Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria samples the future

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NGV’s latest exhibition Sample the future Builds on this momentum by showcasing new works from Australia’s foremost experimental talent, working between the fields of design, science and philosophy. On display at the museum’s Ian Potter Center from August 27 to February 6, 2022, the exhibit reveals how rapidly evolving technologies and redesigned production methods are shaping the near and far future. Sample the future brings together projects from its permanent collections with these new commissions for a dynamic presentation that tackles the most pressing issues of our time.

“There are two global conversations at play,” McEoin says. “The first is an optimistic look at how advancements in design have been or could be applied to combat ecological decline, revealing the role of the designer as a key player in [shaping] the world we want. The second conversation invites the audience to contemplate the ethics of [our] relationship to materials, extraction and production, while reflecting on the systems that have built up over time to facilitate modern life. As we look ahead at the challenges spelled out in the most recent IPCC report, we need people to have a new, more sophisticated understanding of what design is capable of. “

Child wearing Kyoko Hashimoto, Guy Keulemans and Matt Harkness’ Polylactic acid chain 2021. Courtesy of Guy Keulemans, Kyoko Hashimoto and Matt HarknessPhoto: Carine Thevenau. National Gallery of Victoria

Given its colonial and extractivist past, Australia is an important testing ground for new ideas and has spawned talents who seek to challenge this heritage, such as speculative architects Roland Snooks and sound artist Philip Samartzis. Mandated collaborators Unclear cloud The project implements advanced calculations, 3D printing and robot manufacturing to create representations that highlight cloud computing and its environmental impact.

“There are many examples in the world of designs and architectures derived from algorithmic inputs coupled with digital production,” says the chief curator. “The question is, what difference does this approach make? How will it apply to the construction of new environments? What is most fascinating about this work are the skills that designers acquire to improve and synthesize multi-material results. We are approaching a place where we can reimagine how buildings might act.

Technicians build Leanne Zilka and Jenny Underwood’s Knitted architecture production 2021 at RMIT Photo: Julian Kingma, Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria

According to McEoin, Australia and the surrounding region are on the verge of transitioning to a low-carbon future, but for things to pick up speed requires a total renewal of design education and practice. The exhibition highlights a semblance of this reality. “We have the possibility of a future that brings the deep relationship of First Nations peoples closer to our common need to [move] away from the obsolete systems, industries and economic priorities of the last century, ”he notes. Elliat Rich’s mirror installation coupled with a question of sound recording when western and non-western knowledge systems converge. He’s examining what a multi-species approach – maybe even a new cosmology or a planetary approach – to design might look like.

“Improvements in environmental design, like what can and cannot be recycled, have not radically changed the way we make, consume and dispose of things. The intertwined, overlapping activities of bringing a product to market are so opaque that the public, and in many cases the designers, have lost the ability to “read” an object: how it came into the world and what could be. its real implications. The transition to a circular economy is on the horizon, ”he concludes. “It will be more than just recycling and more than an interconnected system.”


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