The Universal Tea Machine

Built as part of London’s 2012 Olympic celebrations, the Universal Tea Machine is a pavilion-sized ‘adding computer’ that celebrates the British appetite for trade, technological innovation and tea. Reflecting the ‘Alan Turning Year 2012’ it also pays homage to the late English mathematician’s ‘Universal Turing Machine’. Visitors operated the UTM to produces displays of calculation, as one of the fundamental logics of trading and computation.

The project is a representation of a simple principle of computation, evoking the educational possibilities of play and public engagement. A total of 193,000 people visited the project site during its two-week installation in Victoria Park.

Project Type: Public Installation
Team: Sandra Youkhana, Luke Pearson, Laura Allen, Mark Smout, Iain Borden [Concept + Design] Ollie Palmer, Westby & Jones [Fabrication]
Location: Victoria Park, London
Client: Mayor of London's Office [GLA]