×

Subscribe to our newsletter

Highlights From the Previous Week, Partnered Events and Haikus. View our Newsletter archive

Hello, Robot by Vitra Design Museum

A Vitra Design Museum exhibition, Hello, Robot will be challenging perceptions of robots and designers in Basel, Vienna and Ghent this year.

Scroll right to read more ›
Text by Nadine Botha

Have you ever met a robot? This is the question emboldened across the façade of the Vitra Design Museum, welcoming visitors to the exhibition Hello, Robot. Exploring “design between human and machine”, the exhibition eschews popular perceptions of robots as being machines with a visual likeness to humans; instead mapping just how ubiquitous robot technology has become. From building cars and appliances in factories to driving said cars and making appliances responsive to our domestic habits, the mechanical and mental capacities of robots have become integrated into our daily existence.

Curated by Amelie Klein, the exhibition charts this progression in four phases: the history of our pop culture perception of what a robot is; how the technologies underpinning robot functionality first came to be incorporated in the work world; how robot technology is leaking into everyday life in the form of pets, helpers, cleaners, and even friends and lovers; and finally how increasingly difficult it is becoming to draw a strict line between human and robot.

Are robots advancing evolution? How do you feel about objects having feelings? Are robots our friends or our enemies? Do you want to become better than nature intended? These are some of the 14 questions raised by Hello, Robot, challenging the visitor to think about technology beyond advancement for the sake of advancement. Throwing up many questions without easy answers, one strong assertion of the exhibition is heralding the role of designers to question and shape our relationship with technology. Dunne & Raby, Joris Laarman, Floris Kaayk, Carlo Ratti, Christoph Niemann and Superflux are just some of the designers included.

Hello, Robot shows at the Vitra Design Museum in Basel until May 14, before travelling to the MAK in Vienna from June 21 to October 1, and Design Museum Ghent from October 27 to April 14.

Hello, Robot at the Vitra Design Museum
Hello, Robot at the Vitra Design Museum
Hello, Robot installation view. Photo: Mark Nierdermann
Hello, Robot installation view. Photo: Mark Nierdermann
robotlab (ZKM), manifest, 2008
robotlab (ZKM), manifest, 2008
Hello, Robot installation view. Photo: Mark Nierdermann
Hello, Robot installation view. Photo: Mark Nierdermann
Francis Bitonti Studio Inc, Molecule Shoe, 3d-printed, 2015. Photo: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Francis Bitonti Studio Inc, Molecule Shoe, 3d-printed, 2015. Photo: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
ABB Ltd, YuMi®, dual-arm industrial robot, 2015
ABB Ltd, YuMi®, dual-arm industrial robot, 2015
Hajime Sorayama, Sony Corporation, AIBO En- tertainment Robot (ERS-110), 1999. Photo: Andreas Sütterlin
Hajime Sorayama, Sony Corporation, AIBO En- tertainment Robot (ERS-110), 1999. Photo: Andreas Sütterlin
TRNDlabs, SKEYE Nano 2 FPV Drone, 2015 Remote control and nano drone
TRNDlabs, SKEYE Nano 2 FPV Drone, 2015 Remote control and nano drone
Hello, Robot installation view. Photo: Mark Nierdermann
Hello, Robot installation view. Photo: Mark Nierdermann
Carlo Ratti Associati, Vitra Lift-Bit, 2016
Carlo Ratti Associati, Vitra Lift-Bit, 2016
iRobot, Roomba 980, 2016
iRobot, Roomba 980, 2016
Dunne & Raby, Robot 4: Needy One, from: Techno- logical Dream Series: No. 1, Robots, 2007. Photo: Per Tingleff, courtesy Centre National des Arts Plastiques (France)
Dunne & Raby, Robot 4: Needy One, from: Techno- logical Dream Series: No. 1, Robots, 2007. Photo: Per Tingleff, courtesy Centre National des Arts Plastiques (France)
Hello, Robot installation view. Photo: Mark Nierdermann
Hello, Robot installation view. Photo: Mark Nierdermann
Anouk Wipprecht, Spider Dress 2.0, 2015 3D-printed with Intel Edison Microcontrollers. Photo: Jason Perry
Anouk Wipprecht, Spider Dress 2.0, 2015 3D-printed with Intel Edison Microcontrollers. Photo: Jason Perry
Christoph Niemann, Robot Morph, 2016.
Christoph Niemann, Robot Morph, 2016.
VDW_BANNER_TL_300
Back

Articles you also might like

tresor_contemporary_craft

TRESOR artistic director Brian Kennedy shares with us his insights for the selection process and gives us a sneak peek of the artists, galleries and materials to watch out for at the fair

Capsule Bay by Antoine Chauvin. Modelled on the famous capsule hotels that can be found in Tokyo, this raised Workbay offers two single bedrooms for napping.

An exhibition at Design Parade Toulon showcases a microarchitecture system developed by ECAL students to create new uses for the Bouroullecs’ Workbays for Vitra.