Exploring ideas around the information age and our experience of it, Angela Ferguson visits exhibition ‘The Fab MInd: Hints of the Future in a Shifting World’ in Tokyo, Japan.
January 23rd, 2015
Above: A Million Times by Humans Since
It has been said that in today’s fast paced, technology ruled world human beings are exposed to as much information in one day as they were exposed to in a whole lifetime a hundred years ago. As the amount of data available to us continues to increase, we are challenged by how to absorb, sort and process this information across cultures, socio-economic groups and other physical and intangible boundaries.
These notions are explored in an exhibition currently showing at 21_21 Design Sight in Roppongi, Tokyo. The exhibition is called “The Fab Mind: Hints of the Future in a Shifting World” with the ‘fab’ in the title referring to both the ‘fabulous’ minds of the artists and the works they have ‘fabricated’.
The exhibition is diverse and includes works from 24 extraordinarily different groups of artists and designers from around the world. The key to each piece is an underlying exploration of the link between design and society, and how design is/has/should evolve to help us make sense of the world around us. The exhibition suggests that design is an activity that should add value to people’s lives rather than simply be consumed.
Every piece in the exhibition is fascinating in its own right, however there are a few pieces that for me were outstanding:
Yosuke Ushigome’s Professional Sharing http://www.yosukeushigo.me/projects/professional-sharing/ looks at the idea of making a living out of what many of us are already doing ie: sharing our lives across the internet. Ushigome’s does not restrict his sharing to images or words however, he also considers sharing his energy and other physical data. His ideas are provocative, frightening and entirely reasonable all at the same time.
Sweaters by Loes by Charlois/Wandschappen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pul1Ja8gWBg The Dutch designers came across a woman in Rotterdam who had knitted almost 600 sweaters since 1955, none of which had ever been worn. In order to give ‘life’ to these artefacts a flash mob was organized, with each of the participants wearing one of the sweaters. The activity also acknowledges the large migrant population of that particular area of Rotterdam.
Studio Swine’s Can City is a site specific activity that investigates ideas of sustainability, repurposing and waste. The firm is London based but the project is located in Sao Paulo and involved a mobile foundry turning local waste into useable product http://www.studioswine.com/can-city/
Slogans for the Early Twenty First Century by Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland expresses the zeitgeist of a generation that knew a time before the internet, and is perhaps still coming to terms with the complete infiltration of technology in their lives http://designtaxi.com/news/354286/Slogans-For-The-Early-21st-Century/
A Million Times by Humans Since 1982 http://www.humanssince1982.com/a-million-times/ is a series of analogue clocks that are synchronized not only to tell time but to also move organically. This ‘dance’ of time suggests an unknown motivation or performance in the world around us of which we are unaware.
‘The Fab Mind’ is a broad and fascinating view of how varied cultures and diverse groups of people are attempting to make sense of the world we inhabit in a way that is both purposeful and unique; and accessing design in order to do so.
21_21 Design Sight ‘The Fab Mind; Hints of the Future in a Shifting World’
To follow Angela and Stephen’s journey through Japan go to instagram @futurespacedesign @indesignlive and look out for the hashtags #futurespacetravels #indesigntravels
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