The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London is to host a vending machine designed to make the public re-consider their views on social responsibility.
The Vending Machine Project is the work of Team, a London based design collective set up in 2003 to create products and services which lead people to reconsider their values through interaction with apparently insignificant consumables. The vending machine puts users in the unexpected situation where you choose how much you pay. The amount will not change the quantity of sweets you get, instead it will change the quantity the next person gets.
Team member Tom Beeston said -
"The vending machine challenges the concept of social responsibility in a tolerant society - where the greater good requires sacrifice from everyone rather than the few.
The vending machine project is Team's most recent product and will tour a range of venues around London for the next year under the guise of a conventional vending machine. It will begin its tour with a launch party of music and sweets at the ICA on the 3rd August.
Team member Euan Mills said -
"Team approach projects as designers, using their skills to achieve a particular effect. While conventionally designers carefully craft their experiences to promote a certain brand or product, Team use the same techniques to create challenging situations."
Team are currently hoping to get the vending machine adopted by a major sweets company.
• Team members inclde Euan Mills, 27 (Urban Designer, Macintosh School of Architecture) and twins Tom Beeston, (Product Designer, Royal College of Art) and Will Beeston, (Graphic Designer, Bristol) both 28.
• Team was originally set up at the Glasgow School of Art by a group of students frustrated with the apolitical nature of design and interested in exploring how design could play a proactive role in the formation of culture rather than being only an artifact.
Other projects include:
• An artificial background sound that re-appropriates the power of jingles and film soundtracks to generate a positive sense of identity for an area;
• Product placement of wind turbines on packaging with idyllic countryside images to establish wind turbines as a key feature of the British landscape.