New approaches to design and manufacturing processes are happening constantly. Will everything soon be made by the hands of a robot? The Future Is Here exhibition suggests not quite, but close.

In a system where the separation of designer, manufacturer and user was once very clear, the lines are now beginning to blur. The Future is Here explores the effects of crowdfunding, social networking and online marketplaces on the way objects are now being produced.

The exhibition has been described as a “work in progress” where technicians will be on site throughout, operating the machines on display. The exhibition’s curators want to give the public a first-hand experience of more recent technologies, such as 3D printing. “The Future is Here Factory is a live, working space with active examples of the equipment used to makes the exhibition objects,” says the exhibition curator, Kate Rhodes. “RMIT students and technicians will be on hand to explain how 3D printing and scanning and CNC milling actually works.” The Design Hub is inviting visitors to email files for 3D printing in the Factory. Each week a file from those submitted will be selected and chosen for printing.

In conjunction with the exhibition is artist Alisa Andrasek’s work, Bloom, which was originally installed in London as part of the city’s celebrations during the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Described by Andrasek as, “An organic version of Lego”, Bloom initiates an authentic response to construction, encouraging the public to create its own structures by interlocking the bright pink blocks provided. The outcome is striking, with the structures building into swirling shapes and forms, some travelling up against the exhibition walls.

The Future Is Here is showing at the RMIT University Design Hub from August 28 to October 11.

Tue to Fri 11am–6pm
Sat noon–5pm

designhub.rmit.edu.au