Spring Outing: The London Team Goes to the Design Museum

In search for inspiration and a well-deserved short break from our current projects, the Doblin team in London went to the newly-reopened Design Museum to see the Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World exhibition and stock up on creativity.

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen the exhibition yet, you might not want to read the team’s testimonies at the end of this article.

The Design Museum, which recently relocated from Tower Bridge to Kensington in London, is currently housing an exhibition of newly commissioned works that explore the themes of fear and love through modern issues ranging from curious robots and food culture to fast fashion and networked relationships.

Christien Meindertsma presents Fibre Market
Christien Meindertsma presents Fibre Market

The Doblin team visited the museum shortly before Easter, making time for culture and a healthy dose of inspiration. The first hour was spent immersing ourselves in the works of Andrés Jaque, Kenya Hara and others who shared their views on topical world issues in various formats, harnessing the power of video, photography, architecture and technology. The second part was dedicated to visiting the rest of the museum and walking through hundreds of everyday objects on display, all of them cult items that evolved so quickly over time. These included household appliances, transport signage, tech devices, brand logos and pieces of furniture to name a few.

A wall dedicated to the evolution of our favourite tech gadgets, including cameras, music players and watches
A wall dedicated to the evolution of our favourite tech gadgets, including cameras, music players and watches

As a result of the visit, I asked some members of our team to share their favourite exhibit with me and what they loved so much about each of them – read on:

Hannah: “I loved the Mongolian yurt and how it examined the tensions of modern nomadic life. Bonus points for being the most immersive exhibition design I’ve ever smelled.”

Ben: “My favourite was probably Metahaven’s video meditation, contrasting today’s widespread excitement over artificial intelligence with the violence and disregard shown to nature’s giant intelligences, our whale cousins.”

Marta: “A multi-media jaunt of life lived through dating apps captures the dramatic impact of digital communications on our most intimate connections and relationships. What a strange time we live in.”

Jon: “Neri Oxman’s 3D printed death masks were visually stunning, as well as being an incredible demonstration of how far the technology has advanced.”

Gloria: “I love the exhibition journey and design as a whole – such a great selection of artists that were diverse in topic, form and medium. Thought the way that the exhibition space was layed out and divided was a really smart curation strategy because it meant you had to start from a sort of strange, highly sensory piece (yak smell, audio and a ‘woolly’ house) and build up to the open space which had more energetic, playful pieces. That map at the start of the exhibition was a cool addition too.”

Aurelie: “And for what it’s worth, my favourite exhibit was Madeline Gannon’s curious robot Mimus, who followed the every moves of people walking around his cage. So technically advanced but at the same time so human-like in his behaviours!”

Madeline Gannon presents Mimus
Madeline Gannon presents Mimus

This outing was enjoyed by all and is a good example of how we, designers, researchers, strategists, can make a point of attending events that keep us current and fuel our creativity. They also reinforce the social bond between team members and the collaborative spirit that makes Doblin such a great place to work (when we're not at the museum!).

Thumbnail cover image credit: Gareth Gardner