Friend or foe?

22 : 02 : 2017 Vitra Design Museum : Artificial Intelligence : The E-motional Economy

Weil am Rhein, Germany – A new exhibition at Vitra Design Museum uses design to explore the evolving relationship between humans and robots.

  • The exhibition explores the utopian and dystopian views of artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Introduces robots from popular culture such as R2D2, as well as functional robots such as Paro, the fluffy seal used in therapy
Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany
Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany
Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany
Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany
Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine at the Vitra Design Museum, Germany

From smart appliances to chatbots, robotics are increasingly present in everyday life as consumers look to technology more than ever to assist in mundane tasks, facilitate human interaction and even provide emotional support.

Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine features more than 200 art and design objects that explore the role of designers in the evolution of these human-robotic relationships. A series of questions, including ‘What was your first experience with a robot?’ and ‘are robots advancing evolution?’, accompany the exhibits to challenge established preconceptions and advance the discussion on the cultural importance of robots in modern society.

‘The role of design in robotics is to protect human values,’ Amelie Klein, the exhibition’s curator told Dezeen. ‘The difference between well-meant care, patronising, control and spying are very fluid.’

The Big Picture

As explored in our Cracking Creativity Opinion piece, the role that AI can play in society is complicated. It often elicits paradoxical reactions of fear and wonder, which can be largely influenced by the design of the interface.