Made in Machina/e


Made in Machina/e is an ongoing research into the relationship of Nordic design and Chinese manufacturing culture, machine learning and the authorship roles in design. What happens when the product is created not by the functional need, but out of a whim by the market itself? Who gets to decide what features are prioritized, needed or even wanted? Or do they exist just because they can?

Nordic design traditionally thrives on the idea of an author, collective, or societal needs as the deciding factor in what gets designed, manufactured and sold, and to what price. Focusing on nature and materiality to show a lifestyle.

Shanzhai, seen as a design process too, uses the 'natural' availability of components as a deciding factor, merging into unexpected mixed products, designed by no author, for needs that might be for few, like a craft object, but built in an industrial age.

Made in Machina/e explores how to combine these two approaches in design to create a new process. One that uses the marketplace of available components as a new nature to draw from, that replicates the merging with a new machine-driven process and allowing a new type of authorship to designers to emerge.

The components and products already available on digital Chinese markets are fed to a neural network that has been trained on Nordic design ideals. This generates a large number of variables and a human curator can pick up the most interesting, quirky, weird, or even non-human ideas and expand them into briefs for human designers to work with.


Scrape selected categories for largely available components.

Mix components definitions and Nordic design product descriptions.

Generate N amount of briefs based on a combination of categories.

Select the most interesting ones and write the final brief.

Give the brief to a Nordic product designer to interpret and design.

Manufacture in Shenzen, iterate based on market.




A battery pack wooden charging chair. A clean dining room chair with battery pack legs, wireless charging and all possible sockets in the joints.

Scraped from
Generated by
Selected by S. Rebaudengo and S. Niemelä
Designed by Jari Miranda
Made by Open Make



Ceramic game controller that doubles as a vase. Comes with a discreet wrist strap for durability and prolonged gaming experience. IP65 waterproof.

Scraped from
Generated by
Selected by S. Rebaudengo and S. Niemelä
Designed by Benoit Rouger
Made by Duch Group



Chandelier Phone Display light. A showpiece pendant with phone displays and backlight testing devices as light source.

Scraped from
Generated by
Selected by S. Rebaudengo and S. Niemelä
Designed by Chiu Chih
Made by Chiu Chih


Machina-human curators


Batch A designers

Batch A manufacturers