> posted by   on October 26th 2014

LDF 2014 | Rapid change or war?

London Design Festival (LDF) is one of the few events during the entire year where I can truly feed my hungry-inspiration battery. Places like Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) or Royal College of Art (RCA) are the opinion makers’ platforms. It is where creative minds show their vision and speak loudly about ongoing changes. Again, also this year there were no disappointments. London’s food for thought was clear: fight for your rights and be prepared for the worst. Yes, a bit pessimistic, but this time it is not about a financial crisis or an economy statement. It is actually about more than we think.

SustainRCA ‘Looking Forwards’

RCA was taken over by ‘Looking Forwards’: the SustainRCA Project Exposition – a visionary showcase of innovative solutions and critical thinking exploring this question. Young and bright designers were NOT showing next lamps, chairs or tables but were in dispute with nature, with our western civilisation’s trash and our power to change and fight for immediate change. How can design address the environmental, social and political issues of today impacting tomorrow?  The SustainRCA Show and Awards showcases exceptional RCA graduate work, celebrating the finalists of the annual Royal College of Art competition. During their Master’s, RCA students are supported, inspired and mentored through SustainRCA’s dedicated student programme of tutorials, talks, workshops, specialist resources and access to a professional sustainability network. You could listen to the sound of climate change through a data experience installation; see how computer interfaces work without circuit boards using just vibration; watch luxurious new fabrics be woven from old rags; challenge your perceptions around the value of nature and our relationship with animals; understand how the best innovations embody ‘systems thinking’ that address local livelihoods – and broaden your understanding of sustainability as the environmental and social equality, justice and balance that considers future generations.

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V&A “The Disobedient Objects”

The V&A’s special curated expositions are always mindful events. This time we could see the exposition titled “The Disobedient Objects”. From Suffragette teapots to protest robots, this exhibition is the first to examine the powerful role of objects in movements for social change. It demonstrates how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design. Disobedient Objects focuses on the period from the late 1970s to now, a time that has brought new technologies and political challenges. On display are arts of rebellion from around the world that illuminate the role of making in grassroots movements for social change: finely woven banners; defaced currency; changing designs for barricades and blockades; political video games; an inflatable general assembly to facilitate consensus decision-making; experimental activist-bicycles; and textiles bearing witness to political murders. | V&A London 26 July 2014 – 1 February 2015

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V&A Disaster Playground by Nelly Ben Hayoun*

Disaster Playground is a creative platform investigating the design of emergency procedures in the space programme, with world renowned space experts at NASA, the SETI Institute and an all star team of composers, writers and international collaborators. Disaster Playground investigates future outer space catastrophes and the design of procedures to manage them and assess the risks. With a cutting edge approach and through re-enactment of off-nominal situations by teams of space experts, designer of experiences at the SETI Institute Ben Hayoun is now working on a new challenge. Known as ‘The Willy Wonka of design and science”, she will question what the space programme could be if members of the public were to share its human condition – the dilemmas faced by scientists over discovery and decision-making under pressure. From meteor showers to extraterrestrial signals, from frogs escaping experiments on board of the ISS and worms surviving the Challenger explosion to a volcanic eruption on Jupiter’s satellite, Disaster Playground documents the edge of space fiction. Working with experts in Near Earth Objects (NEO), Disaster and Rescue Assistance (DART), the SETI Institute and with a all star team of composers and writers, Ben Hayoun is archiving disaster mitigation responses, unexpected failure systems and adversity in the space programme based on interviews, reflexions and re-enactments by a team of casted space experts: Deputy Director of Lunar Science Institute Greg Schmidt, Specialist of meteors showers Dr Peter Jenniskens, Specialist of Extraterrestrial Intelligence Dr. Jill Tarter and Dr. Seth Shostak, astronomer and planetary scientist Dr. Franck Marchis, Dr. David Morrison, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute and more.

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*Nelly Ben Hayoun designs experiences that enable you to become an astronaut in a living room, while a volcano is erupting on the couch. Nelly is the founding Director of the International Space Orchestra in NASA Ames Research Center, Designer of Experiences at the SETI Institute and Head of Experiences at We Transfer.


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