Expo : Nature – Collaborations in design
May 10th 2019 ’till January 19th 2020 – Cube design museum, Kerkrade (NL)
co-organized with Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, NYC (USA)
The exhibition Nature at Cube design museum – the first museum in the Netherlands that’s completely dedicated to design – fully represents what Cube stands for: design for human needs and ambitions. Nature, an exhibition Cube presents in collaboration with world’s largest design museum, Cooper Hewitt, Smitsonian Design Museum in New York, shows some of the best and most creative products and projects on how to deal with the environmental problems and challenges we face.
Even though the exhibition really reflects on one of the mayor issues and challenges we’re dealing with today, it’s also an absolute feast for the eye! Even if you pay a quick visit to the exhibition, I’m sure you’ll be feeling inspired. And when you take the time to dive into the stories and ideas behind the 62 objects that are being exhibited, you’ll feel even more inspired and also motivated to help save our planet and change your own actions where possible.
Nature can both be visited in New York City and in Kerkrade, but one of the biggest differences between the two exhibitions is the imposing film ‘Mother Nature Speaks’ that can only be watched at Cube (or actually at Columbus discovery center that’s, next to Cube design museum and Continium discovery center, also located at the Museumplein Limburg in Kerkrade). Watching this short film definitely sets the tone for your visit to Nature. The film shows how our beautiful planet is in danger and that time is running out. Mother Nature literally speaks to us, the viewers, and urges us to take action. Watching this film is both intense and beautiful, just like the exhibition, and the combination of the film and exhibition, really creates an unforgettable experience.
The 62 objects presented in Nature, are divided into the seven themes; Understand, Remediate, Simulate, Salvage, Nurture, Augment, and Facilitate. The themes reflect the strategies the design teams employ in collaborating with nature.The presentation of Nature in Kerkrade also differs from Cooper Hewitts’ exhibition because at Cube they added local touches to the interior design. On the floor local products like coal, beeswax and textile waste, are used to illustrate the division of the projects into the different themes. This not only clarifies the exhibition, but also looks great. Because it’s impossible to share with you all the interesting projects of the exhibition, I’ll highlight my own five favourites:
Plasticeberg by Jorge Gamboa (theme: Nurture)
A metaphorical image that really speaks for itself; Plasticeberg clearly visualizes one the biggest problems we’re dealing with today!
The Substitute by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (theme: Nurture)
This video explores a paradox: our preoccupation with creating new life forms, while at the same time neglecting existing ones. The northern white rhino (extinct since March 2018) is digitally brought back to life, informed by developments in Artificial Intelligence.
Transflora by AnotherFarm (theme: Augment)
In collaboration with scientists (to make transgenic glowing silk by injecting silkworm eggs with coral DNA) and a Japanese textile manufacturer (to weave the transgenic silk into a textile), the designers could create this garment that even shines brighter when looking through the 3D glasses that can be found at the exhibition.
Warka Water Tower by Arturo Vittori (theme: Facilitate)
The Warka Water Tower collects water from rain, fog, and dew and is intended for use in remote areas with limited access to water. The hydrophobic mesh textile accumulates water which can be accessed via a tap and hose in a holding tank. Additionally the canopy of the tower provides shade for community gatherings.
Department of Seaweed: Living Archive by Julia Lohmann (theme: Salvage)
This project mostly got my attention because it looks like African art, which I love. The department of seaweed brings together experts in design, science, and craft to experiment with the fabrication processes and material properties of seaweed.
‘Nature – Collaborations in design’ can be visited until January 19th 2020 at Cube design museum and at Cooper Hewitt.
For more info about Cube design museum or the exhibition Nature, have a look at their website or follow them on social media. If you’d like to get more information about Columbus earth center, Continium discovery center or Museumplein Limburg, click the links. More info about Cooper Hewitt Smitsonian Design Museum can be found here.
Since I have a special bond with Cube (read about it in this blogpost), I can already promise that many of the intriguing exhibitions at Cube design museum will be reviewed on Morrie&Me. So stay tuned, or even better go visit Cube yourself!