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I attend many exhibitions throughout the year, as I love being inspired and finding a designer or creative that I did not know before as well as attending exhibitions of my favourite creatives. Most of the time I go, immerse myself in the exhibition and then come home speaking highly of it (most of the time!).
But, it is rare that I go to an exhibit that is thought provoking in itself and leads me to question the link between design to external factors. The design and violence exhibition in the Science Gallery did just that.
The exhibition looks at the link between design and the violence that can be carried out in the world. It is certainly not an aspect of ‘design’ that I had thought about before, and it really did make me take a step back and look at the world in a slightly different light. When I think of design and the topics that I cover on Floralesque – most of it is light and creative and there is no obvious negative side to it. But when you delve deeper into design and start to think about the design of weapons or torture devices it is a very different story. Design is not as innocuous as you may think.
The entire experience takes you on a journey through this intersection of design and violence in our ever-complicated world. And they “hope to draw connections between places near and far, between our everyday actions and their causes and consequences, and to show how violence and design can act both for and against power and the realisation of social change“.
In a world which sometimes can feel like violence and war is beginning to dominate, the objects that are used do become important. The deliberate creating and designing of items to inflict pain and harm is not something that is widely discussed. We live in a world where violence is all around us – just turn on the TV. And this is only the violence that the media choose to show – what about the increased environmental violence that we are impacting on the natural world around us by tour increased designs on the planet? What about the cyber designs to attack online? We cannot easily escape it not matter how rose tinted the glasses that you try and wear.
Not all of the items on display have negative connotations/uses. These pair of sports trousers are embedded with a special sensitive film that alerts the wearer to injuries of any kind that they may not otherwise know about due to nerve damage. When the wearer sustains drama then the film will change colour to advise the severity of the impact.
The groundbreaking exhibit is a collaboration between the Science Gallery and also the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. It has free admission and is on at the Science Gallery, Dublin until 22nd January 2017. It is certainly an exhibition that I would recommend that you go see – even just to see the other side of design that perhaps you like me do not think of often. Design is all around us in the day to day and I liked how this really brought this home to me. You can read more about it here. If you find that you are thinking of the topics after you leave the exhibition then there is also a website covering the topics here.
All images taken by me on Nikon DSLR, the detail under images taken from the information cards at the exhibit.