runway debut at the New York 3D Printshow 2014

Runway fashion at the 3D Printshow London and Paris, 2013

Lionel T Dean’s LED illuminated headdresses make their runway debut

Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, MAD Museum of Arts and Design, New York 2013

“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, 2013 – 2015

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)

Agents of the 3D Revolution: The New Industrial Revolution, FADA Gallery Johannesburg 2013

Lionel T Dean was one five international artists exhibited in this showcase of digital sculpture alongside, Keith Brown (UK), Josh Harker (USA), Jonathan Keep (UK), Geoffrey Mann (UK)

Art Metz, 2012

Lionel T Dean was invited to exhibit at Art Metz 2012 with a selection of collectible design which included the debut of the Blatella luminaire

Gaudí’s Stick, 2011

Gaudí’s Stick walking aid created in collaboration with Loughborough University and using the state of the art computational design strategy of topological optimisation

Full Print3D Disseny Hub Barcelona, 2010

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

Key-Piece, 2009

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

SIGGRAPH and the Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Korea 2009

2009 proved to be a good year for Holy Ghost with chairs travelling to The Art and Design Gallery of SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans curated by Makai Smith and The Cheongju International Craft Biennale in Korea

Trans-Form, Paris 2008

Trans-Form an exhibition within the Maison et Objet Paris Curated by Elizabeth Leriche featured Holy Ghost and its scripted transformations

Colour Days Warsaw 2007

The institute of Industrial Design Warsaw presented a wall of RGB colour change lamps in an exhibition curated by Anna Siedlecka

FutureFactories at The London Design Festival 2007

The FutureFactories exhibition at the Truman Brewery Brick Lane, featured a collection of ten furniture and lighting designs including the launch of the Tria bench

Funky, Norsu Gallery, Helsinki, Finland 2007

Curated by Stephanie Seege, Funky brought together the work of six international designers for a group exhibition celebrating the aesthetic. With so much focus of digital technology in the work it was refreshing just to be considered Funky!

Digitability Berlin, 2007

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.

Perimeters, Boundaries and Borders and the Holy Ghost Commission

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.”

Artist in Residence, NID, Ahmedabad, India

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.

Tuber9 acquired by MoMA 2005

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.

Designs commissioned for Materialise MGX, Milan Design Week 2005

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.

2003 touring exhibition and the formation of FutureFactories Studio

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.

2002 Designer in Residence, University of Huddersfield

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.


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