Tower Hamlets Enterprise team help the founders of Plyset take up space at Machines Room, one of the borough vibrant makerspaces to embark on their journey of creating a new home furniture kit.
Q&A with Julien Vaissieres founder of Plyset
- Tell us a bit about your team and your backgrounds.
I studied industrial design at Brunel University and started with a focus on UX and digital design before swapping the keyboard and mouse for a sander and apron. Until a few months ago I was a production manager until recently were I solidified my love of lean. More than anything I like to make exciting technology easy to use, so it’s easier to do more with it.
I grew up in France and studied architecture at the University of Brussels ULB. I've always been a maker from making toys when I was a kid to co-creating one of the first FabLab’s in Brussels, so everyone could have free access to digital tools back in 2011. After a thesis revolving around makerspaces, their uses and community, my partner and I moved to London to create our own tiny digital factory - L'Etabli (workbench in French). Probably the smallest in London! From building my own CNC machine, prototyping ideas and making finished products – I have experience in all types of processes. "
- Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on since you took up space at Machines Room?
With the ‘Plyset’ project we’ve worked actively to pursue the goals of the FabCity on a small scale, using a maker space as a cost effective factory to digitally manufacture lamps on a made to order basis, using plastic from recycled bottles and desk organisers from a corn based plastic.
Plyset was started with the idea that the digital fabrication manufacturing tools available in a maker space can be made to create consumer standard products, in an economically viable way. With a well-documented manufacturing process, they can be made locally, globally, adapting to the local materials, culture and trends of the community.
During our residency we’ll be trying to refine how we make, to make it less wasteful, more human friendly and more repeatable. We'll be working on how we communicate with everyday people as well as makers. We're planning to spend the month dividing our time between working on our new site, explaining better the goals of Plyset and actively working to pursue them by improving our 'perpetual printing process'. By the end of the residency we aim to have the 3D printer capable of continually printing pots and lamps without our supervision, a blog post of our process explaining how someone would go about doing it themselves and a shiny new site to post it on.
- Has the tailored support received in taking up space at Machines Room influenced your work and practice, if so then how?
We've been working with the Machines Room for a while now and it’s been an invaluable resource for us. Having industrial machines and the workshop accessible to use has meant we've been able to make things that would've been too expensive or too difficult, without having to worry about the tools we've been free to try more and be more creative. The team at the Machines Room has a diverse wealth of information that they're always happy to share, and with their help it’s easier to make the right decisions. Having a place to meet the rest of the community has really spurred us on, there is always someone around who's having a similar problem who can help or who needs help.
- Have you found the support offered from Tower Hamlets Enterprise team beneficial for your business journey?
We found the support very helpful and reactive to our request. Thanks to Tower Hamlets council we’ve been able to take part of various events enabling us to network with other businesses in the borough. It also makes us more confident about our vision and business development.