Hello, Robot. Design Between Human And Machine
Exhibition, Designmuseum Gent, Ghent, Belgium.
The interface between man and machine is getting smaller by the day. The smartphone, for example, has already changed our lives forever. The exhibition lays bare our relationship with technology. Will a Robot eventually make us more creative and generate new jobs? That
is one of the questions posed here. Or: to what extent do you actually want to rely on technology? Smart assistants are showing us the way, monitoring the condition of our body, or acting as a playmate for our children. But do we also want machines that look after the elderly or satisfy our sexual cravings? Who knows, maybe we will all have a bit of cyborg in us soon.
Are robots taking over the world or set to save it? What do you think? Designers are delivering ideas and actual solutions that demonstrate that the reality lies somewhere in between the two. Robots are a reason for great excitement and critical reflection at the same time. How do we manage a world that is becoming increasingly digital, smart and more autonomous?
Design museum Gent originates in a private initiative by a group of industrials and art lovers who united themselves in 1903 in the ‘Union des Arts Industriels et Décoratifs’. The museum was conceived as a ‘Musée des Modèles’ where ‘good examples’ of applied arts were shown. Several disciplines were represented in the collection, including furniture – mainly eighteenth-century style furniture – ceramics, copper and bronze, and textiles. At the same time a library was created. The objects were initially stored and displayed in the Ghent municipal academy, situated in the Sint-Margrietstraat. Owing to purchases in the various pavilions during the Ghent 1913 World Exhibition and further extension of the collection with Asian objects, textiles and French Art Deco, a new accommodation became a necessity. In 1922, room was found in the Hôtel de Coninck, an impressive 18th-century urban residence in the Jan Breydelstraat. Artist Armand Heins was the first curator until 1931. His successor Henri Nowé furnished the rooms of the Hôtel de Coninck as ‘period rooms’, which still makes the collection items come to life today.