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The Universal Tea Machine

“Universal Tea Machine” is a gargantuan cross between a tea-making device, a primitive computer and a pinball machine. As tall as a giraffe, as long as a double-decker bus and as colourful as a fun fair, the UTM is a playful new way to engage with London’s rich and vibrant history.

The UTM is a computer that relies on teamwork and calculation to produce the perfect cup of tea. By pulling a sequence of handles, you release a series of balls from their caddies at the top of the UTM. Through a simple set of commands, engaging the binary calculation of an adding machine, you then instruct the making of your ideal cuppa.

Silly and serious, interactive and spectacular, modern and historic, calculating and fantastical, the UTM encourages kids of all ages – from 1 to 100 – to engage with London’s dynamic history of trade, calculation and tea-drinking.

Text and Images via The Bartlett School of Architecture