I have been helping my friends at Westby Jones and Smout Allen to design and fabricate the Universal Tea Machine in time for the London Olympics.
Installed in Victoria Park for the duration of the Olympics, the Universal Tea Machine is a computer that relies on teamwork and calculation to produce the perfect cup of tea. The Heath-Robinson-esque machine enables the audience to make their ‘perfect’ cup of tea by solving binary calculation maths problems. If their calculation is too high, they might get too many teabags; not high enough, and they may not get a teabag at all.
I designed and fabricated the mechanisms and electronics that enable tea to get made: the ‘kitchen’ unit. Here’s a short video showing the mechanisms in action:
The Universal Tea Machine is a collaboration based at the Bartlett School of Architecture between Smout Allen and You+Pea with Iain Borden. The UTM is fabricated by Westby and Jones and Ollie Palmer. It was commissioned by the Mayor of London for the Cultural Olympiad.
Please note: originally posted on the Smout Allen site). All images © copyright Smout Allen / You & Pea