Creatures Made to Measure

Design Museum Gent presents investigates the relationships between animals and contemporary design


Konstantin Grcic. Architecture for dogs: Paramount, 2012. Furniture, pedestal, mirror, carpet, light bulbs, 79 × 42 × 90 cm, © Photo: Hiroshi Yoda
From May 17, 2019 until September 29, 2019
Cattle in enclosed spaces or lab-grown meat? Stroking a cuddly pet or a robot? The relationship between man and animal is highly complex and fraught with contradiction. On the one hand pets are pampered and we have an idealised image of the animal world. On the other hand animals are often treated inhumanely out of sight in slaughterhouses, laboratories or during transport.
A newly opened exhibition in Design Museum Gent called Creatures Made to Measure strives to find the right balance between affection, respect and benefit. An exhibition as part of the design and society programme, in which Design Museum Gent wants to encourage us to reflect on the man-animal future relationship.
Early cave paintings already demonstrated man’s fascination with the animal world. However, we have also always felt a strong desire to use animals for our own benefit: what started with their meat and hides soon developed into using them in fighting rings, zoos and on the battlefield. We now consider it quite normal that animals are used as test objects in medical laboratories, participate in beauty contests and keep us company. But what if we go even further in manipulating animals so that they serve as organ donors or are artificially bred in laboratories? Can we still talk about ‘animals’ then? The huge discrepancy between the discussions on how we should deal with animals and the changes that are actually taking place, underlines how difficult it is for us to redefine the relationship between man and animal.
This area of conflict offers designers various starting points. In the three chapters of Creatures Made to Measure, designers ask questions as to the acceptable degree of manipulation and present several future perspectives on the relationship between humans and animals.
Participating designers and artists
Martin Avila, BLESS, Melanie Bonajo, Karin Borghouts, The Center for Genomic Gastronomy, Kurzgesagt - Ina Nutshell, Center for PostNatural History (Richard Pell), Marcus Coates, Thalia de Jong, Theo Deutinger, Aleksandra Domanovié, Konstantin Grcic, The Hercules and Leo Case, Christine Herdin / Katharina Wahl, Marlène Huissoud, Max Kosoric / Sanne Pawelzyk, Silvia Knüppel, Kuang-Yi Ku, Dietrich Luft, Lisa Ma, Christien Meindertsma, Next Nature Network, Thomas Pausz, Ana Rajcevic, Veronica Ranner, Andrea Roe / Cath Keay, Peter Schäfer, Johanna Schmeer, Basse Stittgen, Susana Soares, Sputniko, threeASFOUR, Thomas Thwaites, Koen Vanmechelen, Marije Vogelzang, Chris Woebken, Pinar Yoldas
Design Museum Gent
17.05.2019 – 29.09.2019
Thalia de Jong. Golden Boy (Filmstill), 2015 HD-Video, Colour, Sound, 2 Min.
Silvia Knüppel. 2-Bird-Kite-Kit/1, 2015 Leather, wood, nylon rope, polyester and nylon fabric, 25 x 45 cm. Photo: Tobias Bärmann
Next Nature Network. Bistro In Vitro, Meat the Future project, 2014. Objects, cookbook and website, co-produced by Submarine Channel. Photo: Anthony De Meyere
Marlène Huissoud. Cocoon Cabinet #4 © Studio Marlene Huissoud