Totalling of eleven innovative and impressive installations, London’s Design Museum presents its latest exhibition, Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World. The overall display is created by some of the most thought-provoking designers and architects working today, all of which explore a variety of issues that define our time. From networked sexuality, sentient robots, slow fashion and settled nomads, each installation topic asserts that design is deeply rooted not just to commerce and culture but to urgent underlying issues. “Issues that inspire fear and love” describes The Design Museum.
In response to the recent Brexit vote, OMA, the architecture practice founded by Rem Koolhaas, created The Pan-European Living Room. The installation tells a multicultural narrative, furnished with everyday objects that could be found in a stereotypical British or European living room – however each object has its own unique origin, each from 28 different European countries.
In collaboration with Intel, UK-based fashion designer Hussein Chalayan has produced a series of wearable devices that detect emotions and project them externally for anyone to see. The collection, entitled Room Tone, confronts the idea of repressed emotions whilst simultaneously exploring everyday emotions and anxieties.
Fusing a relationship between humans and robotics multidisciplinary designer Madeline Gannon has created custom software that transforms a 1200kg industrial robot into a living, breathing mechanical creature named Mimus.
Another installation includes a graphic display about the most common staple foods around the world, constructed by Tokyo-based graphic designer and art director of Muji, Kenya Hara. Hara argues that the roots of our cultural identities, from landscape to cuisine, lie in the grains that we consume daily.
Characterised by high quality 3D printing processes and alien-like textures is architect, designer and professor Neri Oxman. Along with the Mediated Matter Group and 3D printing company Stratasys, the team have created a series of death masks called Vespers that are a wonder to behold.
Further One architect Andrés Jaque, explores the way network culture is defining and designing new forms of behaviour and interaction through an audio-visual installation entitled, Intimate Strangers. Focusing on dating apps, Andrés questions how these technologies are changing our behaviour, how it’s causing us to think differently in other contextual situations, and even our own identities.
Motivated by community and set in a different context from traditional British culture, Arquitectura Expandida, an activist architecture collective from Colombia, is creating a replica of a school that they designed and built in one of the most disadvantaged communities of Bogota.
The eighth installation consists of the City of Nomads, a structure built by Hong Kong-based Rural Urban Framework and goes onto examine how to adapt the traditional ger (yurt) for a more communal life.
The ninth features graphic designers Metahaven, who showcase a film entitled Love Letter to Sea Shepherd about the marine wildlife conservation group Sea Shepherd.
Fusing a powerful relationship between the land and rural traditions of China, Chinese clothing design Ma Ke showcases her ongoing project Wuyong, or ‘Useless’. Rejecting modes such as consumerism and ‘fast fashion’, she treats her garments as forms of artistic but also ethical and personal expression.
And finally, Dutch product designer Christien Meindertsma presents his installation, Fibre Market. The piece explores the potential of recycling textiles, in particular, the lost value of 1,000 discarded woollen sweaters, turning their fibres into a revolutionary, colourful display in the exhibition.
Held from the 24th November to the 23rd of April 2017, this exhibition is a bold and arguably highly radical, multidisciplinary global exhibition that aims to capture the mood of the present and establish the Design Museum as the home ground of the design debates captured by the installations.
Featured Image: Photography by Luke Hayes. (2016) Design Museum, Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World exhibition. [Online] Available at: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/fear-and-love
Oma/AMO. (2016) The Pan-European Living Room. [Online] Available at: http://oma.eu/projects/the-pan-european-living-room. [Accessed 18/12/16]
Chalayan. H. (2016) Room Tone. [Online] Available at: https://iq.intel.com/hussein-chalayan-brings-biosensing-wearables-to-paris-fashion-week/. [Accessed 18/12/16]
Hara. K. (2016) Design Museum Installation. [Online] Available at: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/fear-and-love. [Accessed 18/12/16]
Oxman. N. (2016) Mediated Matter Group. Stratasys. Vespers collection. Design Museum.[Online] Available at: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/fear-and-love. [Accessed 18/12/16]
Arquitectura Expandid.(2016) Design Museum. [Online] Available at: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/fear-and-love. [Accessed 18/12/16]
Metahaven. (2016) Design Museum. [Online] Available at: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/fear-and-love. [Accessed 18/12/16]
Ke. M. Wuyong. (2016) Design Museum. [Online] Available at: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/fear-and-love. [Accessed 18/12]/16
Meindertsma. C. (2016) Fibre Market. Design Museum. [Online] Available at: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/fear-and-love. [Accessed 18/12/16]