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Future Factory Day 1: Symposium

Join leading designers and material researchers to rethink sustainable production for the 21st century.

Part of the Future Factory Collaboration with the Design and Living Systems Lab and Central Saint Martins UAL's Material Futures Programme.

What to expect

What are the environmental challenges facing manufacturing today? How can we design more sustainable forms of production at a local and global scale? Could organisms and non-human agents become the next makers? And what material futures should tomorrow’s factories create?

Whether through the excesses of plastic pollution or the burning of fossil fuels, our existing modes of production have unimaginable effects on the planet. And whilst factories have been major causes of these challenges, they have also been affected by them. Traditional forms of making are being lost due to climate change; workers are facing precarious working conditions and material scarcity is making existing infrastructure obsolete.

In partnership with Central Saint Martins UAL's Material Futures and the Design and Living Systems Lab, this symposium brings together leading designers to explore how production might be re-designed for the future. Focusing on the potentials of bio-technology, living systems and new materials, the session will discuss a range of case-studies for possible future factories at local and industrial scales, with a focus on environmental sustainability.

Speakers include: Ken Webster, Territorial Agency, Amy Congdon (Modern Meadow), Markus Kayser (Kayser Works), Jen Keane and Maurizio Montalti (Officina Corpuscoli)

Participants will have the opportunity to visit the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition.

On Saturday 1 of December Future Factory continues with a workshop that can be booked separately.

Modern Meadow. Zoa - Close up T-shirt Credit Sara Kinney

Markus Kayser. Close-up Silk Pavilion_Courtesy The Mediated Matter Group

Territorial Agency

Booking information

Adult: £35

Student/Concession: £20

Members: £25

Two-day pass
Save 10% by buying a ticket for both days of the Future Factory Collaboration (Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December).

Adult: £45

Student/Concession: £27

Member: £33


Ken Webster

Ken Webster is former Head of Innovation for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. His book The Circular Economy: A Wealth of Flows (2017) relates the connections between systems thinking, economic and business opportunity, and the transition to a circular economy. Ken is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. UK

Territorial Agency

John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog are architects and urbanists. They founded Territorial Agency, an independent organisation that combines architecture, analysis, advocacy and action to promote sustainable territorial transformations. Their projects include the Museum of Oil, Anthropocene Observatory, Coast of Europe and North. They teach at the AA Architectural Association, Goldsmiths and AHO Oslo.

Jen Keane

Jen Keane is a designer and creative researcher working in between the disciplines of design and science, technology and craft. Inspired by notions of sustainability, and a fascination with new digital and biological tools, she is exploring how new technologies could be employed to design a new generation of hybrid materials, and perhaps change our approach to making altogether.

Markus Kayser

Markus Kayser is a designer and researcher currently heading Kayser Works. Kayser’s research spans widely across disciplines, ranging from studying swarm behavior in insects to using the Sun’s rays to 3D print glass objects from raw desert sand. He earned his PhD from MIT Media Lab, previously studying design at the Royal College of Art and the London Metropolitan University.

Amy Congdon

Amy is a designer, researcher and critical thinker who explores the boundaries between design, science, and technology. She has exhibited her work internationally in venues such as Somerset House, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, EDF Fondation, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Amy is currently Team Lead for Materials Design at Modern Meadow and Producer of the Biofabricate Summit.

Maurizio Montalti

Maurizio Montalti (Officina Corpuscoli) has been one of the early pioneers committed to developing a range of mycelium-based technologies for the production of biomaterials and products. He is also co-founder of Mogu, an innovation-driven, environmentally-conscious company dedicated to developing different typologies of biomaterials deriving from fungi. Maurizio’s work has been honoured with multiple awards and exhibited globally.


Carole Collet

Carole Collet has dedicated her career to developing a new vision for sustainable design, and pioneered the discipline of Textile Futures in 2000. She is the CSM-LVMH Director of Sustainable Innovation at Central Saint Martins UAL, as well as Director of the Design & Living Systems Lab, a programme exploring the interface of the biological sciences and design.

Related event

Future Factory Symposium: Day 2

In part two of the Future Factory Symposium, participants will learn about a range of different production models and ‘future factories’, from bio-hacking to automation in a series of discussions and hands-on activities.

Related exhibition

Beazley Designs of the Year 2018

Discover this year’s top picks of some of the most innovative and thought-provoking designs from the past 12 months – across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design.

Background image | Background image | JEN KEANE, Photo by Adam Toth