Fear + Love: Reactions to A Complex World
The new Design Museum’s been open for a while now and things are looking good, Instagram-friendly sloping roof and all.
We didn’t have much time to explore when we went shortly after the launch but did spend some time walking round Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World.
“The exhibition asserts that design is deeply connected not just to commerce and culture but to urgent underlying issues – issues that inspire fear and love. This is a bold, multidisciplinary and global exhibition that aims to capture the mood of the present and establish the Design Museum as the home of design debate.”
Here are our highlights:
Neri Oxman’s distinctive aesthetic comes to life in Vespers, a series of 3-d printed masks created for different stages of life. Based on tribal death masks, their translucency gives them an ethereal and otherworldly quality.
It’s an interesting application of a comparatively modern technique to something that would usually be associated with ancient practices. These masks are intriguing, terrifying and beautiful all at once - very much in keeping with the idea of inducing fear and love simultaneously.
It’s such a simple concept but it works so well: Mimus is a robot that is usually programmed to do repetitive work in industrial environments, but has been re-engineered to respond to movement sensors in the space.
The brainchild of Madeline Gannon, Mimus’ 1200kg-heavy presence might make it seem intimidating and sinister but its scale is tempered but its responses make it appear playful, almost sentient. Should we see robots as companions rather than competition? Gannon seems to be persuading us toward the former.
Last but not least, I was glad to see Hussein Chalayan’s work included in this showcase. Chalayan has spent years exploring the intersection between fashion and technology and this collaboration with Intel comes as no surprise.
Models were equipped with fashion accessories that collected their biometric data and projected this information onto the walls beside them, encouraging debate about the anxieties experienced in cities, public surveillance and accessibility of information.
It would have been more compelling if the catwalk video had been displayed on a bigger screen though, rather than being relegated to a small corner.
Our next goal? To check out New Old and the Members’ Lounge, since we had to give it a miss this trip. Look out for our next review, coming soon!