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.
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.