Designers Offer Their Spin On The Future Of Migration

Designers In Residence 2015: Migration ★★★☆☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 41 months ago
Designers Offer Their Spin On The Future Of Migration Designers In Residence 2015: Migration 3
A quirky idea to convert an abandoned Welsh colliery into a training camp for astronauts. Photo Andy Stagg.

Migration is in the news as large numbers of refugees enter Europe, but will humans become more migratory as a species? And what will happen to our lives if we do? Four young designers put forward concepts based on the theme of migration in this small but thoughtful exhibition.

Hefin Jones's fun contribution involves teaching a Welsh community about how to function in space, including an explanation to a local hairdresser about how haircuts work in zero gravity. Jones's idea is based around converting an abandoned Welsh colliery into an astronaut training camp and thereby re-invigorating a community — it may be the least realistic, but it's an concept enjoyable to explore.

Stephanie Hornig is firmly rooted on the reality of problems today and how living space is at a premium. She suggests furniture will need to become easy to move and assemble as our population increases. But we weren't sure what this offers beyond the kind of products IKEA has already brought to the world.

Alexa Pollman is a designer we've encountered before and her surreal dystopia where people roam the surface of the Earth in constant motion is a great concept. Her fictional world is embellished by outfits with in-built storage and even a small room where visitors can act out the dances of each of the migratory peoples she has invented.

The strongest showing is from Chris Green whose look at drones covers several big issues within a couple of videos. He questions what a world would look like with a companion drone that monitors home security and its users health — it feels like an invasion of privacy but with the potential to have lots of practical uses.

Green also asks whether drones with artificial intelligence could one day go wild and become a native bird species; the future parakeets of London. Or would people be uncomfortable with this and demand that they are captured.

This is a good mix of ideas from a promising quartet of young designers, covering topics that may need to be addressed as technology and lifestyles evolve.

Designers in Residence 2015: Migration is on at Design Museum, Shad Thames, SE1 2YD until 31 March 2016. Tickets are £13 for adults (concessions available), the price also includes admission to the Designs of the Year 2015 and Camper exhibitions.

For more exciting exhibitions see our top 10 picks for this autumn and September. There's still time to catch some of our most talked about exhibitions in August.

What will the future of drones be? Can they become a native species? Photo Andy Stagg
When people become more migratory, they may choose clothing like this. Photo Andy Stagg
The future of furniture is flat pack, but are we already there? Photo Andy Stagg

Last Updated 16 September 2015