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What is Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things?
‘Discover key designs that have shaped the modern world and be inspired by this fascinating exhibition of memorable objects from the Design Museum Collection.’ – The Design Museum
This exhibition is part of the museums permanent collection of contemporary design; it looks at the extraordinary qualities in the everyday objects and how everyday life and society has changed as a result. The large room is separated into six categories:
Mater!als & Processes
!dentity & Des!gn
Why we Collect!
The exhibition space is nice and spacious though the layout toward the back confused me a little. The objects are lovingly displayed on simple ply wood structures that are unobtrusive. The information on display is helpful and there is even some designer profiles on more influential designers.
There is a great variety of products and my favorite section was the !con section as it allowed truly everyday objects to be fully appreciated with some background material and context such as drawings and photographs to give the object in question an in depth story.
Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things is on until the 04 January 2015. Advance booking is essential.
Entry fees apply and concessions are available.
Objects & Artefacts:
I went to the Design Museum One Off event on Friday the 26 July, which was curated by Double Decker. It was an interesting evening and in the future I hope to go to more of these types of events. Here are a few images from my evening:
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What is United Micro Kingdoms (UmK): A Design Fiction?
‘UmK presents perspectives on a fictional future for the United Kingdom, as imagined by designers and educators Dunne & Raby. The exhibition sees England devolved into four self-contained counties, each free to experiment with governance, economy and lifestyle. These ‘live laboratories’ interrogate the cultural and ethical impact of existing and new technologies and how they alter the way we live.‘ – The Design Museum
This exhibition at the Design Museum explores the dystopian fictional future of the UK as designed by Dunne & Raby. In their interpretation England is split in to four micro kingdoms that rule their land as a self-contained system.
These micro kingdoms are Digitarians, Communo-Nuclearists, Anarcho-Evolutionists and Bioliberals. Each distinct society has their own rules and systems that differ greatly from the next; the Digitarians are heavily reliant on technology and the market forces, which when combined their citizens are no different to consumers. The Communo-Nuclearists are a society that solely use neucler energy to survive, they are always moving as no one wants to live next to them. The Anarcho-Evolutionists have halted the progression of most technological development and instead focus on using what technologies that they do accept to genetically developing themselves and their live stock. The final society is the Bioliberals who embrace biotechnology and use it to develop their own food, energy and products according to their own means and wants. For more information visit the UMK Website.
The space is laid out in a small section of the museum and separated via kingdoms, it is relatively easy to follow around and there is even a small library and furniture in the exhibition space for some related reading. The items on display vary from statistics and photographs to scaled down models of transport, animals and people.
This is an unusual but nonetheless interesting exhibition that uses design as tool to portray a not-so-bright future. Some aspects such as those of the dependence on technology and the modifications of ourselves and animals can be seen in society as it is today. These similarities help the visitor have a connection with the particular kingdoms however these situations are so abstract that they seem novel and draw us in to learn more about this fictional world.
United Micro Kingdoms (UmK): A Design Fiction is on until the 26 August 2013 at the Design Museum.
Entry fees apply (Adult £8 with donation and £7.20 without donation, members go in for free and concessions are available)
Objects & Artefacts:
What is Design of the Year 2013?
‘The Designs of the Year awards, ‘The Oscars of the design world’ showcase the most innovative and imaginative designs from around the world, over the past year, spanning seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Transport and Product. Category winners and the overall winner will be decided by a jury and announced on 16 April 2013.’ – Design Museum
This exhibition is held every year and shows the best designs that year. The seven categories allows for a wide variety of artefacts and products to be displayed and also to be considered fort he award.
I was glad I went to this exhibition, though it wasn’t my favourite. As a design student I found it really informative but then again I don’t really like design exhibitions… Though saying that it was inspiring to see the changes that design can make to society. Design of the Year 2013 section on social design was amazing as the designers featured in that section worked with the less able and created innovative inclusive solutions.
The exhibition was broken into sections which were labelled well and explained clearly however the awkward layout of the space meant that it didn’t always correspond to the products on display properly. There was no clear direction in which to enter and the walk around the space wasn’t intuitive enough, as I found myself going back and forth a few time to look at the displayed products.
There were about eighty products on display but it felt like a lot less – There was a really good variety of products and other artefacts. My favourites include the magazine Gentlewoman, the Bauhaus Exhibition at the Barbican and a music player that emulates the motion of a record as opposed to a sliding motion (This is achieved through sheets of card that somehow play the music).
I also wanted to see the other exhibition that is currently on display but that part of the museum was hired by a school. So I unfortunately never got a chance to see the other half of the museum…