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30.10.2017 Design : Technology : Wellness

In today’s daily digest: A round-up of LS:N Global’s top five exhibitions at Dutch Design Week 2017.

1. Core Studio offers an aesthetic to counter the digital movement

Fabian Briels for The Hardcore by Core Studio, Eindhoven Fabian Briels for The Hardcore by Core Studio, Eindhoven
Thomas van der Sman for The Hardcore by Core Studio, Eindhoven Thomas van der Sman for The Hardcore by Core Studio, Eindhoven
Thomas van der Sman for The Hardcore by Core Studio, Eindhoven Thomas van der Sman for The Hardcore by Core Studio, Eindhoven
Anton Hendrik Denys for The Hardcore by Core Studio, Eindhoven Anton Hendrik Denys for The Hardcore by Core Studio, Eindhoven

The Hardcore exhibition by Core Studio was themed around a counter-digital movement, offering an alternative to the digital aesthetic. The exhibition, located in a vacant car park, was divided into three parts – Monumental, Hyper-Ordinary and Aesthetic of Efficiency.

The Monumental section included works such as Tijs Gilde’s Gravel Table, an object with a blue stone surface that appeared to be made from a floor-like material. For Hyper-Ordinary, an exploration of the value of everyday objects, Lucas Munoz used architectural building supplies to create futuristic chairs. Aesthetic of Efficiency, designed to show the beauty in more rudimental ways of creating an object, included an aluminium pyramid by Wendy Andreu and Bram Vanderbeke.

2. Jip de Beer depicts the internet as a series of 3D objects

Web Spaces by Jip de Beer, Eindhoven

A project by artist Jip de Beer used a gamified format to visualise the hidden components of the internet. Part of the Materialising the Internet exhibition, the project comprised a screen displaying a website and a large wall projection featuring an alternative version of the website constructed from virtual objects, which visitors navigated by manipulating a video game controller.

The artist also presented a series of 3D-printed blocks designed to represent the building blocks that make up the internet, such as Facebook, which is depicted as a gold block to symbolise the power the mega-system wields over people’s lives.

3. Valerie van Zuijlen​ explores spirituality in technology

The Cellular Aura by Valerie van Zuijlen, Eindhoven The Cellular Aura by Valerie van Zuijlen, Eindhoven
The Cellular Aura by Valerie van Zuijlen imagines digital devices as a spiritual entity The Cellular Aura by Valerie van Zuijlen, Eindhoven
The Cellular Aura by Valerie van Zuijlen, Eindhoven The Cellular Aura by Valerie van Zuijlen, Eindhoven

Another stand-out exhibit at Materialising the Internet was The Cellular Aura by Valerie van Zuijlen, which imagined digital devices as a spiritual entity.

The exhibition connected the spiritual eye, or selfie camera, with its own reflection in a series of video installations, in a comment on the modern propensity to worship technology and the obscure language used by digital devices to communicate.

Look out for LS:N Global’s Q&A with the curators of Materialising the Internet, Nadine Roestenburg and Angelique Spaninks.

4. Pinar Yoldas puts a friendly face to artificial intelligence

Kitty AI by Pinar Yoldas, Eindhoven Kitty AI by Pinar Yoldas, Eindhoven

More than 100 artists and designers, including Pinar Yoldas, came together to explore the question ‘will the future design us?’ as part of the Manifestations exhibition. Yoldas’s Kitty AI project envisaged a future in which artificial intelligence (AI) systems play an active role in government departments, and explored consumers’ anxieties around the rise of AI and its potential threat to humanity.

In Yoldas’s scenario, the Kitty AI, which has adopted the guise of a kitten to appear less threatening, is readily accessible to consumers through their smartphones, and connects with a network of similar AI systems to shape world events. An accompanying video depicts Kitty AI as it laments the behaviour of pre-AI consumers, who ‘experienced loss, but only when they ‘lost [their] iPhones’ and ‘experienced chaos’, but only [on their] desktops’.

5. Robotanica presents an amalgamation of robotics and nature

Robotanica, Eindhoven Robotanica, Eindhoven
Robotanica, Eindhoven Robotanica, Eindhoven
Robotanica, Eindhoven Robotanica, Eindhoven
Robotanica, Eindhoven Robotanica, Eindhoven

In line with the blurring of modern society and nature explored in Whole-system Thinking, the Robotanica exhibition presented a future in which the natural world has become infiltrated by technology to offer a a hybrid eco-system. The exhibition examined future-facing concepts such as how environmental catastrophes could be avoided by replacing animals and plants on the verge of extinction with semi-robotic versions.

The use of technologies such as virtual reality (VR) were probed in an environmental context. Austin Stewart, for example, explored the use of VR to improve living conditions for bio-industry chickens in Second Livestock. Karolina Sobecka examined how technology could be used to combat the effects of climate change by creating a Cloud Machine capable of manipulating the weather.

6. Thought-starter: How women are changing the sex toy market

Women-founded sex technology companies are ushering in a new era. Junior journalist Rhiannon McGregor looks at how these companies are taking a much more considered and nuanced approach to women’s sexuality.

In 2013, LS:N Global looked at the brands that were helping to change the perception of women’s sexuality with our She Comes First microtrend. Now we explore the new wave of women-led companies that are moving away from an overtly sexualised aesthetic to a more nuanced and sophisticated look.

‘Our relationship with sex has always been pretty one-sided. It’s always been a misogynistic landscape that doesn’t really speak to us,' says Eva Goicochea, co-founder and CEO of Maude, an inclusive sexual health company.

In a saturated sex toy market, Maude stands out with its simple aesthetic and its confidence in providing a minimal selection of high-quality products. The key to the success of brands such as Maude is not in attempting to tick every box, but in listening to the community that they serve and responding accordingly.

For more, read the full microtrend here.

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