Echo: Imagining the future of plastic

Design research and exhibition development for the Science Museum, London, UK.

What is the future of plastic? Asked by the Science Museum to envision a plastic future for a ‘100 years of Plastics’ exhibition, the team’s interpretation prototyped the evolution of plastic from a cheap and mass-produced material to one that is precious, intelligent and sophisticated. This takes form in an ‘Echo’, a plastic object that senses your presence, and acts as an emotional diary, morphing to take shapes based on your thoughts and feelings.

The team interviewed teenagers about their view of the future and spoke to experts in the nanotechnology and plastics fields to learn more about future technologies.

The prototype constructed for the museum recognises your presence by lighting up and morphs to follow your movement as you move in front of it. The exhibit integrates computer vision with custom-controlled robotics to simulate the imagined scenario.

Echo continues to be displayed on gallery at the Science Museum ‘100 Years of Plastics’ exhibition.