Vending the Rules

Normally a prison of carbonated saccharine dreams, the vending machine is liberating its contents to instead dispense design classics through a tie-up between The Design Museum and The St Martins Lane hotel.


Situated in the hotel and known as Semi-Automatic, the machine will give guests and visitors the chance to purchase any of 26 Design Museum products.

Head of retail at the Design Museum Alice Marsh says ‘We have chosen products from the Design Museum shop which will delight and surprise; the perfect fit for St Martins Lane Hotel.’


The touch screen machine will vend products including Polaroid Eyewear by Kenneth Grange, the Etch candle holder – which is acid etched and inspired by mathematical logic to form intricate shadows, and Type Trumps – top trumps for type faces.  

Also intended as a playful reference to traditional hotel gift stores, Semi-Automatic is likely to delight design lovers and disgruntle anyone after a Twix, or an expensive watch.


Semi-Automatic, curated by The Design Museum, is operational within the St Martins Lane lobby on 45 St Martins Lane, London, WC2N, from September 1 – 31 October.

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