Design and the Elastic Mind, currently at MoMA, exposes to the general public the brilliant projects of designers around the world. You will leave awed and thrilled about the future, rather than full of any sort of sci-fi dread. To anyone who has ever said something along the lines of “it is a plant that has been genetically somethinged” (an endearing and all-too familiar line from a child’s drawing included in the exhibit), I highly recommend the show.
A honeycomb vase—a creative collaboration between designer Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny and a swarm of bees. (Interestingly, another project in the show has bees detecting cancer in the breath of a human).
3-D Printing—Front Design of Sweden exhibits a way to materialize free-hand sketches: “strokes made in the air are recorded with motion capture video technology and then digitized into a 3-D computer model. Digital files are sent to a rapid manufacturing machine that uses computer-controlled lasers to fabricate the objects in plastic.” The process is infinitely faster than the amount of time it takes to read how it’s done. What it looks like: writing solid sculpture into the air.
Technology that aids in tracking down the perfect mate (and refusing to let him go)—Sniffing Others aims to utilize the full potential of human olfactory glands, and further into the exhibit a visitor can interact with a touch screen that displays paths in cyberspace from one lonely person to another. On a creepier note, Body Modification for Love Project imagines a man getting the nipple of his lover implanted on his stomach. And Afterlife Microbial Fuel Cell is a device charged by the decomposed gastric acids of a dead loved one—the battery can power several electric appliances such as a flashlight, or “even a vibrator.”
L.A.S.E.R. Tag, designed by Graffiti Research Lab, democratizes public communication by enabling anyone to “write with a green laser on distant and hard-to-reach surfaces.” Similarly, the SMS Guerilla Projector allows for huge projections of private text messages in urban spaces.
No more whining about technology alienating individuals—this show is proof that the best designs will only amplify connections among people, animals, and nature. For more info: http://moma.org/exhibitions/exhibitions.php?id=5632