For the London Design Festival, Central Saint Martin’s leading design graduates gathered to think about design in the times of technology.
Specifically: How does it change, what is its use, what is it inspired by in a more and more uncertain, digital and technological environment?
Brain Waves is an exhibition that looks at four different categories to explore the topic more in depth.
These categories are applied to process and object, and their wider potential and application are revealed through the work.
Creative Forensics includes designers who bring the scientific method to bear on the problems of today and tomorrow, where research and data provide the ballast for imaginative solutions.
For this category, Joao Gil (MA Industrial Design) shot a film called Future of Health, which plays with the idea of living in a world so digitalised that we would have to treat hacked bodies.
He believes that “there are no solutions, no ultimate truth, definition of beauty, utility or function. Our role as designers is to iteratively negotiate the upcoming changes in society.”
Empathic Invention describes projects that focus on communities and collective good, fostering social connection through the products, services, or even conversations.
In the short film Made in China: “The production of assumptions and prejudices”, artist and designer Biying Shi portrayed the dichotomy of the famous label, how its meaning changed and what is behind it.
In the sphere of Haptic Thinking, contemporary material cultures are examined and technologically enabled, with an emphasis on tactility and embodied knowledge.
Here, Zenke Jin’s work ‘Illusory Kinetics’ was inspired by Newton’s law of universal gravitation – can heavy-weight perception be achieved with light-weight material?
Shifting Reality comprises projects that challenge and reframe our perception and perspective on the world around us:
“Design is always a combination of fact and fiction. It draws from reality – something that already exists – and through imagination results in a new creation, a new reality”. Says Jurate Garcionyte, one of the 47 Brain Waves exhibitors.
In this context, it is interesting to see Nils Braun’s ‘Contemporary Fragmented Vision’ in which he 3D-printed a David statue made from stitching together shared online images of Michelangelo’s statue in Florence.
By breaking off conventional ideas and concepts through entering a new age of technology and new challenges, these artists found solutions or highlighted problems in our system and society in a way that will make you excited about what the future of design has to offer.
This inspiring exhibition is bursting with new ideas and is on view at the Lethaby Gallery at Central Saint Martins until October 29, 2016.
If you can’t make it to the exhibition, all of the projects can also be viewed in the cataloge, which is available online here.
Featured image by UAL: Di Peng, ‘Dementia Simulator’