Design Museum: Fear & Love

This exhibition was brilliant, and I loved every piece on display. It was very informative, shocking yet enjoyable, as it was about the reactions of eleven different artists to the complex world we live in today. The eleven installations evoke a feeling of fear and love within the issues we face today, as well as highlighting the powerful role which design plays at present.

Mimus – Madeline Gannon

This giant industrial robot has no eyes, and simply uses sensors embedded in the ceiling to detect everyone around her. If Mimus found you interesting, she would follow you around, but if you stay still for too long, she moves on to another person because her attention span is short. It highlights the social fear that robots are taking work from humans. The World Economic Forum estimates that in 5 years, robots will take over five million jobs. Gannon approaches this topic by making Mimus an approachable robot, one that interacts with us. Perhaps there can be a bond between human and machine, a love and not a fear with robots.

Thoughts/ Project ideas provoked:

  • Machines vs Humans
  • Technology, technological advances
  • Systems
  • Emotions / Non-emotional states
  • Science
  • Attention spans
  • Mechanisms, sounds, sight
  • Computers
  • Intentions
  • Good and Evil
Christien Meindertsma- Fibre Market

Most clothes that are thrown away end up in an incinerator (an apparatus for burning waste material, especially industrial waste, at high temperatures until it is reduced to ash), or as landfill. The recycled clothes are turned into low value materials, like carpet liners or moving blankets. And it’s difficult to recycle clothes because its not easy to sort them by colour and fabric. However Meindertsma has worked on machines that can now do that. This installation has 1,000 woollen jumpers that were found in recycling bins. She proves that the fibres are still very much valuable.

Material samples and their labels


She discovered many of these clothing labels were inaccurate! Consumers were misled about their purchase. This itself is fearful because these are things we are buying, and surrounded by everyday.

Thought/ Project ideas provoked: 

  • Sustainability in materials
  • Sustainable future
  • Disposable
  • Fast-fashion
  • Consumerism
  • Habits
  • Recycing
  • Valueable things / Potential to be valuable
  • Colourful
  • Corruption
  • Advertising
Metahaven- Empathy.Global

For forty years, the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd fought to prevent the killing of whales. This installation was made in support of the group’s actions, and compares the killing of highly intelligent animals like whales and dolphins with the human obsession of creating artificial intelligence. Humans indulge in creating intelligent machines, whilst killing natural intelligence that we don’t understand.

Thoughts/ Project ideas provoked:

  • Propaganda
  • Commentators
  • Advocates
  • Marine
  • Intelligence
  • Science
  • Ethical
  • Human power and domincance
  •  Machine vs Man
Kenya Hara- Staples

There is a huge challenge in feeding our growing population. The roots of our cultural identity from landscape to cuisine, is within the grains we consume daily he proposes. Hara makes us realise that we think we produce our crops, but it is actually our crops that produce us.

Thoughts/ Project ideas provoked:

  • Food and design
  • Cultivation and distribution
  • Raw materials and packages products
  • Consumerism
  • Human body
  • Nutrients
  • Growing population
  • Worldwide
Neri Oxman- Vespers

The death mask is what Oxman is re creating. Traditionally made of wax or plaster, these have been 3D printed at the resolution of nerve cells, and they act as external support systems. This means that nutrients are being fed to the wearer, or their micro-organisms have been rebalanced. Oxman portrays our biggest fear- death, and ways to commemorate loss as well as a curiosity for a potential of new life.

Themes/ Project Ideas provoked:

  • Life and Death
  • Afterlife
  • Biology
  • Nutrients
  • Fear
  • Curiosity, Wonderment
  • Technology
  • Spiritual
  • Identity
  • Disguise

The Vespers piece is what intrigues me most, perhaps due to the combination of something biological, but with a quality of wonderment too. I will research more into Neri Oxman’s pieces and decide if I could potentially finalise my interests for FMP.




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