REVIEW: Designers in Residence @Design Museum

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Forming a key part of the Design Museum’s programme every year, the Designers in Residence exhibition once again shows the range of ideas that can spring from different designers on one topic.

This year’s topic is ‘Migration’ and that not only fits around what is happening across Europe at the moment but it also offers visitors a chance to really explore the different meanings that the word ‘migration’ has.

The four selected designers for this year’s display are Chris Green, Stephanie Hornig, Hefin Jones and Alexa Pollmann – each providing an interesting insight into what the future might hold for migration and potentially our attitudes towards it.

On entering the exhibition, visitors are confronted by a table featuring a range of materials of what seems like a random mix of objects combined on one space. But on closer examination, you quickly realise that it is in fact a table filled with the designer’s inspirations and thoughts. By taking us right to the beginning of the creative process, visitors get a better sense of how and why they came up with their ideas.

Moving on to Hefin Jones’s design titled Cosmic Colliery, this includes films and plans on how to transform a Welsh coal mine into an astronaut training centre. The aim is to show how the participants can use design to re-purpose the traditional Welsh culture and heritage into something that everyone can use – no matter what their background is. Interestingly from looking at the map, it appears as though all the people involved are from different surrounding areas – but are coming together to support this project, bringing to mind how Europe is having to come together to support the migrants from Syria. From watching the film that complements these plans and drawings, it shows that there are plenty of difficulties to overcome but it can be done with a little willpower.

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Hefin Jones: Cosmic Colliery

Still with a rather futuristic idea in mind architectural designer Chris Green examines the way in which drones could be used in everyday life and how they could be integrated with society. On display are three drones, all of which adapted for a different part of life: the home, the city and the wild. It explores our relationship with this technology and how they sense the world around them, allowing us to connect better with our environment. It asks us how willing we are to adapt and change according to circumstances.

But with her design, Stephanie Hornig questions what home really means in our every day lives which seem to be increasingly busier. She has designed a number of of objects made out of light materials to explore the role of furniture in increasingly compact living and work environments and how we can use our space more effectively.

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Alexa Pollmann: Indivicracy

Yet Alexa Pollmann gets visitors thinking about a democracy within a mobile and technologically advanced society through fashion, with a number of masks, headdresses and gloves in her display titled ‘Indivicracy’. She questions the need for government systems and for territory, challenging the negative connotations that have become associated with migration.

This year’s Designers in Residence is certainly thought provoking for visitors, showing how the term ‘migration’ is constantly evolving and changing with the times and not always with negative connotations as it sometimes comes across – sometimes it is even necessary in order for life to evolve even further.

Designers in Residence opens at the Design Museum today (9th September) and is on display until the 31st March 2016. Tickets cost £13.00 for adults, £9.75 for students and £6.50 for children aged from 6-15. 

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