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October 13, 2005
MOMA SAFE design exhibit is brilliant.
There was a design/innovation/creativity double-header this week in New York City with the opening night celebration of the new Paola Antonelli exhibit of SAFE design at MOMA on the same night that TED head Chris Andersen held a celebritory soiree at his downtown loft for the winners of the new TED prize. Sorry this sounds more like gossip than serious analysis but the Tuesday night did bring out all the top designers in their fancy dress (black, of course) who were either in the exhibit, won an award or just wanted to drink, network and have fun. Yves Behar, for one, appeared to be doing all three. His work is in the exhibit and he flew in from San Francisco.
The conceit of the show, that we design our shelter, our products and our emotions to make ourselves feel safe in an unsafe world, works and works well. You connect immediately and personally. It provokes you. The 300 objects are often surprising--and beautiful. I met Paola at her first MOMA exhibit on Materials that began the rush into using new high tech materials in new, creative ways. This SAFE exhibit is her post-9/11 ode to life.
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Wondering about the theme that we design our shelter to feel safe in an unsafe world... In much of America, houses have big windows and no fences. That tells me that they view darkness as a concern, and are willing to accept some vulnerability to avoid it. And the benefit of seeing neighbors outweighs the risks that one of them will storm through their door.
The die-hards who live by this safety thesis have very interesting shelters in places like Montana, and I imagine some of them feature striking design.
Posted by: steve baker at October 13, 2005 04:33 PM
I agree that the show was great. I have heard some rumblings from fellow designers about the show, but as in most cases, it was not put together for THEM. I think it was put together for anyone to "get."
Posted by: Brian Matt at October 17, 2005 07:02 PM
It is baffling to see structures built of THEMAsteel (thermasteelcorp.com) missing from a display of Safe Housing. As the only portable structure resistant to disasters of earth, wind, fire and water, it makes the items featured in the MOMA exhibit look frivolous. With recent disasters in NOLA, Guatemala, and Kashmir, real solutions to real dangers are demanded, but not supplied. Would that we would spend our dollars on more than exhibitions and on the saftey of NO MORE POOR HOUSES FOR POOR PEOPLE.
Posted by: alan scouten at October 18, 2005 04:39 PM
The amazing SUPERFANTASTIC Boezels are in the "SAFE: Design Takes On Risk" Show.
Take a look at: www.boezels.com
Posted by: Twan Verdonck at November 9, 2005 06:03 PM