“The best way to predict the future is to design it.” Buckminster Fuller’s words seem as topical as ever and have been aptly chosen to introduce one of the Design Museum’s current exhibitions: Sustainable Futures. The show runs until 5 September and is a welcome complement to the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year which runs until 31 October.
Though separate in design and space the two obviously share a common theme: the place of design innovation in our possible futures.
Designs of the Year
The exhibition is the culmination of a juried process in which winners are chosen from a shortlist of almost 100 designs from the fields of architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, interactive, product and transport. Given the blurring of boundaries between these disciplines the show is structured following major themes: cultural heritage, everyday design, conceptual design, global & sustainable solutions, social enablement, emerging technologies and communication.
The quality of almost all of the featured projects is astounding and bodes well for your future. Whilst many of the conceptual efforts were impressive (as seen above) and undoubtedly useful to drive more practical applications, I was mostly drawn in by solutions that re-imagined existing objects or technologies to make them more effective, multi-purpose, attractive or less demanding of resources, energy or new materials.
Some solutions were so simple they seemed obvious but lovely all the same—and just as obviously an improvement to existing products.
Other solutions focussed on making cohabitating and communicating more accessible using various means.
These are only a few of the items that were compelling to me but there were many more that intrigued, surprised and awed me. To anyone wondering whether design can solve what ails our world this exhibition offers a resounding yes.
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